#TravelThursday continues now with Part 2 of my 7-part blog series on my recent 18-day road-trip between South Florida and North Texas.
At the end of Part 1 I was enjoying food and fellowship at a Thai restaurant in Semmes Alabama – a northwestern suburb of Mobile. From there I got back on U.S. 98, and I headed northwestward into Mississippi. I enjoy driving this mostly peaceful stretch of U.S. 98 – particularly on the Mississippi side, as it’s a rural divided 4-lane highway (versus a narrow 2-lane road on the Alabama side west of Semmes). I think there have been plans to widen the 2-lane stretch to 4 lanes over the years, but due to environmental concerns regarding the Big Creek Lake reservoir and its watershed those plans have been postponed indefinitely. (The reservoir serves as the municipal water supply for the Mobile area.)
On the south side of Hattiesburg Mississippi I took U.S. 49 northwestward through the heart of the city and beyond. (I wrote about “The Hub City” Hattiesburg 3 weeks ago here on #TravelThursday.)
In the past I’ve taken U.S. 49 90 miles northwestward from Hattiesburg to Jackson – the capital and largest city of Mississippi. But this time I took a much different route. From U.S. 49 I jumped on U.S. 84.
U.S. 84 is a major east-west highway that extends over 1,900 miles across 7 states from high up in the Rocky Mountains of Southwestern Colorado to the low-country of the Atlantic shores of Georgia. It crosses the U.S. Continental Divide in northern New Mexico at an elevation above 7,700 feet.
I took peaceful and scenic U.S. 84 mostly a little south of due westward (and mostly with the mid-November afternoon sun directly in front of me) all the way to the eastern banks of the mighty Mississippi River at Natchez. I didn’t get to see much of Natchez (other than the drive through the city to my hotel), but I did walk over (across the street from my hotel) to the grounds of the Natchez Visitor Reception Center – where I captured a few nice photographic memories as the sun was getting ready to set on the bluff. Here’s one of them overlooking the Mississippi River. (Louisiana is on the other side of the river.)
I didn’t get to visit the museum inside, as I got there about 20 minutes prior to closing time. I’ll have to visit Natchez again on a future trip to and from North Texas.
“The River City” Natchez looks like a fun destination city for locals and others in the region to experience and enjoy for a few days and nights right along the mighty Mississippi River. It has a large downtown district with a stand-alone convention center. Many of its hotels have their own convention centers and rooms. There are about 1,200 hotel rooms in and around Natchez. Tourism supports this city. Its population has actually been declining over the past 40 years, and less people call Natchez home today than they did in 1940. But it still looks like a fun town to visit.
I spent the night in Natchez at the conclusion of Day 2 of my road-trip. I drove 462 miles on this day (Friday November 12TH 2021), for a grand total of 981 miles since the start.
And that’s where I’ll end Part 2 of this 7-part blog series. I’ll continue with my road-trip adventures and experiences next #TravelThursday. We’ll cross the Mississippi River into Louisiana, continue along the Interstate Highway System into Texas, arrive at my family’s home, enjoy a fun Japanese hibachi grill Lunch, and finally visit two of the top tourist attractions in Dallas Texas.
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