May 4th --New Orleans to Tallahassee, FL--
Today I had to drive a long way again, but I really wanted to stick around New Orleans. I left the motel at 11:00 and drove down to the river-front. As expected, I could see a steamboat with a red wheel on the back, just like the one in "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer." Then I went around the Jackson Square. On the way to the square, I noticed a good sound from a cafe. I dropped by. It was really good to have a lunch with a live jazz under the sun. And they played pretty well. After lunch I walked to the Jackson Square, but it was no meaning for me. A jazz was enough to feel New Orleans. I went back behind the wheel and drove to the I-10.
Tallahassee was about 400 miles away. I hurried the way, although I couldn't exceed the limit so much. I passed a state line and got back into Mississippi. When I was driving on a passing lane, I found a guy walking with his thumb up. I changed the lane, drove into the shoulder, and stopped. I went back a little bit. He ran to the right window. "Where you wanna go?" "Thank you for stopping. Pensacola or somewhere around." It's just after the state line of Florida and on the way of the I-10. I let him in. Needless to say, the reason I stopped was a sort of return to what I got in Kansas. He said that he had his pick-up broken on the way just like me. But his situation or his style of travel was much wilder, or I should say, more reckless. He had only a blanket and some amount of small change. Yes, he was a hippie. His name was Daniel. He asked for M & M and water. The last time he ate some food was 2 days ago. What a reckless guy! Compared to him, my style is far safer.
I passed the state line of Alabama and soon I got into Florida. Damn! The sign says, "SPEEDING CAN WRECK YOUR DAY." Is this a proper way to welcome a visitor? On the way Daniel asked me to take him to Panama City, which is just on the coast line. As I also wanted to see the ocean, I got off the I-10 at Pensacola and took a byway to Panama City. But all I had during the 1 hour drive was a glance of bay when I went across a bridge. I asked him if he really wanted to go to Panama City. He said Tallahassee was still OK. I decided to get back to the I-10. I made one mistake when I decided to switch to the byway. I didn't notice that in Florida they identify the exit by a series number not by mileage. So when I saw the number "30" for Tallahassee, I thought it's only 30 miles from Pensacola. In fact it was still more than 100 miles. I traced the white line of the I-10 in the darkness. The only thing he annoyed me was that he turned on an air conditioner just some minutes after I turned off. I knew that this came from the racial difference of sensitivity to heat. Anyway we got to Tallahassee and I dropped him at a trucker's center. I got a room just 2 exits after.
A steamboat on the Mississippi river
Live cafe in the afternoon
State line of Alabama
State line of Florida, welcoming me with a terrible sign
previous day ------ next day
return to "Drive Around US"