Thursday, September 2, 2010

Spooky Mississippi and the C-Pap Nightmare - The Move Odyssey: Day 7

Last night the insane heat had turned to rain. I hear there's a hurricane coming, and that's probably the reason. Today it's rainy, but nice and cool for the critters and us in the un-AC'd Blazer. Quantum decides he's sick of driving on the interstates with the semi's blowing at the trailer and it shimmying like mad every time they pass. He gets on the computer and plots out a course that will not only get us to Rt 40 in decent time, but should keep us off the interstate for a while and cut out the need to go through Tennessee.

Brilliant move. The countryside is gorgeous. We pass through little towns, admiring fields and pastures with cows and horses, and talk about how lovely it would be to live here...if it wasn't freaking Mississippi. To illustrate this, I realize I have a raging need to use a bathroom. We follow the signs for the nearest town, and get to a gas station. Except its Sunday, and the gas station is closed.  What the? The next gas station is also closed. At the third closed gas station we make the miraculous realization that wait a minute, we have a bathroom in the trailer! Of course that's not as easy as it would seem, because most of the boxes have shifted around and it's a CLIMB to make it to the bathroom.

Back on the road we marvel at the idea of a whole town shutting down on Sunday. If Quantum or I lived here, they'd run us out on a rail.

Mississippi does continue to be beautiful and intriguing. Cotton fields line the roads. Stuck in Orlando for so long, we're almost surprised at how much agriculture is happening. Then we make a turn into a tiny little town. There's an old brick store with an ancient Coca-Cola logo painted on it. Most of the houses are tiny shacks, obviously previous sharecropper's cabins, or slave quarters. The air goes dark. It's not a physical change the day is still sunny, but the pines are thick here and you can "feel" a change.  The atmosphere is powerful and brooding and angry. Right alongside the town is a tiny cypress swamp. The place reeks of old magic.

Soon after that we cross the Mississippi River into Arkansas. And get stuck on the bridge because there's been an accident.  Unfortunately, in Arkansas we're on to Rt 40, another interstate, with more semis rattling our trailer around. Around 11:30 we land in Ft. Smith AR, just before the border with Oklahoma.

As of tonight at midnight the trailers' tags are expired, so now we're getting a bit nervous. I go into a store to buy some beer. No beer available. At all. It's a dry town. Personally, I can't think of anything so uncivilized. After a long day on the road, what on earth is wrong with having a cold beer? What business is it of the town's whether you do or not? And anyone who wants to drink is just going to go 5 miles into OK and get what they need, so it's not like their self-righteous bullshit is doing anything to keep the town safe or pure.

Fortunately, we have beers in the back of the trailer. They're warm, but with some ice they should be cool soon. We find a motel, and amidst much grumbling on my part and whining from CK's. CK goes to look for his C-Pap machine. This is a device that helps him breathe at night, because he has sleep apnea. It's gone. We all go and dig through the trailers and we can't find them. I remember checking the last motel room before we left. I also THINK I remember seeing it in the trailer this morning. And I recall that I yelled at CK cause he had the door to the trailer wide open, so it's possible that someone could have gone in and stolen it. We call the place we were at yesterday, but they say the manager won't be in till morning, and only he can tell us if they found it. (Why that is, I'm not sure.)

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