Feist & Ben Gibbard, The Train Song
It’s so many miles and so long since I’ve left you
Don’t even know what I’ll find when I get to you
But suddenly now, I know where I belong
It’s many hundred miles and it won’t be long…
Last week I set sail on a week long adventure along US-11 for the annual antique alley with two dear friends. Thanks to their painstaking research and planning, our route was mapped out in high detail and recorded in this hefty 3″ binder. As we passed through towns (which sometimes took no longer than two shakes of a chicken leg), this page turner provided us with a history of the area and points of interest from Meridian, Mississippi north to Bristol, Virginia.
I had never been as far south as Mississippi so I wasn’t really sure what to expect but went with the hope that we would find some good BBQ along with all our other treasures. I brought along a camera to document our trip and take some portraits of people I met along the way.
Amber gassing up the car somewhere in Georgia.
We made it to Meridian, MI on day 2, ready for a shower and a beer (which in reality ended up being peach sangrias at the Olive Garden).
Amber happy to have arrived. One night, the reception on our tv was hit or miss. After I got up for the thousandth time to jiggle the cable, I got the the idea to tie a piece of string to it so that I could lay in bed and give it a yank whenever it started going fuzzy. Worked like a charm and we laughed our heads off!
Barb repacking the cooler every morning (she loved reorganizing everything at the end of each day). We had mini fridges in each of our hotel rooms. One nite after we arrived, I told Barb she could throw all our bottled waters in the mini freezer section because it wasn’t even that cold. She said “are you sure they won’t freeze?” I said, “nah!”. Frozen solid the next morning. Haha!
I met this fella in a lot right after we crossed into Georgia. He informed me that it rained on the antique alley weekend every year (we didn’t see a drop). I loved his steely blue eyes.
I really loved our early mornings best. Getting up at 5:30 or 6am and hitting the road while the grass was still damp.
This man had driven through Buffalo, NY during his truck driving days. He was a friendly fellow with a nice laugh.
This guy wasn’t too sure he wanted his picture taken at first but figured there was no harm in the end.
This woman’s daughter won a trip to NYC through the local radio station. She was selling the most beautiful bed I have ever seen.
He was happy because he just scored a new chainsaw.
a cicada. apparently these critters only come around every few years.
I loved how calm she was.
They lived on the most beautiful piece of property, with a huge garden that ran into the base of the mountain across the field.
Tony and his pal, Ken showing me their neighbor’s garden. They are both from Lookout Mtn, GA.
He invited me back for a burger, but we had places to be so I had to decline. He was a real gem.
Bachelor buttons. I’m not sure what the magenta flowers were…roses?
This is Edna Jackson. She and her husband have been in the produce business for years. She told me that a man from New York came through every year and bought her used books with the intent of reselling them. She said he hadn’t turned up yet.
Gassing up his old truck.
these guys beat the heat underneath the trampoline. Missy, the smaller dog was a real scaredy-cat, and wouldn’t come near the camera.
This woman was crocheting under the shade of this big tree. The train happened to be going by when I shot this somewhere in Mississippi.
This is Darlene Dollar. I was tempted to do an entire post dedicated to her because she made my week. She spotted me and complimented me on my ‘black-rimmed glasses’. Told me that she could tell I wasn’t from around there when she saw me in them and that she had always dreamed of wearing a pair herself. She also said that her son had told her if you wore black-rimmed glasses it was a sign that you were educated. She has four grandchildren and sells jewelry. We chatted for quite awhile and she gifted me a necklace from her table. She told me to pick out something that would remind me of the south. I am going to send her the photos I took of her. She was such a sweet woman with the warmest smile. She shook my hand goodbye with both of hers. I think we will be pen pals.
This is Rodney Woody, “King of BBQ”. If you’re ever in Trussville, Alabama, make sure you stop by to see him. When I walked in (set to order some chicken) Woody jumped up, greeted us and before we had a chance to order had fixed us rib sandwiches along with a bowl of homemade banana pudding for dessert. He told us he was a guardian angel of sorts and if we had any problems to call him and he would come and find us. When I asked him what I owed him he said “NOTHING! this is southern hospitality!” We left him a nice tip.
Rib sandwich with sweet tea.
He let me behind the counter and asked if I wanted an apron for the photo.
At an estate sale. This house was beautiful with lots of treasures.
Lunchtime: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in a dugout in Alabama and our Milo’s sweet tea which we had to ration at the end – seemed it was only available in ‘Bama.
We met up with one of Barb’s Etsy customers in Birmingham. They drove us out to Irondale, where the Irondale cafe serves up Fried Green Tomatoes. (we were told this is the cafe that inspired the movie). The train tracks were directly across the street. You could possibly have a heart attack if you heard how loud the whistle was when it went by.
This friendly guy followed us around in Eutaw, Alabama
The gals strolling back down to the car
A wrong turn (the GPS finder was friend and foe) led us to Sugar’s Ribs in Chattanooga, TN. it was DELICIOUS!!! John, our cashier told me their rotisserie machine is 70 years old. We got the last three chicken legs they had that day and had grilled okra which was super!
i bought this small plane. It was my favorite find!
Amber working on a project as the sun goes down. On our last night, we didn’t go to bed until about 11:00 and had to get up by 4:30 am to start the drive back. Barb set her alarm but said to us, “I set it for 4:45, but if someone wakes up earlier..” We couldn’t stop laughing. I said “earlier!? you mean like now!?” haha!
I had wanted to play cards the entire time we were on the trip. It became a big joke because everyday I would say, “maybe we can play cards tonite!” but by the time we dragged our carcasses into the hotel every evening, we were all too exhausted. This photo is funny because not only did we not play cards, but I made Amber hold my beer (she doesn’t drink beer). Good intentions anyway.
I found this beetle floating in a glass at the flea market early one morning. What a find. Junebug.
This trip was really something. I came back to the city reluctantly and feeling a little blue that it had come to an end. There is nothing like driving the backroads of our country. You feel free.