At 7 a.m. today I entered Louisiana, the last state west of the Mississippi River that I hadn’t yet visited. Then I drove across Lake Pontchartrain, because why not?
I got breakfast at a cafe in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Called the “Bourbon Street Breakfast Platter”, it consisted of two thick and incredibly delicious pancakes full of banana and pecan pieces, three slices of perfectly smoky bacon, and some great bourbon. It was rich and filling enough that I could barely finish it and didn’t need lunch.
After New Orleans I headed east on I-10 to Pensacola, on the way visiting Alabama and Florida for the first time. Pensacola Beach was a brief stop, where I got my feet in the Gulf of Mexico and took a picture of the very moment it happened. I also took a picture of the moment the Atlantic Ocean touched me for the first time a couple years ago when I visited Myrtle Beach, SC. I don’t have such a picture of the Pacific because I was a baby at the time.
This is my last day in the Deep South, as I am now just north of Atlanta, GA for the night. Tomorrow is the Appalachian leg of my journey, and on the weekend I’ll be going through the northeastern states.
I love the food down here, but the humidity and the drivers are not so great. Last night I slept in my truck and the heat and humidity made it difficult. And throughout the south, the roads are full of cars piloted in atrocious ways. Based on what I’ve observed, many southern drivers seem to be obeying a handbook containing the following rules:
1: Disregard all speed limits, especially if you are a police officer or in a construction zone.
2: Leave barely thirty feet of space between your vehicle and the one in front of you, even when you’re both going 85 miles per hour.
3: When changing lanes, go right ahead and slip into that thirty-foot gap with your twenty-foot-long vehicle.
4: Stay in the left lane if you drive slightly slower than most other people.
5: Pass on the right, getting yourself stuck behind slow cars in the right lane and thus preventing the slow cars in the left lane from moving over.
The proliferation of tourists and other slow drivers back home may be annoying, but at least they don’t cause frequent moments of terror like southern drivers do. I saw the aftermath of more vehicular collisions today than the first five days of my trip combined.
Day 6 Statistics
States: MS, LA, AL, FL, GA
Daily Miles: 759.1
Total Miles: 3966.3