My journey to the South is now complete. The day started off in eastern Tennessee. We spent the morning climbing up and over the Appalachian Mountains passing through Knoxville and onto I-40 in the process. That road took us clear across the state of Tennessee. We passed into the central time zone and had lunch at a McDonald’s just outside of Nashville. Then our journey continued west. The land became flatter the farther we traveled. By mid-afternoon we’d reached Memphis and turned south for the final leg of the journey.
The vast expanse of the Mississippi Delta spread out as far we the eye could see. It’s as flat as the Great Plains, but dotted with trees almost like Northern Florida. My first instinct was to point out how isolated it seemed. But my dad quickly chided me for not paying attention as we stopped at a BP station stocked with every kind of convenience food you could imagine. There were other places as well including the Tunica Casinos. We didn’t stop by, but their website lists nine casinos with hotels and restaurants plus three golf courses. I think I hear Las Vegas calling; they’re wondering where the strip went.
Finally we passed into Cleveland itself. The town rises out of the cotton fields like an oasis. It’s got a good vibe to it. Everything is here from restaurants to walmart and even a Sears. “Home” by Daughtry was playing on the radio as we cruised into town. They had the Yankee game on in the Chinese restaurant. Perhaps I am home. Or perhaps this is but the first step on a much longer journey. Only time will tell.