I don't know what happened today. It just wasn't what it was supposed to be. I kept getting to small towns and thinking "Is this museum really going to be worth getting out of the car?" And I skipped a few things I think I should've stopped to see. I don't think I'll regret not seeing them, but I was there, and I might never be again, so I feel like I should see everything. I was going to go to a national park with a hot springs that's full of alligators, but then I decided I'll probably start seeing wild alligators soon anyway.
I did stay on the scenic roads, though. No shortcuts.
I made it to Vicksburg. I made it to Vicksburg completely exhausted. Luckily, I didn't get in until 5pm so all the touristy stuff was closed and I didn't have to feel bad about going straight to a hotel. I went to the visitor's center first, mostly because it was the first parking lot to pull into. The lady at the desk gave me a few good tips, and there was a couple there asking her about some things, too. They asked her about the Natchez Trace Parkway, which I did earlier. They weren't sure if they were going to do it, and asked what there was to see and the receptionist wasn't selling it well enough so I spoke up and said "Absolutely do it, it's beautiful. Even if you're only on the road for an hour or so before you get back on a main highway, do it." And then the receptionist said "It is really nice, if anyone ever has the opportunity to do it, they should." They seemed more convinced.
I met them again in the parking lot, and they had seen my license plate and asked about it. I told them a little bit about the trip so far, and when I'd been on the Natchez. They are from just outside of Baton Rouge, so we talked about Louisiana a little bit. They also had just come from Natchez (the city, not the parkway) which is where I'll be tomorrow night (hopefully). I asked if it was okay, and they said it was only alright, that the hotels were expensive, and that I should go to the visitors center there because they were really helpful. It was neat to talk to other people doing what I'm doing (just driving around) and to talk to some more people from Louisiana! They were really nice and introduced themselves to me. The wife said I must be brave, she'd never be able to do what I'm doing alone. Nice people are so fun!
I'm picking up some Civil War stuff again, and tomorrow will be a battlefield tour. Vicksburg surrendered to the Union in 1863 and then refused to celebrate the 4th of July for 100 years. Isn't that incredible? The soldiers defending Vicksburg were furious about the surrender, and the Union soldiers were nice to them when they took the city, giving them food and generally not being jerks.
Aside from this ridiculous headache--oh, right, I left that out of the first paragraph. I don't know what happened, and maybe nothing, but I have an awful headache today. I got to my hotel and was very, very still on my bed for awhile trying to get it to go away. It didn't. I was a little nauseous but also hungry. I knew I needed to eat, but didn't want to go anywhere to eat and didn't want fast food. I was caught in a dilemma because I didn't want to move and I didn't know how well I'd be able to eat anyway. I decided to go to the Cracker Barrel across the parking lot. Awful, awful food. So I'm drinking water and have some bread leftover from two nights ago.
My headache is still present, but it's 9:30 and I'll probably be asleep soon and that will take care of it. (I hope.) Headaches are the worst.