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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Faulkner's Grave or bust, part 4, final,

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dpgerson

Pacifica, CA.

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Posted: 02/11/10 01:13pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

At the end of part 3, I had just arrived at the RV park in Tunica, Mississippi and was planning on playing poker there for a few days. The rv park is just a half mile away from Harrah’s Tunica, where the World Series of Poker Circuit Event was going on.

Here are a couple of shots going up Highway 61 that let me know I was truly in the South.

[image]

[image]

I’d checked the weather before traveling up Highway 61 to Tunica (I always think of Bob Dylan’s tune when I turn onto this highway, also the line in Slow Train Comin’, where the realistic, backwoods girl gives him a warning about Yankees traveling in the south). It promised some cold but I had no idea I’d be in for freezing rain and a storm of such intensity that one only comes along in the Mid South once every ten years. It was no fun and kept us cooped up in the camper for 2 days because traveling was too dangerous. This greeted me the first morning :

[image]

The trees still had icicles on them. It took 2 or 3 days of above freezing weather to clear them:

[image]



Well, the power stayed on, but the temp never got up above 25 all day. The ice coated everything. When I finally did venture out in my truck, I had to pry open the door with a crow bar. Finally though, we were able to get out of the park and look around. The first place I went was nearby river park to see The Big Muddy:

[image]

After taking a nice walk around the park and by the museum there, a pretty young lady emerged from a side door to tell me they don’t allow dogs “on the park.” Funny, I didn’t see any signs. This was the first dog-adverse incident I’d experienced on the whole trip. I felt like getting nasty, but realized the youngster was just doing her job and left.



I’d heard some great reports about the ribs at BB Kings place in Memphis. We headed up there. The reports were correct. This was one of two places that got my BBQ seal of approval on the trip (I’ll get to the second one). The dish is called their lip smacking ribs and they definitely were that. Excellent! There were a couple of other places that were terrible. I really feel like mentioning them they were so bad, and had such surly employees, but I better not.

So then we went down to the Mississippi waterfront. There’s a spectacular little park there that gives you immediate access to the river:

[image]

[image]

There’s an interesting statue in the park. Here’s a pic of it and the plaque that explains it:

[image]


[image]


The next day was a nice one so I headed over to the town of Oxford, MS. to see Faulkner’s grave and check it off my list. Many years ago I’d been to a Leo Kottke concert, one of the planet’s finest acoustic guitarists. Besides his guitar skills he has a mind and a wit than can best be described as supremely non-linear and entertaining. Anyway during his show, he described a time when he visited Faulkner’s grave. I don’t remember the story (if anybody out there does know it, please refresh my memory), but since then I’ve always wanted to visit. I finally got there:

[image]

[image]


There were a couple of empty Heineken bottles on the grave and several empty whisky bottles nearby. Must be a local tradition. I sat there in silent contemplation for a while, hoping to soak up some writerly inspiration.

Then I headed to the town square for lunch and saw this statue with a description on it that astounded this Yankee. Some sentiments die hard:

[image]


[image]


I had a delicious southern style lunch of stuffed pork loin over a bed of Jack Daniels infused grits.

[image]

A local bank was very dog friendly:

[image]


Finally I visited Faulkner’s home, Rowan Oak.

[image]


[image]

[image]

It serves as a museum. Damn the luck it was closed that day but the grounds were open so I peered through a few windows. It was pretty spooky, me being the only one there, but I enjoyed it. I found a nice trail that led over to the Ole Miss Football Field that me and the puppies hiked.

So I’d done what I set out to do, and the Poker games at Tunica were kind of bad, so I decided it was time to head for home. The only stop I had planned was in Luling, Texas to sample the best BBQ on the planet. The place is called City Market, and is in the old time Texas style where you buy your meat from the men and your sided from the women. I stopped and was not disappointed. After eating, I ordered 5 pounds of brisket to go and hit the road.

By the time I got to San Antonio there was a driving rainstorm. I had intended to take the interstate (410 ?) that goes around the city. At one point it merges with 35, the main route to Austin. I love Austin and the great music you can experience there, but I was anxious to be home and didn’t plan on going there.

So much for plans. Even after being sure I took the right exit to head to I-10, I looked up through the sheets of heavy rain and saw that I was indeed on I-35 headed for Austin. As my cousin commented, “God works in mysterious ways:.” I decided to take the hint and kept going. I stayed at McKinney Falls State Park there, a familiar spot, and called up a friend to go see some music. We saw Porterdavis, an acoustic blues trio. Austin turned out to be a great detour.

After that I pointed my truck in the blessed direction of West and was home after 3 days of interstate. So nice to be home it is. Thanks for checking out my trip.

* This post was edited 02/11/10 01:21pm by dpgerson *


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sleepy

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Posted: 02/11/10 02:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you for sharing... Luling is marked on my maps...

I'll be watching for your future trip reports

Sleepy


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cewillis

Tucson, az, usa

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Posted: 02/11/10 04:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dpgerson wrote:

Leo Kottke --- one of the planet’s finest acoustic guitarists. Besides his guitar skills he has a mind and a wit than can best be described as supremely non-linear and entertaining.

All good things.
Nice trips reports.


Cal


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Posted: 02/11/10 04:39pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very nice but you're a far cry from Yosemite, eh!!

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jmckelvy

North Alabama

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Posted: 02/11/10 06:51pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Last year about this time we went to Big Bend NP. I specifically detoured to Luling to try City Market.

It was Sunday afternoon and they were closed! Big disappointment. Sounds like I must try again.

Enjoyed your posts.

Jim


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Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli

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Posted: 02/11/10 07:54pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Enjoyed following your trip.
Nice touch with the snow and ice.
Safe journey home.


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RenoAl

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Posted: 02/11/10 09:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for taking us along. If you like ribs we have a fair to middling rib cook off up here in Reno/Sparks each Labor Day.


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silversand

Montreal

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Posted: 02/12/10 08:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A wonderful finish to a personal quest! Bravo.

Quote:

I sat there in silent contemplation for a while, hoping to soak up some writerly inspiration.


We're awaiting your next journey!

Quote:

...so I peered through a few windows. It was pretty spooky, me being the only one there, but I enjoyed it...


We felt the same way when visiting Robert Frost's "shack" up in the Vermont mountains, no one else present but the grounds keepers way off in the distance...

Thank you again for your narrative!

Sand & Dunes


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TwoMaineiacs

Near Freeport, Maine

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Posted: 02/12/10 12:49pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just added Luling to our to our south then west trek coming up this spring. I do so miss good BBQ living in Maine. We've got one excellent place in Freeport called Bucks Bare Naked BBQ (meaning no sauce) but not the same as our southern/western Q. Always nice to see the pups out exploring.


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dpgerson

Pacifica, CA.

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Posted: 02/13/10 11:05am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Since there seems to be some interest in Texas BBQ, I'm posting this link to the once every 5 years rating that Texas Monthly does. An article by Calvin Trillin in the New Yorker cited it, and first led me to City Market in Luling, Texas, Note that the article finds Snow's in Lexington to be the best, but I didn't agree. It's quite an entertaining article.

Texas monthly BBQ ratings.

Here's the very entertaining New Yorker article if you really want to get into it. I love Trillin's writing:

By Meat alone

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