Thursday, July 10, 2008

Grand Gulf and Vicksburg, Mississippi, 1982


Natchez. After a bit, we'll search for the old Natchez Trace and drive on to Vicksburg. Hot humid, and clear. Natchez -- very quaint in a nice way. Anachronistic town of mansions.

Trapped on Liberty Road to Homochitto National Forest. Turned into a larger unknown road -- heading to where? (We turned left). Safe on 84 heading to Washington and 61. Goats. Slithering, gleaming snake on road. Carrion fowl licking their shiny beaks. Red Lick. Into Port Gibson.

Lunch in Port Gibson at house in business district. $1.89 for two grilled cheese sandwiches and iced teas.

Evacuation routes for Grand Gulf nuclear plant.

Grand Gulf neat place, forts are pretty wasted, though. Open Monday-Saturday camping, $14/night. 76 city blocks, 1,000 people -- river moved west. Ruined town.

Vicksburg -- bluffs and ravines, sea of monuments, ship museum. [This entire day was surreal. Lunch at the old woman's house, especially. . . . . more on this at some point, I suspect.]

On to Tupelo!

Today's Rune: Fertility.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

The town of Grand Gulf began in the 18th century as a small British settlement. By 1828, it had grown to a village of three stores, one tavern and several houses. There was a stage line to Port Gibson and steamboats stopped at its wharves. Incorporated in 1833, Grand Gulf received its name from a large whirlpool which formed as the Mississippi River struck a great rock formation. By the late 1830’s Grand Gulf had become an important port and trading center with seventy six city blocks and about 1000 people. Grand Gulf’s decline began in 1843 with a yellow fever epidemic. In 1853 a tornado devastated a large portion of the town. Yellow Fever and cholera epidemics resulted in further population losses. To make matters worse, the Mississippi River changed its course and began eating into the land on which the town was built. Between 1853 and 1860 fifty-five city blocks were destroyed by the river. By 1860, only one hundred fifty-eight lived there. During the Civil War, Federal troops and gunboats destroyed the remainder of the town. The town was never rebuilt after the war, and today even the river has deserted what was once a bustling river port. All that remains are a few antebellum buildings scattered along what was once the outskirts of the town.

Charles Gramlich said...

I like the choppiness of this. Gives it some interesting weight.

the walking man said...

Did you guys ever toss the map and go without care? (not a criticism just a question)

Beth said...

Tupelo? Surely you plan to worship Elvis while there ...

lulu said...

That map looked like a biology textbook drawing of some sort of innards when I first looked at it.

JR's Thumbprints said...

The map looks heavy ... like the belly of a pregnant woman. That's what comes to mind.

Erik Donald France said...

Thanks, y'all for the comments! The Rorschach map -- love it ;->

First, Grand Gulf nuke plant is back in the news, oddly. More to come and maybe another reactor in twelve years after six billion or so. And maybe Republicans will drill for oil offshore from Miami in the next decade?

Charles, this was after several weeks of slagging, Linda's style seems to change and reflect that as we go along. On a whim, I started transcribing as we head back East from the Pacific Ocean.

Beth, in Tupelo the child was born. Lookee yonder! And yes. Plus the Tupelo flood, and Tupelo honey.

Walking Man/Mark, on *this* trip, we had specific things we wanted to hit, and I'm glad we did, since I have not been back to most of them ever since. Wandering without a series of specific historic/cultural locales in mind is, of course, a whole different thing. Amd may be in store soon, hopefully. If not now, when?

Cheers all!