Observations Specific to Mississippi:
1. Basically, take all my observations specific to Alabama and ratchet up the intensity a notch. That’s Mississippi.
2. Sixteen ounce and twenty-four ounce beer cans (compared to the typical twelve ounce cans) line the roadways. I suppose boozy Mississippi drivers like to drink and drive in an economical fashion.
3. Claiming that you love Obama is a sure way to alienate the locals. In fact, claiming to live in Washington, D.C. does not garner much support, either.
4. The road-naming system is bizarre. The majority of roadways are named after people but not iconic individuals. Instead, the names are unfamiliar and appear more modern (e.g. Jim Ramsey Road, Joe Batt Road). Moreover, effectively every single family home with a driveway longer than 20 feet maintains a green street sign named after the apparent homeowner (e.g. Jim and Sharon Place). I even passed “Pug Lane,” which was a 15 foot paved section leading from the roadway into the middle of the homeowner’s front yard. The Pug Lane sign even sported a picture of a pug. Bottom line: just because a road has a green street sign does not mean that you should follow it. In doing so, you might wind up in front of a “No Trespassing” sign and an angry homeowner.
5. The affluence in Mississippi appeared severely limited. However, I didn’t sense that people considered themselves poor or even that they felt a lacking for anything. Instead, I sensed that people proudly lived a modest, honest, hard-working lifestyle predicated on family values and small-town living. It appeared as though people felt comfortable living in a trailer as long as they were able to take their 12-foot fishing boat out on the weekends. Humility was the norm; pretense was non-existent.
6. I’m familiar with the concept of White Privilege, but my cycling trip has made this concept real. The mere fact that I’m white has literally opened more doors into people’s homes than if I were otherwise black.
7. Mississippi is no longer the flatlands of the Florida Gulf. Prepare for hills.