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Sunday, August 21, 2011

DAY216 (1): LAUREL - SOSO - TAYLORSVILLE - MIZE, MISSISSIPPI

Watermelon Queen.

Vines vines everywhere covering everything...That is the greeting of Mississippi countryside.

Before leaving LAUREL, filled up with Ice from WAL MART. Had a heck of a time finding our way out of town...US 84 exits all closed for Paving. Not a detour sign to be found. After dead ends and wrong turns, found US 84 a quarter mile West of LAUREL.

Parked SPIA & walked to SR 28 (State Road 28), which we will walk to reach US 49 to JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI.

A narrow curving hilly country road, SR 28 cuts off 20 miles across the countryside from going all the way on US 49.

Never know what is coming around the next curve...maybe farm tractors.

Spacious trimmed to golf-course perfection properties abound SR 28.

There are, of course, smaller homes, but they too are neat as a pin.

This home owner has taken advantage of a huge tree to shade his entry.

5 miles from US 84 lies SOSO, MISSISSIPPI. In 1862, this area led an attempt to secede from the Confederacy.

Spread over a mile or so, SOSO is a sleepy crossroads with SR 28 running through it.

On the Southern side of town is a unique home. Leaving SPIA, I grabbed my "soapy water" bottle in error. Needing fresh water, I stopped in at The House Store...set way back on a hill above the road.

Please say HELLO to Vicki (on the right), her Sister, and in the middle, their friend. Vicki and Sis own and operate a "home" business featuring hundreds of antiques, but also an endless selection of items , some tucked away in drawers and china cabinets...if used in a home, The Home Store has at least one example available for purchase.

This is the Kitchen, Every room has similar items occupying items tastefully displayed.

Walking out the back door is a clothes line of freshly washed laundry drying in a gentle breeze of of 100 degree heat.

On a fence line a bit further is a single row of MUSCADIN Grapes. Julius, my host and guide offered me a handful to taste. Thick skinned, this juicy grape is textured and tastes similar to the Concord Grapes of my younger years in KENNEWICK, WASHINGTON.

Julius then opened the door to his Wine Cellar...bin after bin of MUSCADIN Wine, home vinted.
Julius gifted me a bottle...safely on board SPIA for that special moment somewhere sometime down the road.


Beyond the Tomato vines, the Pencil Corn drying on the stalk in readiness for corn meal, stands this healthy looking frow of Sugar Cane.

To be harvested in November, the Sugar Cane is just starting to become sweet.

Please say HELLO to Julius, electrical engineer, carpenter, Author, and master farmer.

Holding a just cut stalk of Sugar Cane, Julius offered that we try a hunk or two.
Cut from the peeled stalk, a hunk of the stalk is at once pithy, chewy and mildly juicy with a trace of the coming sweetness.

Julius" dogs await their hunk.

10 miles further on is the larger (than SOSO) crossroad town of TAYLORSVILLE, MISSISSIPPI.

SPIA waited 6 miles back as I walked in the blistering heat and humidity into TAYLORSVILLE.
Purposely, I purchased Ice Cold Lemonade which I drank quickly (2 glassfulls). I was testing my theory that three weeks ago I collapsed not from heat exhaustion, but rather from Oxygen Deprivation.

I had NO discomfort, dizziness...just a good thirst quenching satisfaction.

Before my fainting 3 weeks ago, the gnats were thick. For 30 miles - nearly 8 hours -remember, I was shooting for 60 miles that hot 107 degree humid day - I wore my thin mesh mosquito netting over my head. I have since tested the netting, paying close attention to "breathability".

I realized that fresh air did NOT easily flow through the tight mesh...I am convinced I collapsed from re breathing my own exhaled air ...and after so many hours, simply depleted my Oxygen, i.e., passing out from lack of oxygen...kinda like breathing inside a paper bag.

This young boy was practising passing his football...and doing a good job.

Please say HELLO to Jessica and two of her children. The family lives a few miles before the town of MIZE< MISSISSIPPI, where we ended our 11 hot humid hours of walking US 84 and SR 28.


This stream of clear water was moving along quite briskly. Down below was a school of rather large fish darting back and forth.

This stream on the other hand, barely noved.
MIZE, MISSISSIPPI, which two weeks ago held it's annual Watermelon Feast, is the acknowledged Capital of Mississippi watermelon. I apologize for not remembering the name of this year's Watermelon Queen, an employee of The Hamburger House...please see photograph at the top of this blog.

Best known to be in the Top 5 Best Hamburger Places in Mississippi, The Hamburger House welcomed SPIA, SAM & ME to spend the night.

After putting SPIA to "bed", took my 4th and final walk of the day, covering 30-something miles.
At the end, I felt wonderful...no ankle pain, no shortness of breath, and hungry.

Please say HELLO to Merele, Owner and operator of The Hamburger House.

I ordered their famous Hamburger, but was not accepted. Instead Master Burger Chef, Jerry, prepared for me a scrumptious Hamburger Steak with fries, a garden salad with Merele's personal dressing, and a huge slice of watermelon.

Also placed before me were samples of deep fried sweet potato, and greaseless bacon strips.
None of Jerry's offerings had the normal greasy taste or texture. He has mastered the art of removing the oily part - even from deep fried or grilled goods.

To watch Hamburgers come to life on the grill is an art form itself.

Jerry's grill is at all times, spotless. The entore Hamburger process, including condiments, is done on the grill. Each item is orchestrated ...each to it's precise spot.

After being entertained for more than hour, Merele just happened to mention that other Customers asked to pay for MY dinner. Merele said she would have no part of it, as she had already taken care of that.

What can one say to such kindness...all done in a pleasant venue. Merele even asked if I had ever seen such a happy pleasant restaurant before...

Thank you Merele.

It is now 9:00 am Sunday Morning. Having lost 5 hours of blog creation last night, I have attempted to recreate it over the past 3 hours.

Blogging !

Walking America is not simply stepping from here to there.

The daily walk is not done until the blogging is published.

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