Natchez, 13 Miles
"Its not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells you the life you've led."
Natchez equals antebellum mansions, and we toured them, from a six story octagonal building with the top five stories unfinished to a couple of beautiful buildings, all from the nineteenth century.
And God bless the National Park Service, they let me take photos inside. What a concept! They'll be sorry. I'll use those pictures to build an exact replica in Las Vegas.
We toured the downtown area as well, and Natchez feels... like it doesn't quite pull it off. It needs more tourist shops- and more tourists. Seems like too many empty shops and too many not-quite-up-to-par ones. It seems like they are either getting close to making it or in some stage of not making it. I'm no city planner, but it seems like they need a dozen or so visionaries who would be willing to put their money on the line.
What a great place to do it, with the Mississippi River (pronounced, 'Mizzippi') drifting by, tugs pushing quarter-mile long barges past, to a warmer climate, to a Southern hospitality kind of place. Maybe after the Adventure we'll come back and open a nice restaurant. Okay, maybe not.
The Saint Mary Basilica was the kind of place where you gawk at the huge expanse with blue ceilings bordered with gold leaf, stained glass windows depicting saints, and statues of more of the same. The sign at the altar read, 'Silence' and I suppose they had to post it, but what kind of idiot walks through and talks, or answers their cell, or has their kids running up and down the aisles? Sorry I asked. What an inspiring structure, an architectural home run.
And guess where we went to lunner? Yep. Barbecue. The Pig Out Inn provided a perfect yang to the Basilica's yin, doing tacky as a barbecue place should with posters; 'Free Beer Tomorrow,' 'Warm Beer, Slow Service, Mediocre Food, Have a Nice Day.' Others announced blues singers coming to a stage near you, from the sixties. And blues music played while the help (one of them with a total of three teeth, I swear) heaped plates with pulled pork, cole slaw, corn on the cob and pasta salad. Slather on the barbecue sauce and your body floats up through the ceiling to barbecue heaven. Oh yeah. Jenny Craig can just sit tight until we return.
Now that the sun's out again (after an inch of rain yesterday), travelers and biker people are hovering around Libby like mosquitos to a tasty arm. Met some great people today, reminding us of our epic journey. Funny, you get blasé about it.
What a trip.
And now, almost a Southern belle, Quilter Girl!
Kevin is house toured out, but what a way to go. These people here know how to give house tours. Except for the Park Service, the tour guides have been in costume. The ranger would have looked funny in a hoop skirt anyway. At 'Rosalie,' there were hoop skirted ladies in each room, with young girls in a couple. What fun. These houses had great furniture, paintings, dolls and toys, and fully set dining tables. One of the women even brought 1,000 pieces of china back from a trip to Europe. The furnishing were spectacular, lots of rosewood and other dark woods, huge four-poster beds with daybeds at the foot of the bed for naps. There were no kitchens in the house because of fire danger. This is a wonderful town for a vacation.
Tomorrow state 42, Louisiana. (Loosyanah). See you there!