Road trips have always been a big part of my life. By the time I was five years old (in the late 1950s) I had traveled the famous Route 66 numerous times with my parents (between Missouri, New Mexico, and on out to California). I’ve loved being on the road ever since. So, after more than a month of nothing but writing papers in response to my doctoral content prelim exams and completing an on-line research course, I decided to give myself a solo vacation to New Orleans to visit one of my sons and his family (read grandkids here!).
Pretty much I can’t stand driving on the interstate highways as they’re so blah, generic, or “pedestrian.” Instead, I’ll take backroads whenever the opportunity arises, which it did on this trip. I used the interstate system to get me into Mississippi, just south of Memphis, and then off the beaten path I went! Once I made my way over to Vicksburg, I drove U.S. Highway 61 along Ol’ Man River until I reached NOLA. There’s so much history along that corridor of the Mississippi River Valley, one could spend days photographing and sight-seeing the antebellum plantations and Civil War battlefields.
Photographically speaking, I captured some interesting shots, I think. After having a lunch of gumbo on my first day in New Orleans at my favorite local joint, Liuzza’s, I made my way over to City Park. The Live Oaks there are incredible with their branches touching the ground and suckering off new trees. Other photo ops included another muffler man (the King) and Mammy’s Cupboard (near Natchez, MS) for my Incongruity series; cool looking Cyprus trees in the Jean Laffite Bayou; a new balcony series from the French Quarter; and incredible views of the 275-year old Live Oak “alley” at Oak Alley Plantation.
Oak Alley Plantation, © 2009 Terry Ownby
Mammy’s Cupboard, © 2009 Terry Ownby