From Tallahassee to Natchez…

November 15, 2009

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Thatched chapel and cross, San Luis Mission, Tallahassee

P1210655After leaving Ocala, we set as a goal to spend the night somewhere not too far east of Pensacola. We had a couple of business items to take care of there, so wanted to allocate the majority of Thursday there. Ida-stimulated rain was still spattering the windshield, so when we got into Tallahassee, let’s just say that conditions were somewhat less than photographically favorable? 😉 But dauntless, we trod on… We visited Mission San Luis in Tallahassee, a re-created simulation of an ancient site (circa 1600s?) where Spanish missionaries and conquistadors attempted to imbue the local Appalachee Indians with their foreign beliefs (not to mention exploiting agricultural resources for beneficial trading for foreign goods?). I had an interesting discussion about all these tradeoffs with Juana, a simulated mother of 10 (the ones that lived) over there on the left. Today’s gallery shows other shots of the chapel innards, and the meeting/worship facilities used by the Indians themselves.

We roosted that night in Panama City Beach, west of Tallahassee, and about 90 miles from Pensacola, AND, in the Central Standard Time zone. It was nice to pick up an extra hour. Coming into town, it seemed like the place was FULL of un-occupied condos, but maybe it’s just a November thing in that region. But the next morning dawned beautifully, and as our hotel sat directly on the extensive Gulf Beach, I was able to take a nice sandy run on the beach to start the day, which stayed purty all day through. Our biz in Pensacola consisted of finding a AAA for more travel maps, meeting with an expert recruiter whom I’ve been tele-conversing with for years, and getting the Prius in for its 2nd 5,000 mile service of the trip (it’s now up to ~12,000 as we speak?).

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National Museum of Naval Aviation, Pensacola, FL

Though we were bound determined to get out of Florida before nightfall, yet another museum sign tempted me as we headed out of Pensacola: “National Museum of Naval Aviation.” Well, it couldn’t be far, right, just off the I10 a little south? It turned out to be about 20 miles south of the interstate, and we got there 1/2 hour before closing, but we loved the visit! There are too many photos to show here in the blog, but again, you’ll find more in our gallery, so check it out!

Desperate to be out of Florida for the night, we headed directly west out of the Pensacola NAS (site of the museum) and wound up in Foley, AL.

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Lambert's Cafe, Foley, AL, home of "Throwed Rolls"

As serendipity would have it, we happened to choose one of only three restaurants in the United States where they throw rolls to patrons! All three are part of the “Lambert’s” chain; check out the website on the sign to find out more about this mecca of southern fried food (I ate catfish, Jane had shrimp). They pass around other side dishes like potatoes, slaw, etc., so believe me, you won’t leave there hungry!

Out of Foley the next morning, we motored up through Mobile, AL, then struck out in a northwesterly direction across the state of Mississippi, with Natchez as our evening’s goal. I’ll put in another plug here for eschewing the interstates; those “roads less traveled,” in this case mainly U.S. 98, offer great road surfaces, divided highway (though not freeway), and very little traffic to interfere with ingesting the beautiful scenery, even for the driver! We were expecting to see cotton and tobacco fields in MS, but in fact, we traversed mainly forested lands, as it turns out, lumber is a big commercial enterprise there, and much of the land is devoted to raising and logging of trees, mostly pines. You’ll see some of that scenery in the gallery, but it was a very pleasant drive, all day long. And the epitome of the day was to reach Natchez, and the Mississippi River, just before sundown!

Panorama

Sunset over the Mississippi at Natchez, MS

For one of the loveliest sunsets I’ve ever witnessed, I shot three successive shots for this particular image and stitched them together on my Mac later on. Showing here is just a teensy snippit. You’ll enjoy it more if you look at it in the gallery at full screen width; there’s enough there, image-wise, to print a panorama of 18″ X 56″, if anyone’s interested? 😉

But there’s much more to Natchez than has met your eye as yet. Stay tuned for scenes of regal antebellum homes, the famous Natchez Trace, and even a haunted restaurant! See ya later.

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One Response to “From Tallahassee to Natchez…”

  1. Cheryl & Jeff said

    Wow, that is one gorgeous sunset and panorama no less. You two are
    having quite an adventure, that’s for sure and we look forward to hearing
    more about it when you return. Be safe, Cheryl & Jeff

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