Day 37 – Back to the Water

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I’m really excited for the National Geographic’s plans for the sweet little town of Natchez. They have this plan to bump up tourism there, actually make it a place to attract even international visitors, that looks quite interesting. It’s part of the Mississippi River National Geographical Geotourism Project. To find more info about this project- check it out here- http://mississippiriver.natgeotourism.com
I wish that Nat Geo would do something like that for Alabama’s rivers! Currently I’m sitting here in Bobby’s Fish Camp, an absolutely adorable little rustic home style camp where you can rent rooms and RV’s right here in the Tombiggbee. There’s a dock and gas and the big boats doing “America’s Greatest Loop” stop here. The restaurant is open Thurs-Sun. Maybe I’ll see if tonight’s host might want to come back here for dinner. Would be lovely because I’d really like to see Lora Jane MclLwain again, the owner and operator of this place.  I’ve heard so much about the catfish she makes. She has some wonderful stories about her late father that she shared with me and I’d love to hear more. Besides, I didn’t get to give her a blue marble and I’ve only got two left-the rest are in Demopolis with the rest of my gear.

My mother would like this place, I think. It makes me think of Beloin’s on the Bay up in Camden, Maine. Except the quaint little cottages and room units are separate and sprinkled about the property, which is lovely. Tall trees and Spanish Moss, a grove of banana plants, and little yard decorations and bottle trees make up the decor around here-it’s lovely.

Every day I wish that more people could do what I’m doing, and even more I wish more people would want to explore their country and get to parts they’ve never been to before. We have such variety in this country, and our wealth of different cultural regions, the history, the stories, are a special kind of resource in themselves-and we are all connected by water. Speaking of stories, I can’t wait til Linda Vice publishes her book. I really can’t, I might have to make a point of coming down-hopefully I’m invited!!!-to her book release party.

As I gear up to leave I’m going to make myself a cup of coffee. I happened upon the BEST coffee shop ever-they make their own pastries-delicious mini cheese muffins, big muffins, quiches, and stuff like that plus they have wonderful Turkish coffee along with regular and the espressos and all that. They have a very homey Southern-punk vibe and even their customers are warm and friendly. It’s called the “Steampunk Cafe” and despite my dresser and trunks full of t-shirts I just had to buy one.

The gals in the cabin next to me are leaving their room’s door open as they are moving on as well. They are leaving me grapes! Yay! I’m determined to find a way to take them-hopefully they won’t get all smashed down and turn to wine in my dry bag. Chelsea and Kaci, my fellow travelers, are two young college grads working for an outfit called NEON. More about it here- http://www.neonscience.org super cool stuff. This project is a very long term project. These gals are cataloging wildlife in specific locations over time.

Anyway, I’ve got to hustle as I’m meeting up with a man, Brent Taylor, and his rat terriers in a pontoon boat. He offered to give me a lift, but I told him I’d just be happy to ride in his wake. I have no clue, really, how my canoe will handle the rougher stuff since it is so laden down with gear. It’s never had so much stuff on it before! Think this is even more than the stuff I had on it when I did the Watertribe’s smallest race. And I’m even adding a bag of food now, that Carl sent me, just in case.

Time to get moving-this will REALLY be my last long day, hopefully there will be no hold ups at the lock. The lock at the bottom of the Mississippi is closed for a bunch of months, I discovered, for work. So the rerouting could impact the traffic-and the wait at the lock. Fingers crossed!

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