23 May

After an awesome luxurious breakfast at the Terrell House we left New Orleans about 9:00 am. I’m going to miss Cooper; he is one of those genuine people whom I’ve met on my trips that I wish we had more time together. Wow, riding northwesterly to get out of town there is water everywhere. I had to see it to believe it. The city is only about 20ft above sea level and connected with a spiderweb of aging concrete expressways through miles and miles of swamp. It’s an oasis of great people and wonderful food held togethet by nothing but its history and very worn infrastructure. We both can’t imagine it’s sustainable. We were stunned to see most of the businesses with huge wide open front entrances and all the air conditioning working to cope with the 95degree heat. We can’t comprehend how small coffee shops, with floor to ceiling full width front entrances, are able to afford the energy to waste so grossly. But I must say everyone is friendly and helpful. All Canadian public transit drivers should take lessons in courtesy from the New Orleans bus and streetcar drivers. We had a riot just wandering around and going in random directions on our $3 day passes!!!

We got to Matchez Mississippi in time for lunch

and I finally got my feast of cornbread.

We rode together from the very south end of the Natchez Trace Parkway ( NTP ) terminus. About 3:00 we parted, Larry preparing to setup his tent at Ricky Springs campground on the Parkway. I rode north past about another 100 mile markers and finally detoured way off to get a motel near Carthage. I spent about $12 in Walmart for salad for dinner and stocked up on real juices, fresh fruit and of course my emergency can of beans. On most trips I haul a big can of brown beans and a plastic spoon, sometimes it just ends up at home. But seems like good insurance against starvation. Either I’m just really lucky or I have developed a secial skill to find great eateries on my travel. The best places get stored in my GPS for future trips and sharing with friends. I dream someday of getting rich publishing this list and my blog.

Tonight I found a cheap motel, maybe my best ever $50 special, clean, owner friendly & helpful and with a pool!!! An the entire large room with 2 big beds to spread out my gear and my maps. I still haven’t planned a route from Nashville to my friends Rich ans Carol in NY state.

I sure hope Larry enjoys his rustic campsite and the clouds of blackflies that will be swarming around his tent. He is heading to Oklahoma to join a tornado hunting crew and then adventures into the Grand Canyon in a helicopter. His memory data-banks will be overloaded by the time he gets home about the end of June. I’m not geleous, I’m simply homebound. Considering the sweltering temperatures I’m rather looking forward to our new house, a first for us with air conditioning. Each day cooking in my Road Crafter suit and hauling all my cold weather gear that I wore the first 2 days we began the trip, I wish I had my lightweight summer suit and boots. It’s so hot I’m not stopping for many pictures and certainly no walkabouts to explore. No one will believe that I haven’t even stopped to collect any rocks!! I just rode past 3 historic mound sites this afternoon wanting to explore, believing the real true history of the mounds is the Minoan people. Their exploration, civilization and shipment of copper from Isle Royale in Lake Superior via Lake Michigan, Missouri River, Mississippi River to New Orleans and then by ship home, to supply the material for the Bronze Age.

I do enjoy riding the Parkway, the leisurely ride, speed restricted to 50mph and no comercial vehicles. Putzing in this temperature sure beats flogging the interstates, cruising steadily at 70 to 75mph in heavy traffic. My Vstrom runs perfectly, so I’ve no concerns except my ignition key is sticky. I swapped my old worn key for my spare which is virtually unused and that helps but even it sticks sometimes.

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