This autumn journey through middle America has proved more eventful than we expected – this quite apart from trading for a newer trailer (which is great!).
The most enjoyable part is the continuing display of Fall colours as we travel south and west. Of course Ontario has the best of the colour with the maples, but there are a lot of them in Pennsylvania and West Virginia too. Oak forests are more subdued, but also a beautiful darker red. Best of all is the extension of the warm weather.
The middle of America, like the heart of Canada, is incredibly interesting and attractive. The East and West coasts get the publicity, and indeed these are wonderful, but the vast expanse in between has a wonderful variety of scenery and history. This was the “Wild West” before Hollywood recreated Arizona on the back lots in Los Angeles!
We reached familiar territory on the Natchez Trace Parkway, and stayed for a couple of sunny days at Tishomingo State Park. The only disappointment was the lake, which has shrunk to a shadow of its former size and beauty. Designed by engineers as a recreational lake, it would appear they overlooked the limestone bed. This has now leaked, and the lake is gradually becoming a puddle. More engineers have studied the problem, and estimate two million dollars to fix it. In the absence of funds, and amid much Mississippi skepticism, nothing is being done.
Moving Southwest through Vicksburg into the far reaches of Louisiana we re-visited Toledo Bend State Park, on the shores of a beautiful man-made reservoir. Or it was! “What happened,” I asked the park-folk. “They drew it down to do some maintenance on the dam.”
Oh well, walking on old lake beds is interesting, and enough water remains for myriads of coots, ducks and egrets. Quiet and peaceful, but they say it is a “cold spell”. Around 65F is OK, and Elaine enjoyed a read in the sunshine.
Onward now to Texas, and the Austin area. There we leave our truck and trailer, and take the Amtrak Texas Eagle to Chicago and onward to Port Huron. We will likely suffer when we hit the cold weather, but we will travel back for February and March. We only hope that there will be water in some of the lakes, and at least the ocean will likely still lap the edges of Galveston …peacefully we hope!
John … with the usual helpful comments from Elaine.