Sunday, September 11, 2016

142: Third time's the charm

Lovely, but invasive
We don't always stay in lovely, historic homes transformed into pampering B and B inns. Sometimes we stay in the freeway-intersection low-rent no-tell motels. Like tonight, when we are staying in an Econo Lodge just off the highway in Clinton, Mississippi - itself an adjunct to Jackson. So, sort of nowhere, in a city you've probably not heard of, off the highway out of Jackson.  

And when we check in, and go to our room, the light over the bathroom vanity does not work. The manager on duty said "a lot of the rooms have that problem" and suggested that we flip the switch a few times. No help. So he came down to give us another room, and we move the bike out of the first one and into the second one (after first ensuring that the bathroom light works!)  And Roger puts the AC on, and after a minute or two says, "this isn't working."  So we call the desk again, and the poor man comes down with yet another key card, and we try the room next door. But before we move the bike, we check out the new room:  Bathroom light? Check. AC cooling?  Check. So Roger wrangles the bike out of room number two and into room number three.  And the manager is so apologetic - he tells the owners about these things all the time, and they just don't care to take care of them.

So that's the way it goes tonight. Some of these older inns are worn, and some are just plain worn out! 
These trees in a row were planted to mark the boundary of the land surrendered in the Treaty of Doaks Stand

We traveled past a stand of trees that was used to mark the boundary of land surrendered by the Choctaw Nation in a treaty in October of 1820. Ten years later, the were forced to give up all their lands when they were resettled to Oklahoma. Everywhere we go, we see these reminders of our nation's heritage and treatment of the Native Americans. It made me wonder today: what if the Choctaw still lived in this land? Would it look any different? How would the course of westward expansion have been affected if we had been able to accept and integrate their way of life and concepts of land stewardship and use, instead of the Euro-centric model of ownership and control?
Look carefully to see the American flag flying on the boat

Other lovely sights to see:  the water tupelo trees growing in the swamp; the Pearl River's bend; the lovely but invasive water lillies; the reservoir along the Trace.  And we rode for a time on a bike path with the worst surface we've seen yet - in nearly 7000 miles! It's in Jackson, where the locals use the Trace like it's their own private highway. I did not care for this section of the road much at all. 

Same river, down stream a bit

The day's record: Kosciusko to Clinton, 76.1 miles/6988 to date  
Just asphalt, splitting and cracking

And when one of these lovely clouds would come over and block the sun - my! how our energy level and disposition would improve!  Funny thing - we had finally gotten settled in our room and were getting our showers when I heard something funny outside - yup! It was raining!  We missed it by maybe 30 minutes.
We love these bad boys!

Water Tupelo trees and Cypress in the swamp

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