Two Women in a Car: California to Alabama Day Five

… not to mention the cat. This is the fifth day on a road trip I took 30 July to 05 August 2016. Dear friend and fellow writer Debra found a new home in Alabama. Traveling in her Toyota Yaris with her and her cat Loki across the United States was an experience I’ll never forget.

South Baton Rouge, LA to Andalusia, AL
03 August 2016
349 miles

Summary: Eureka! We arrived.

Full story: we left Baton Rouge, Louisiana at 6:18 this morning. We rode into the sunrise. The dark clouds made good on their threat, and the horizon lit with sheet lightning, with scattered bolts and thunder. Loki made her opinions known with howls and punched the mesh doors with fists and claws that rocked her kennel. Fortunately for all our shattered nerves, the storm lasted less than an hour. Great news: the storm washed the dirt of five states off the red Toyota.

Nearing the end of Louisiana, we finally saw the familiar green mermaid and ordered cold brewed coffee. Not a beignet in sight.

The landscape was now lush with creeks and rivers feeding dense forests. At 8am, we entered Mississippi. Casinos and fishing trawlers dotted the gulf coast. We sped by Biloxi sampling the entire state in a mere 80 minutes.

imageWe entered Sweet Home Alabama, Debra’s new state of record, before 9:30. The freeways are beautifully maintained and junctions easily followed. We took back roads to her new house, arriving by 11:30. Her home is a charming 1940 red trimmed white house with two bedrooms, an office and two baths. The kitchen has an island, a separate dining room, laundry, and cabinets and built in bookshelves. The backyard is immense.

Checked into the motel and had a buffet lunch. We cruised through stores including a super Walmart. Met with Debra’s wonderful realtor who went through the house with us, talked to her mail lady, and led us to city hall where Debra arranged the utilities to start tomorrow. City hall and the rest of downtown surrounds a traffic circle and is stunning. Very old south.

Gas is $1.83/gal.

We also found a darling coffeehouse called Barista Joe next to the Alabama Soap Lady. Sadly no Starbucks. Her moving van will deliver her stuff between 10-12 August. Plenty of time to prep her house and map the community into her psyche.

I’m doing laundry again while another flash/bang storm rages overhead. Scared everyone out of the pool. We’re exhausted, so I expect we’ll wash this mugginess off and head for bed.

Road trip is over. But wait: we’ve another road that looms bElote us. Tune in next time …

Trip report respectfully submitted by, Michelle K

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About mlknowlden

In 2011, I left engineering to write full-time. Between the years 1992 and 2011, I’ve published 14 stories with Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine that have featured the hypochondriac detective Micky Cardex and two stories that did not. The 1998 story “No, Thank You, John” was nominated for a Shamus award. Many of these stories have been included in anthologies and translated in multiple languages. With Neal Shusterman, I’ve also published a science fiction story for the More Amazing Stories anthology (Tor) published in 1998 and co-authored with Neal Shusterman an X-Files Young Adult novel (DARK MATTER) for HarperCollins in 1999 under the name Easton Royce. For Simon & Schuster in July 2012, we published an e-novella UNSTRUNG in Neal's UNWIND world. I have graduate degrees in English and Electrical Engineering.
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