Sunday, March 20, 2011

Putting on the Miles

One thing I have already learned about being in the Delta is that you drive a lot! Having a hybrid really comes in handy. Not just because you seem to drive about 30 minutes no matter what you want to do, so gas mileage is important. But also because it can be a while before you see a gas station!

Driving has its advantages. I have grown to love country music since moving back to the South 16 years ago and there is plenty of time (and open road) to turn the music up loud and "car dance" as you sing along rolling down Highway 61 or Highway 49 or Highway 149 or even MS 7! You can also find Mississippi Public Broadcasting and listen to the Gestalt Gardener (yes, that really is the name of his show!) or tune into American Family Radio and get some insights into creating a better family for yourself, your husband, and children. Now, before some of you object, they really do offer some good advice, grounded in common sense.

Found a dirt pull off near these old rows at Mont Helena in Rolling Fork.
You can also keep your eye peeled for photo ops. And there are plenty. However, you are lucky if there is a way to actually "pull over" and get a picture! For newbies to the Delta, vast sections of the highways have no shoulders at all. The rest have scanty shoulders, at best. You get excited if there is the occasional dirt pull off into a field near where you want to take your shot. I will also admit, that if no one is behind me, I just stop in the middle of the highway and take my pictures! If you put your flashers on, most traffic will slow down and go around you, but you better not count on that to happen!

I literally parked in a corn field at a friend's house near Louise!
Sometimes I have just taken a turn to see where it takes me. Now, before you think I am bold, trusting, or crazy, I do have GPS. It cracked me up the first time I used it to go to Louise from Memphis and realized that every street in Sidon, MS was on GPS and properly named! So GPS is definitely a must in the Delta.

Now one of the disadvantages to driving in the Delta is that you may end up going really fast. I know there is a speedometer on my car, but I rarely look at it. I usually use other visual clues; such as other traffic, signs, buildings to gauge my speed. Well, in the Delta, none of those exist. Just a word of warning, going 20 miles over the speed limit is very expensive in Leflore County! The officer was kind about it, but still wrote me up!

I've asked some family and new friends how they handle all this driving. It is not unusual for them to drive 75 minutes one way to go out to dinner! They just say they are used to it. I guess they are, there really isn't any other way to live down there. You just have to drive, and drive, and drive, and drive!

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