Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Heading across Mississippi

Tuesday, May 29 - Heading out of Jackson, Mississippi, we started following the Southern Pacific route in the Road Trip USA book, one of our stalwart guides that we've used on all of our trips.  It's a great book, because it takes you off what they call the "anodyne interstate" and takes you on the local roads so that you can see more of small town America.  We try to stay off the interstates as much as possible, unless we just need to get somewhere as fast as possible.

This route took us on US-80 from Jackson to Montgomery, Alabama.   It took us through the Bienville National Forest, which was a nice drive, but we didn't even see one of the familiar national park service signs that we know and love.  Here's the sign from their website:

Our next destination was Meridian, but along the way we passed through Chunky, Mississippi.  Now, with a name like Chunky, it cries out for some comment.  Let's just say it's a "wide" spot in the road that stands proud with a baptist church and a post office along US-80.  Small town, big name.

We took a quick break in Meridian, the birthplace of the "Father of Country Music," Jimmie Rodgers.  While we didn't go into the museum, the town is also known for it's Dentzel Carousel in the town's Highland Park, built in 1896 for the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, and moved to Meridian in 1909 where it's been in operation ever since.  It's also housed in the only surviving original carousel building built from a Dentzel blueprint.  The hand carved animals have all been restored to their original condition, so of course we had to go for a ride.  Fifty cents per person!

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