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Wandering USA: The Southern Trek

Last time I left off on my tales of adventure, I was in New Mexico… The next part of my trip was long, and filled with many personal problems that prevented me from doing much that was exciting. First, I went to the Carlsbad Caverns, because that was something I was not about to miss in the state of New Mexico. I was the only person to bring a tripod… so my photos are amazing.

After that, I trekked straight to a city near Dallas, Texas where I have family. But first, I made sure to stop and take photos of an abandoned house. I chickened out every other time. So when I stopped to make sure I knew where I was going and realized I was right in front of one, I had to go in. It was probably the scariest experience of my life. I was taking a close up of a bible on a table filled with a bunch of other things, when I realized there were quite a few bees around. Looking up, I saw the giant honeycomb bee hive… Needless to say, I booked it out of there pretty quickly.

In Texas, I encountered the worst weather I have ever personally seen. Of course it’s normal there, but watching entire towns nearby get spontaneously ripped apart by tornadoes was a little too close to home. Wildfires and tornadoes do almost the same damage… apparently. (If you haven’t heard my wildfire story.. you’ll have to wait for the book).

I only tried to sleep in the RV one night while I was there, when there was not supposed to be any sort of tornado watch or flood warnings. Yet, I woke up in the middle of swirling lightening and clouds… Only to find out we were in the middle of a tornado zone by that time. They appear so fast…

I did not sleep in the RV again until I was out of the tornado belt.

Leaving Texas, I stopped in Waco to visit a new friend who I was introduced to through a really good friend/family member online. They’re family, I just like to meet people. We had some wine and talked about life and then I took off before she could wake up at 5am to outrun the latest storm. I did make it out of the storm’s way, somehow. At least, I made it out of THAT storm's way. Everywhere I've been, there has been at least one solid thunderstorm while I'm in town and sunshine every day surrounding my visit there… Is that an omen?

Heading into Louisiana, I stopped for gas about 10 miles into the alligator territory where I met Grego and the town cop.. whose name unfortunately slipped my mind or I never got. They offered me lunch, so I sat and had lunch with them at a place I would not have guessed was a restaurant if I didn’t know any better. The food was amazing though.

Apparently the tiny town just got a new mayor and, as they both worked for the city, he was stirring things up for them. Sitting and talking with them reminded me of why I set out in the first place… to get to know people from everywhere and how they live. US culture.. This simple little town was not like any other, but then again it was. A new mayor was trying to cut their pay, just as any new management tries to cut expenses in any way they can… and every politician.. well we won’t go there.

The mayor had apparently been a truck driver for almost 40 years before he retired and was elected mayor… Now, what qualifications he had to run a city, I’m not sure. I do know that many trucks do drive through the town though.. so maybe that will be good for them..

Grego wanted me to stay in the nearby National Forest so that we could ride ATVs the next day… But that didn’t seem too safe to me. I can stop and have lunch, but staying overnight where strangers can find me was not in my agenda.

Instead I made it all the way to Homochitto National Forest in Mississippi.. and that is a tale for another day….but quite a story to tell….

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I'm a 24 year old writer and full-time wanderer. My dog, Legedu (Leg-a-doo), and I just finished a trip in my 23 year old motorhome wandering through half of the vast USA. Armed with an annual national park pass, a camera and my pen, I'm determined to see everything this country has to offer. Next Spring I will set out once more to travel through the rest of the states.As a Master's Graduate at the School of International Service at American University, I'm fascinated by culture and societal conflict. This is the story of my ultimate global cultural immersion. I'll get to know the culture of my own country intimately and then set out to meet the rest of the world.

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