#TravelThursday continues now with Part 6 of my 7-part blog series on my recent 18-day road-trip between South Florida and North Texas.
Last week I left-off at the end of Day 16 at my hotel destination on the west side of Hattiesburg right around sunset that night. It was my 2ND stay at that particular hotel, and it was a good night’s stay. Back in November I wrote all about Hattiesburg Mississippi here on #TravelThursday. On a future road-trip I need to spend a couple of days there exploring the local area rather than just a hotel night.
Early the next morning – Saturday November 27TH 2021 – I departed at dawn with freezing cold temperatures and a heavy layer of frost on my car windows. Temperatures dropped to as low as 30°F / -1°C during the first hour of my drive southeastward along historic U.S. 98. I drove through Semmes and Mobile Alabama right around 8 AM, and on the east side of Mobile (after another scenic drive along Battleship Parkway) I picked-up I-10 eastward.
Post-Thanksgiving holiday traffic on I-10 eastward was a madhouse. Once again it was quite scary driving through Pensacola. It didn’t really get much better after that. I don’t think I’ve seen and experienced I-10 as busy as it was on that Saturday.
I eventually had enough of the extreme anxiety, and I got off I-10 about 95 miles earlier than originally planned – at U.S. 231 – which leads southward into Panama City. I’m very familiar with this road, as one of my longtime friends has lived a couple of miles off the road for the past 20+ years. After a fuel pitstop at Love’s (my new favorite gas station / travel stop on the road) I took a series of backroads across the Florida Panhandle (south of Tallahassee) and into the “Big Bend” area of the Florida peninsula.
U.S. 98 is fun (translation – peaceful) to drive between Hattiesburg Mississippi and Mobile Alabama, and I especially love it along the “Big Bend” area of Florida south of Perry. I picked-up U.S. 98 in Wakulla County – which is another fascinating area of my state that I’ve spent very little time in (other than driving through). I’m a big fan of “Welcome To Plathville” on TLC, and on a recent Season 3 episode the family ventured down to Wakulla Springs State Park for some fun in the sun and sea. Now I want to visit !
I enjoyed a nice #LuDinner (late-Lunch / early-Dinner combined) at an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant in Chiefland – which incidentally I plan to eat at on every future visit through Chiefland. After my hearty meal I continued on for another hour to my hotel destination for the night in Crystal Springs (another town I’ve spent the night at previously). It’s located along U.S. 98 and Florida State Road 44, and where the two routes meet – it’s a very busy and congested intersection.
From the very cold low-30s up to the mild mid-60s – those were the temperatures during my drive back into my home state.
Just like Day 16 I drove another 523 miles on Day 17, so that’s 2,497 miles on this road-trip so far. And that’s where I’ll end Part 6 of this 7-part blog series. I’ll conclude with my road-trip adventures and experiences next #TravelThursday.
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