June 26, 2007

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Below are the diary entries for June 26, 2007. We drove 287 miles (459 km) today; in total, we have driven 1530 miles (2448 km). Also, check out today’s photos.

Eric Exploring Mississippi
Eric (June 26, 2007)

Last modified: June 27, 2007 at 9:40:15

After a night of a barking dog, trains going by in the distance, and an expedition to the bathroom, we woke up to beautiful Chewalla Lake.

The early morning son gives a "golden glow" to the world.

It was still early enough for nobody to be around so Nicoline and I took the opportunity to sneak a skinny dip in the lake. The water was gorgeous!

After packing everything up, we drive towards Clarksdale. Again, we are struck by how green Mississippi is. Also, it comes across as a very friendly place. Somehow, the area we are driving through seems very well off; lots of expensive houses.

This changes when we come to Clarksdale, where the downtown is really run down. We visit the Delta Blues Museum to learn more about the roots of the Blues music.

After visiting the museum, we get some carry-out at a Quiznos and eat in a laundromat, while doing our laundry. In there, I also take the opportunity to do some cataloging of photos. It looks as if there's even WiFi available in the laundromat (probably leeching over from a nearby business) but I don't try to connect.

From Clarksdale, we continue south on SR-1 towards Greenville. Along the road there, we come across a big patch of cacti, some of which are flowering.

The first opportunity we get we pull over to look at the Mississippi Not very spectacular here, but I've been looking forward to seeing the river and here it is.

At Greenville, we cross the Mississippi into Arkansas. It's only a little corner, before we come into Louisiana, but we've been here! Then we come back to Mississippi at Vicksburg, where we spend the night.

Nicoline The Delta
Nicoline (June 26, 2007)

Last modified: June 29, 2007 at 18:30:04

Today we drove back roads all the way to U.S. Highway 61. I had no idea Mississippi was so green and beautiful! Of course we've only seen a small part of Mississippi before, when we saw Elvis Presley's birthplace in Tupelo, which is in the eastern part of the state. The Delta is at the western edge of the state.

On our way down U.S. 61 we visit the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale. Unfortunately, we can't take pictures inside, but one of its artefacts is the cabin in which blues legend Muddy Waters grew up. It's pretty squalid looking, although it was expanded to a four-room little house when he lived there. We also take the time to do a load of laundry in Clarksdale.

When that's out of the way, we drive on toward Vicksburg, crossing the Mississippi at Greenville and driving from Arkansas into Louisiana.

There we turn back east to Vicksburg where we find a motel for the night and I dine on fried catfish and fried dill pickles. When I first read about those (probably in Grisham's "The Firm") they sounded rather disgusting, but they are actually really good.

Mark Day four - Down the Mississippi
Mark (June 26, 2007)

Last modified: June 26, 2007 at 17:18:18

Why am I laying on the ground? Next to a sleeping bag and an inflatable mattress? Oh yea! I've been camping! I wake up to find that everyone else is already busy doing what they need to do. I am startled to find my Mom taking the rain shield off. When you just wake up to your roof being ripped off, you would be startled too! I promise that. We are at the Holly Springs National Forest, in the Chewalla Campgrounds. I get out of bed, and the first thing I notice is that I didn't get very many bug bites! Maybe one or two, but thats it! The next thing I notice is the Stray dog noising about, I still say he is VERY cute! I get out of my tent and have breakfast. Two bagels and a chocolate bar that I got as a gift exactly one week ago. I miss the Y... Ah well, I'll live. I'll come and visit! The dog is under the table in the picture to the right I believe.

After breakfast, Frank and I go down, with the dog, to the playground. Mom doesn't like dogs, so she told me to bring him. This is when I make the leash. It's very useful! Frank and I sea-saw while the dog lays near-by. Mom and Dad go and take a dip in the water.

I roll up my tent, and clean my stuff up. Mom assigns me to fill up all of the water-bottles. We meet a really nice woman named Trish. I have a conversation with her while filling up the water bottles. Frank came back from taking a shower and told me that the Game Warden was here. The Game Warden was supposed to take the dog to the pound. I took the liberty to take the dog by his leash I made and walked him up. He left immediately. I think that is what made me not miss the dog so much, I know that he is in a good place that people will love him. It actually made me happy to see him go.

We were soon on our way, driving on State Route 4. It was very scenic according to my parents. I was laying in the back dosing. There was nothing else to do anyway. We arrived at where ever we were headed at around noon.

We then went to the Delta Blues Museum. After that, we took our time getting to the Quiznos near there. We took the Subs we got, Honey Mustard Chicken for me, and went to the laundromat. This is the first time that we have gone to one of those on this trip. We leave the laundromat and head south. We continue driving and driving. Yet we still are driving. A short shower doesn't stop us either, we keep driving. We do take a short stop to view some cacti. They were VERY tall. Almost as tall as Frank. We are now driving on SR 1. I come to the end of my story as I am now typing what is happening. Not much of importance anyway.

More pictures coming soon, my Dad is driving, so he can't upload his pictures that he just took quite yet.



Anita Dekker wrote on June 28, 2007 at 5:09:06:

I am so jealous. That camping spot by the lake would be worth staying at. How did you come across that? Just by chance? It is so neat to read your trip diaries from three different perspectives. It makes me laugh to think you are all on the same trip, but you have atotally different perspective. And Mark, I stick to my previous comment, you are a natural writer. I reckon you must take after you mum. Good writing matey.

Nicoline Smits wrote on June 28, 2007 at 18:44:36:

We just decided to skip Memphis and try camping instead, and the park happened to be almost exactly on our route (well, it a detour of about 20 miles, but what the heck). Part of the fun of this trip that it's not the sort of pre-digested sort of road trip you sometime see tourists condemned to, you know, "If today is Tuesday, this must be Paris" or wherever they happen to be going. That's why we only made reservations for a few selected spots, so we'd be free to change plans.

Mark Grivel wrote on June 28, 2007 at 20:13:02:

Actually, I believe that Mom and Dad had tried to find a place like this. Thanks for the compliment! ^.^

smitha wrote on July 3, 2007 at 12:36:33:


You write well. Liked reading all your entries. Have a great rest of the trip too.

Mark Grivel wrote on July 4, 2007 at 18:52:55:


Terrye Ashby wrote on July 5, 2007 at 18:05:16:

Eric - I hope you broke the news to your son about what really happens when dogs go to the pound. :( I'm really enjoying the blow by blow description of your trip. It sounds like a wonderful time. We can all live vicariously through you as most of us will never, ever have such an experience!

Frank Grivel wrote on July 31, 2007 at 12:13:41:

Mark knows, but the dog will at least get treatment and food. It might get lucky and even get an owner. Who knows. But, yes, Mark knows what happens.

Mark Grivel wrote on July 31, 2007 at 17:11:45:

Yes he does.