Driving through the Deep South was an interesting trip. What spurred the trip was the need to deliver some boxes to Victoria's brother Michael. He lives in Port Charlotte, FL. Their mom passed away, and the boxes were some of her things. Instead of just shipping them, I figured I'd make a road trip out of them.
As part of my road trip, I figured I'd go to the Carolinas after Florida. North and South Carolina were two of the very few states I had not been to yet. Since I was going through Louisiana, I figured I better see what my uncle was up to there. I also wanted to avoid interstates as much as possible.
On a Friday, I left Austin and headed towards Lafayette. I spent the weekend there and got to see a lot of cool things. On Sunday, I hit the road for Mississippi. I made it to Waveland, MS where I stopped for the night in a Walmart parking lot.
I had to start my morning super early because of hillbillies that used their loud cars as an alarm clock. I made it to Pass Christian, MS and slept the rest of the night at a Walmart there. The next day was a lot of driving. I drove through Mississippi and Alabama down US 90. I stopped a few times along the way and ended up at a rest stop in Florida for the night.
The next morning, I drove to Cape Coral, FL. I toured the Wicked Dolphin distillery and then went to Michael's house. I dropped off the boxes and spent the night there.
That following morning, it was time to go to the east side of Florida to meet up with my friend Mat. I hit up a couple of places along the way, and we had a few beers. The next day, we hit up the Navy SEAL museum before I headed further north.
I ended up making it to a rest stop near Jacksonville before I slept for the night. I got an early start in the morning. I ended up driving from Florida to Georgia and then to South Carolina. I found another rest stop to sleep at.
For lunch, I had planned to meet my friend Mike. He lives in Charlotte, NC. I drove from the rest stop in South Carolina to Charlotte, and then we had some BBQ. After eating, I headed up to Asheville. I made history by seeing the Billy Graham funeral procession along the way.
After Asheville, I planned to take the interstates back to Austin. I did not plan on stopping anywhere else. I was planning to sleep at a North Carolina rest stop but ended up at a hotel in Tennessee due to some storms coming.
Sleeping in a hotel was nice after a few days of sleeping in the car. The last two days of my trip, I pretty much drove straight through. I did not make too many stops and was glad to be back in Texas.
I made some interesting discoveries along my trip. I was very impressed by the beaches in Mississippi and Alabama. They were free, clean, and not crowded. I was not expecting this area to be as nice as it was and it far exceeded my expectations.
I was also a fan of the Florida beaches. They were a bit more crowded, but they were free. When I hit the George and South Carolina beaches, I became a little disappointed. These beaches would charge $4-10 for parking. They weren't as clean as the other beaches and were definitely more crowded.
I'm sure if I weren't impulsively traveling and stuck around longer, they would have been nice to visit. For just checking things out, things got expensive fast. Navigating crowds also was not the funnest.
I also found Tennessee is probably the worst state to drive through. They had the worst roads of all the states. There were parts of the road where I don't know if you could even consider it a pothole. It seemed like a whole section was missing! Besides the roads beating up my car, Tennessee seems to have the strict limits on rest stops. They only allow a 2-hour stop and no overnight parking. Tennessee is not a very good state for my style of travel.