One of the main highlights for me on this road trip was the Mississippi River. I think everyone has these books that somehow affected their lives profoundly, and the adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn were definitely such books for me. They were some of the first books that made me want to be out on adventures: to travel and explore places, which of course is a sentiment that still steers my life. Because of Huck and Tom, the river itself has always been a symbol for for freedom and adventures (and I know that the former is a bit ironic given Jim’s role and the existence of slavery in the books, but keep in mind that I read them as an 8-year old Swedish girl in the 80s). So I was very excited when I saw Mississippi River for the first time little outside Vicksburg. It’s really impressive! It’s actually the world’s fourth or fifth largest river (depending on how it’s counted) and brings out a third of the U.S. fresh water outflows, from 32 American states and even from Canada. In many places, there are no bridget because of how the water flows, so it’s very powerful and yet, it looks very calm.
We passed through Vicksburg and had lunch at the Inn Walnut Hills and then stayed over night in Natchez further south (at the town’s Grand Hotel actually because it was so cheap). Vicksburg was one of these sleepy towns that seemed to almost empty. Once upon a time, it had been a major trade center along the river, and apparently the first Coca Cola was bottled here, but there was little left now except a few antique stores along Washington Street. Walnut Hills served great Southern Comfort Food, though. Natchez was more alive and seemed to be more than just a destination for tourists. We had a great dinner at Cotton Alley Cafe on Main Street and a drink down in the old harbor. In the morning, we went for a walk around town and did a tour of the impressive Rosalie Mansion, before getting back on the road again.