Crescent City Christmas Locator map


Day 1
Selma to Montgomery

Day 2
Federal Road

Day 3
The Coast and the Quarter

Day 4
Joyeux Noël

Day 5
Wet Trace

Day 6
Tepees & Jook Joints

Day 7
Helena and Back

Day 8
Old 61 to Memphis

Day 9
All the Way Home

December 30, 2007
I made faster (not to be confused with better) progress than expected and made it home from Memphis in a day. I did see some of the Land Between the Lakes and a town full of painted pigs but, even though they're scenic, both the Purchase Parkway and the Western Kentucky Parkway are designed to move you through the country rather quickly. I'm home and happy and looking forward to the New Year.

December 29, 2007
Old Sixty-One to Memphis and the National Civil Rights Museum with a stop in Tunica on the way.

December 28, 2007
We drove up to Helena, Arkansas, in the morning then returned to Clarksdale for some blues at Ground Zero and a night at the Riverside.

December 27, 2007
Tepees and petrified forests aren't things I naturally associate with Mississippi but we found one of each today. Along with, as you'd expect, a jook joint and some Terraplane hubcaps.

December 26, 2007
A haunted plantation, a stop in Natchez, and rain rain rain on the Trace.

December 25, 2007
A quiet day in the French Quarter. Just a few pictures from today plus a few from last night.

December 24, 2007
I settled into the French Quarter after a drive along the Gulf Coast. Many signs of Katrina's devastation remain but a lot of rebuilding has occurred, too.

December 23, 2007
Some time on the Old Federal Road with a couple of Hank sites in between.

December 22, 2007
With sufficient time in the schedule, I headed to Selma then drove the route of the 1965 march to Montgomery. I took in the National Voting Rights Museum in Selma and the Hank Williams Museum in Montgomery.

I've settled on New Orleans as this year's Christmas break destination. It meets the basic requirements of being south and within range and I have no doubt that New Orleanians know how to celebrate Christmas. There is plenty of history there, too; Nearly three centuries worth since Jean-Baptiste Bienville got things started. But, just now, the city's early history is overwhelmed by the history of its last two years. The city was devastated by the storms, structural failures, and government bumbling of 2005.

The French Quarter is the only part of the city with which I'm even slightly familiar. It was spared major flooding and is, to me and lots of others, the essence of New Orleans. Recent estimates indicate that the population of New Orleans has returned to about two-thirds of pre-Katrina levels. The city's recovery may not be complete for many years but I think it's ready for its close-up.

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