Mobile is, as it turns out, the hometown of Forrest Gump in the novel – but not in the movie.
Colson is the d.j. as we head south and west towards New Orleans. I’m sitting on the bed we framed into this van as we roll down 65 to the the likes of Don’t Stop Believing and Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now. We have discovered to our dismay that the air conditioning unit we had such high hopes for is not able to keep up while we drive, at all. So we just open all the windows and let the warm wind blow. This baby is a far cry from air tight even with the windows closed. It’s fairly bearable, but we’re driving west towards thinner air with great anticipation. Last night was our first night inside of Talulah; it was hot as beans. We neglected to fill the gas can before we got to Walmart for the night. So when the generator ran dry about four this morning it became stifling. At about eight we could bear it no more and headed out.
We began the trip last night around nine p.m. in the wake of a great send off party. Party as in group of people, it wasn’t really a party. Our parents and a few other of my relatives gathered at Allan Steiner’s as we made the last minute preparations. And surprisingly, it’s day two and we haven’t even thought of many things we forgot to bring.
Despite the fact that I’m sitting above two totes chock full of vittles donated to us by friends and parents, we have eaten breakfast and lunch at Dunkin’ Donuts (where ‘Karen’ made me an ice coffee that was about the closet thing to battery acid I’ve ever tasted) and Taco Bell respectively. The prospect of grilling pork chops under the blazing Alabama sun hasn’t been appealing thus far. After lunch we got $5 tickets for the one o’clock showing of the new Spider Man movie. Traveling in the daylight is hot, and we’ll easily make it to New Orleans this evening. Spider Man seemed the best option for killing air conditioned time. It was somewhat disappointing, but a lot of stuff blew up and there was one plot twist we didn’t see coming. It’s a yes we can, no we can’t, yes we did plot the whole way through with some suspense at the end that begs you back for the next movie. I thought the girl who liked him but he didn’t like her was a cool character…as well as Peter’s aunt.
This evening we ate at a place called Morning Call Coffee Stand which is in the New Orleans City Park. It’s a pretty cool looking place that serves everything from coffee drinks to Cajun food. We had the jambalaya, gumbo, and crawfish etouffee. It didn’t quite live up to the lore…but it was pretty cheap. I guess it would be like coming to America to try the infamous burger and doing so at McDonald’s. The waiter wanted us to give him his tip while he was standing there so that the money we left wouldn’t get snatched. I was telling the other guys it would be really great to have a local show us around. It seems like a city that’s teaming with culture and life – but not one that makes you feel really safe when your inside its boundaries. The pot holes and flooded roads alone are enough to unnerve a man. After supper we jaunted around the park and then headed outside the city to a truck stop where we’re parked for the night. Tomorrow we hope to make San Antonio and the Alamo.