US Road Trip Epilog: 23rd July 2005

The plan today was a simple one - 170 miles or so to Tupelo, where we get the back brakes pads renewed on the car and then stay there the night. As this is a road trip, it didn't quite go according to plan.

The Natchez Trace Parkway past the Ross Barnett Reservoir
The Natchez Trace Parkway past the Ross Barnett Reservoir. Note the cyclist on the left. This is an unusual sight.

Finding the Natchez Trace out of Jackson is just as much of a pain in the arse as the rest of the place. The motel last night hosted a convention of the noisy corridor people national finalists, with screaming idiots in the hallway until the early hours. My opinion of Jackson last time round wasn't favourable, and I've seen nothing now to change my mind.

The drive up the Natchez Trace is not overly exciting, but at least it's fairly free of traffic and we can make good time. On arrival in Tupelo, at the Goodyear Service Center I'd spoken to yesterday they take the car straight in and hoist it up in the air. This is looking good. Then they tell me that they couldn't actually get the brake pads, which was the whole reason I'd phoned them yesterday to arrange this stop. What a waste of time.

A break in the trees along the Natchez Trace Parkway
A break in the trees along the Natchez Trace Parkway. Most of it looks like yesterday's photo.

Time to head back to the Natchez Trace and head further north. If it was getting a bit boring before it's worse now. The scenery is very pleasant - if you like trees and the odd field - but there are no towns along the way and nothing else of any real interest. The only upside is listening to 'Wish You Were Here' along the way.

Eventually we leave the Natchez Trace and head a bit east towards the Interstate. Just as well, as we've found very few gas stations along the way so far and the car is running on fumes. The revised plan was to head for Nashville tonight but, as it's a Saturday, the motels are either full or way too expensive.

We'll stop in Franklin, then, 30 miles or so south of the city and with a Best Western that only wants $44 a night plus taxes. Whilst Alex goes off to get some food I think I'll attempt, yet again, to drown myself in Coors Light. We've done over 350 miles today, and with the heat (95-100° F) and no useful aircon I'd be lying if I said it was all fun.

US Road Trip Epilog: 24th July 2005 >