Monday, January 14, 2019

Heading To The Southwest – Days 1-2

Now that the holidays are over, we have hit the road for a long planned RV trip to the desert Southwest, spending most of our time in Arizona.  We departed Almost Heaven South at 10am on 1/10/19 and pointed the coach toward Tuscaloosa, Al – an area still in shock due to the recent blowout football loss to Clemson in the NCAA football championship game.   Our route took us down I-75, I-24, I-59, and I-459 and the road surfaces were mostly very good except for a few rough stretches and the traffic between Chattanooga and Birmingham was very light – I really like that road.

We pulled into Sunset RV ($32/nite) about 3:30 and secured a long pull through requiring no unhooking of the car, however when I went to start it for its required 5 minute post-tow running, the battery was pretty dead.  Not sure why, but this is why I travel with a battery charger and jumper cables – charger did the trick this time and now I need to figure out why.

On Friday, we left Tuscaloosa at 9:30 am and drove I-59 to Laurel, MS and the road was very good except form the MS border to the split of I-59 and I-20.  Since I had heard that both I-20 thru MS and I-10 thru La were pretty rough, I found an alternate that took us thru Natchez, MS, a place I had been wanting to go.  So we exited I-59 at Laurel, MS and traveled west on US-84 but I would not consider it as a smooth alternative to the interstates as only about a third of it was really good road and it had a lot of coach rattling sections.

We rolled into Riverview RV Park in Vidalia, LA about 3pm – it’s just across the river from Natchez with another dead car battery so my first solution did not work.

They assigned us a choice spot with satellite reception and facing the river – first three shots are thru our windshield.

The river walk and bridges crossing the Mississippi River.

Shortly after getting set up we saw barges approaching so we hustled over to the river walk for some shots - Bev got there first.  As it turned out, he was followed by the tow of 12 barges in the second shot while another one was behind him and yet a fourth one was heading down stream.

The Brother Wilson is 138' long, 44' wide and uses 5000hp to move it along, which is the same as a large diesel locomotive.

The tows going upstream were working very hard against the current while the downstream one was almost coasting along.  If my math is right, the Mississippi discharges about 5 million gallons a second into the Gulf of Mexico.  Later, this guy went by and it looked like it was hauling modular buildings.

After this we drove around downtown Natchez to get an idea of what’s there before settling in for the evening.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them and the blue words are links.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


1/10 – 1/11/19 event date


  1. You are moving right along, wishing you safe travels enjoy the scenery and hope you enjoy the southwest. We love it like a lot of people do, But we have friends that don't like it , each to their own. The wide open spaces, dry, bug free air, sunshine and desert scenery.

  2. I love watching ships and barges and boats going up and down the river. Not much of that happening here in AZ though. I'm with George - hope you like the dry desert even half as much as I do. Safe travels.

  3. Larry, So ya'll are on the road again! Destination Arizona...a state we know better than any other except perhaps Illinois. We've been there many times and we do like the desert, just don't want to live there. Enjoy! As for Natchez, we do love that town... Lots of things to see and restaurants to check out. We enjoyed Magnolia Grill, Fat Mama's Tamales and Rolling River Bistro... Have a safe trip! Take Care, Dave

  4. Great photos Larry. I love watching ships and barges too. Safe travels to Arizona.

  5. Safe travels to Arizona. Look forward to the following the journey with you.


  6. Safe travels Larry. Watching the barges reminds me of those along the Rhine river.


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