Welcome from the Louisiana-Mississippi border! On the advice of our friend, Eddie, we spent our morning in Vicksburg, MS at the Vicksburg National Military Park. The park contains most of the fighting positions the Union and Confederate Army held during the Siege of Vicksburg in the Civil War. The park had a palpable solemnity to it that reminded me of Gettysburg and Valley Forge back in Pennsylvania. The mood was amplified by the gloomy overcast skies that stuck with us from Mississippi all the way to Texas. For more on the Siege of Vicksburg, here is the Wiki page on the battle.
After the park, we gassed up, hit the road, and were quickly into Louisiana. There isn’t much to say about the northern stretch of Louisiana. Their welcome center was closed and in a embarrassable state of disrepair. We stopped in Monroe, LA, and bought some groceries from probably the most foul-smelling Walmart we’ve seen. Why Walmart? Because in the middle of a massive shopping area, we couldn’t find a single person who knew where a grocery store might be.
Holly: Hello! Do you know where the nearest grocery store is?
Gas Station Clerk: Grocery store? (Furrows his brow and looks concerned)
Holly: Yes, a grocery store.
Gas Station Clerk: Man, I have no idea. Do you mean Walmart?
We chugged along and soon enough we crossed into Texas! Their welcome center was actually somewhat strange, it was this massive hulk of concrete and steel in a funky design that looked more like a high-end prison or high school (same thing?) than a welcome center. It was later brought to our attention that this was because it is built to act as a tornado shelter in the event of inclement weather. We didn’t have any tornados, but it rained nonstop for our last 3-4 hours of driving to Dallas.
Once in Dallas we headed south, to Midlothian, TX to stay with our friend Eddie’s sister, Amanda, and her family. We managed to navigate our way through some windy roads in the rain/fog to arrive at their house at around 8pm CST. Amanda whipped up an amazing homecooked southern meal of chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, and freshly baked biscuits with homemade plum jam. Welcome to Texas, indeed! We’ll be off the grid tomorrow camping at Guadalupe Mountain National Park, but should have another update in a few days!