A good friend and I recently drove clear across the Deep South from Texas to South Carolina to visit a childhood friend who had moved to Greenville two years ago. The road trip, though well intentioned, was not well planned or timed. We took two days to get to SC because we had the time and the first day was just a half day of driving. We decided to drive a little north on Wednesday afternoon and hit up Little Rock and Memphis on our way out there so that the drives to and from wouldn’t be identical. Little Rock is a much cooler city than either of us expected and Clinton’s Presidential Library and adjacent park are both beautiful. We stayed the night in Holly Springs, MS at a little roadside motel that was actually quite clean and the staff was both very sweet and funny; it was an all-around good experience. Thursday however was a different story. We actually managed to get up at a decent time and got back on the road by 10 am which should have put us in Greenville, SC around 6 or 7pm with the time change and a detour or two…However I20 in Alabama is under construction nearly the entire length of the state and we got stuck in roughly 4 hours of single lane, back road traffic and didn’t arrive in Greenville until 11:30pm that night. We were annoyed with the delays and that we didn’t see any part of Georgia in the daytime but hit up last call in SC with Ty once we finally arrived and decided it was all worth it. We had a great time in Greenville for the next two days with Ty. It is this postcard of a city with perfectly manicured lawns and an adorable downtown. The city is young and into craft beer so there is a lot of local stuff to try, there are also an abundance of coffee shops and one of the most beautiful urban parks I have ever seen. I would happily go back to Greenville, SC without any argument, though I am confidant I would chose to fly for a return visit. Unfortunately we were really only in Greenville for two days and the majority of the time it was raining. I still managed to get some fairly good photos of River Falls Park and we thoroughly enjoyed the time spent with a dear, old friend.
On Sunday we managed again to get up at a decent time and actually got on the road around 10am which should have put us back in the DFW area between midnight and 1am with the hour gained headed back to Texas and the central time zone. Everything went pretty smoothly at first. We even stopped a few times to take some photos along the tiny highways in both SC and GA but then hell opened up and swallowed us at about the same time we crossed the Alabama state line. Even though we took an alternate route through the “heart of Dixie” we still got caught in construction traffic (apparently the entire state and all of its highways are under construction) which made it impossible to get through AL without stopping to eat. There is nothing to eat in that state other than fried Chicken and fast food which neither of us could really stomach after the previous weekend of drinking and bad food decisions. We mistakenly decided a Huddle House (very similar to Waffle House) would be a good alternative to another fast food burger and wasted even more time stopping to eat at one. Huddle House is apparently so named because you will find yourself huddled in a bathroom for hours after eating at one. Finding a restroom that doesn’t have the threat of communicable disease or rape in the great state that is Alabama is actually quite difficult and the hope for a good sized Loves or a QT is lost in the poverty and tiny, dirty truck stops that are typically found on the roadside in AL. It was miserable and slowly the hunts for agreeable rest stops added up and put us about 4 hours behind yet again. I really never thought I would be thankful to be in Mississippi but that state line and the beautiful clean Loves truck stop just across it were quite possibly one of the most wonderful things I had ever seen.