The Road Home

Day 1 – Friday 4/17 2015   We departed San Marcos at 5:52 am CDT, heading out on 80 to Luling Tx and then picking up I-10 East.  We made a stop in Luling to try and capture the Water Tower (a watermelon) but it was pretty dark.  This is what I managed to get.

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It was smooth sailing until Houston where we encountered typical rush hour backups which we were expecting.  They did not delay us as much as when we came in to Houston last week.  We hit the slowdown about 8:30 and cleared it about 9:12.

The rest of the drive was uneventful until we got up into Mississippi.   We turned North on I-59 just past New Orleans.   Our plan is to head up to Laurel MS (just N of Hattiesburg) and grab a room.   Then tomorrow we will jump on I-20 a bit up the road and head east to Selma.  As we reached the outskirts of Laurel, the skys opened up!   Visibility was not good but we were near the exit so we got off and it eased some by the time we reached the motel.  The turn North was at 3:38 pm and we made the motel at 4:26.

Day 2 – Saturday 4/18 2015     We awoke and checked the weather radar, there were massive storms approaching from the southwest so we gathered our belongings and prepped top leave.  Checking out, we crossed the street and filled the fuel tank and then jumped back on I-59, hoping to stay ahead of the worst part.  We did not take advantage of the Continental breakfast as we wanted to beat the storm, planning to stop later as it was only 6:00 am CDT.

The ride in Mississsippi was very enjoyable, I-59 was in great shape and there was very little traffic.   It was also a lush green scenery, reminding me somewhat of up North.   We only encountered a couple minor sprinkles as we turned East on I-20 at Meridian.  There was not much buffer so we delayed breakfast.

It was 7:10 when we exited I-20 to catch route 80 and cross over into Alabama.  We really enjoyed this leg of the trip.  For the next 3 hours, we were on a nice roadway through the countryside of Alabama.  It felt like the “good old days” with the roadway, scenery and occasional small towns.  This was so much more enjoyable than Interstate and tons of trucks!  There is a possibility of a motorcycle ride to Texas in June and I am thinking this may be part of my route…

Part of the reason for this route was to pass through Selma Alabama!  With all the publicity of the movie “Selma”, when I looked along our route home this was not too far out of the way.  Also, we had spotted Tuskeegee Alabama (think Tuskeegee Airmen) so we added both of these as stops on our way home.  Arriving in Selma, we seemed to be a bit ahead of the storm so we stopped at a small restaurant called Mr Waffle.  It was 8:40 and PACKED!  It was full inside and no parking spots in the lot. (we could have parked next door)   Decided to pass and stopped a couple blocks down at Steak Pit (which had a sign out front that said Pancake House!).   Apparently a steak house doing breakfast.  🙂   It was not a bad breakfast.  After eating, grabbed my camera and we proceeded down the road to the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

“On March 7, 1965, armed policemen attacked peaceful civil rights demonstrators attempting to march to the state capital of Montgomery in an incident that became known as Bloody Sunday. Because of the design of the bridge, the protesters were unable to see the police officers on the east side of the bridge until after they had reached the top of the bridge in the center. The protesters first saw the police while at the center of the bridge, 100 feet above the Alabama River. Despite the danger ahead, the protesters continued marching without stopping.  They were then attacked and beaten by police on the other side.”  This bridge is shown in the movie “Selma”.

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“Edmund Pettus Bridge 03” by Carol M. Highsmith

In town……………

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Crossing the Bridge….

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Leaving Selma, we continued on Route 80 to to I-65N at Montgomery AL and then headed East on I-85 which would take us across Alabama.  After about 40 minutes, we arrived near our next Scenic stop, Tuskegee Alabama.  Our plan was to visit Moton Field and the Tuskegee Airman Monument.

“The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American military aviators in the United States Armed Forces. During World War II, Black Americans in many U.S. states were still subject to the Jim Crow laws and the American military was racially segregated, as was much of the federal government. The Tuskegee Airmen were subjected to racial discrimination, both within and outside the army. All Black military pilots who trained in the United States trained at Moton Field, the Tuskegee Army Air Field and were educated at Tuskegee University, located near Tuskegee, Alabama.”

There is a long story involved in how we took a different exit than planned (my doing) and how the GPS took us where no regular vehicle should go (Lyn’s doing) which I will not spend a lot of time on now.  Suffice to say, she got us “lost” and then blindly followed the GPS here:

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When the ruts were over 12″ deep and 24 – 32″ wide we decided to turn around~!    This would have been a fun road on the GS Motorcycle but in the CRV, not so much!  🙂

Using a “map”, I got us back into the town of Tuskegee where we passed the University.  It was very impressive, nice buildings and grounds.

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From here we visited the Monument and Moton Airfield, where 2 of the original Hangers were located and a Museum was housed.

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We departed Tuskegee approx. 12:30 and continued toward home.  Our sightseeing was done and we were now ready to make miles and get home.  Continuing on I-85, we reached Opelika AL where we left the Interstate and jumped on to Route 431 to Rte 8/Rte 80 and crossed into Georgia at Columbus at 1:30 pm EDT.   We followed 80 and 96 all the way across GA until we connected with I-16 just past Warner Robbins/Macon.  It was now almost 4:00 pm and this leg had been another like in Alabama, enjoyable as we could view the scenery and towns as we traveled across the great USA!

I-16 brought us all the way into the Savannah area and our home town of Pooler at 6:00 pm.   All in all, a great vacation but it was also so very nice to get home.

Pat & Lyn

 

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