Friday, March 03, 2006

Trip to Mississippi : February 24 - March 2

The "BBB" in our driveway ready to go (Double click on pictures to see full -size)

February 24:
Travelled from SSM to Aurora (Chicago) (slightly over 800km). We had not brought much food because of our experience last year – but the rules have changed and we had to give up a full dozen eggs and some chicken products – now it is the avian flu –plus we had some sausage that contained beef which almost got us fined because we said we didn’t have any beef but we only lost less than $10 worth of stuff which was a lot less than the $30-40 we lost last year.

It was very cold outside and I was very pleased that my jury rigged repair to the heater control was working so we had HEAT!.

Feb 25-26:
Spent weekend in Aurora Illinois with Chris, Tammye, Hunter and Camdyn. Slept in BBB (parked at their curb - see picture at left with their house in background) – it was - 6 to -8 overnight and furnace ran often even when set at 5 deg C. (40F). We played “the mexican train” with them Saturday evening. I taught Camdyn how to play a simple game of dominos and she was wanting to do that as often as we could.

Linda & I both went to a one of Hunter’s hockey practices. Saturday we took the kids to a funfair at their school (see picture at left). We took Hunter shopping for his birthday present and went to lunch with him - great time with our 8 year old grandson -- how time flies.

We went to watch Camdyn play soccer on Sunday p.m.

Feb.27 - Monday
We stayed in Aurora until noon on Monday so we could chauffer Camdyn to her school. We had done that for Hunter last year and it gives them a real thrill to ride “shotgun” on in the passenger’s seat and then be dropped off.

We had our usual (but undesirable) difficulties in figuring out the route information so Linda could give directions when we needed to make a turn onto a different road. We took a different route than last year toget from I-55 to I-57 which turned out to be much easier to follow.

We drove until shortly after 6 – just getting dark and stopped at WALMART in Mount Vernon Ill for the night. Did a big shopping to get groceries and other things we needed.

Feb. 28 Tuesday –
We left Mount Vernon around 8: -- switched on to I-24 and drove to near Paducah Kentucky exiting to US45 to Mayfield. We stopped at the Kentucky Welcome center -- weather was beautiful and really neat old building that had been converted for this use.

We really had a challenge reviewing the route because there were a lot of highway changes. I had printed off maps from Mapquest. Linda had difficulty seeing how they fit to-gether --particularly when I printed a "blow-up" of a particular intersection. We had a real illustration of the "men are from Mars - women are from Venus" syndrome. Despite the tenseness of communicating differently about these things we did OK with the route and everything fell into place.

We turned onto 121/97 meandered south to Tennessee border where highway changed to 69 – ending up at McKenzie. Then got onto 22 south to Adamsville then 224/22 to Mississippi line and then back onto US45 at Corinth Mississippi. (stopped at Mississippi welcome center at Corinth- picture at left)

It got quite warm during the day and we had the heat off and windows open and had changed into shorts & T-shirt by mid-afternoon. Mid-afternoon I turned the heatoff completely (the control I installed is under the hood so I can only make adjustments when we are stopped but that worked out OK)

We found a campground at Tupelo (see picture at left) pulling in around 6. Since it was warm and didn’t look like we had to worry about freezing we took on water and got all the taps working. I had one glitch with my winterizing and the plastic fitting for the outside shower head is cracked – but it isn’t a big deal – seldom used and likely relatively easy to fix.

March 1 Wednesday
Finished “waterizing” – filled hot water tank and checked the water heater and filled on board water tank. Had showers at campground –went to WALMART to pickup a few things –fueled up and found a place to use wireless for email— sent a note about our location to family -- on road south around 1:00 - stayed on US45 to State Line and then connected via 57 to 63 south. Stopped- just before dark for “WALMART camping” (again) at Lucedale less than an hour from Pascagoula. When we first parked it turned out we were in the middle of the local haunt for a bunch of (likely high school) kids – and pretty soon that corner of the parking lot –just outside our window was filled with cars – radios going- horns beeping—loud conversations so we quietly retreated to another spot.

Just before we stopped for the night we started to see trees down and houses with tarps on the roof – evidence of the hurricane damage. Also lots of places with trailers outside the houses That’s actually been one of the most surprising things so far—you see a house that looks very normal outside and yet the people are in trailers—what we have found is that they have either lost the roof and been flooded from rain or closer to the coast flooded from the tidal surge and the insides are destroyed and it is uninhabitable.

March 2 – Thursday
We moved from the WALMART to a nearby park -many ball fields—I guess baseball fields here are like hockey rinks in Canada—every town has one or several-went for a walk –generally wanted to relax a little before getting into Pascagoula since we didn’t really know what we would find. We had lunch and then headed in –

We arrived at the church a little before 1. (see picture at left - the "halo" is accidental quirk due to the sunlight!!) On the way into town everything seemed so normal – lots of fast food joints—lots of traffic—stores doing business -- on the surface it seemed like everything was OK—except of course for the debris , tarped roofs and trailers everywhere.

Travelled 1500 km from Chicago for total of 2300 km (slightly under 1400 miles) from home on approx $450 in gas for the "beast" which isn't too bad --keeping at the 33 cents(US)/mile that we experienced in prior BBB trips.

See separate postings for our time in Pascagoula

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