Day 5: December 26, 2007
Wet Trace
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My New Orleans departure point was the current start of US-61 at Tulane and Broad.

I didn't get too far before seeing a "must stop". I was actually looking for a convenient drive-thru for some coffee when I saw Dot's Diner. I decided that a full-stop sit-at-the-counter breakfast would be worthwhile and it was. From Buddy, the ex-marine next to me, I learned that Dot's had started life as a Krystal. I also learned of traveling cross-country by train in the late 1940s for training in San Diego and of the financial strain placed on a fellow when Krystals jumped from seven to eight cents. I got a pretty good breakfast, too.

I later learned that there are four Dot's Diners in the New Orleans area; All owned by Larry Katz and all just a little different.

At Prairieville, I tried out a stretch of the Old Jefferson Highway (LA-73).

The Myrtles Plantation is "One of America's Most Haunted Homes" - 13th according to tour guide Hester. The tour was for a bus load of folks who arrived moments before me and I just tagged along. Hauntings are so common that ghosts or ghostlike images often appear and are even photographed now and then. Apparently images frequently show up in photographs taken of the large mirror in the entry hall. I took several photos but didn't see ghosts in any of them. Just bad luck, I guess. Ghostly visits are not limited to the house and several sightings, some with photographs, have occurred throughout the grounds.

Just like last year, Mammy's Cupboard at the south edge of Natchez is closed for the Holidays. Natchez is where I spent last Christmas and I drove to Natchez Under the Hill to check up on where I had stayed. The Under the Hill Saloon is doing fine and the bar's urinal (hidden here in a nod to good taste) is still in the running to be declared an historic site although it has suffered a minor setback. The whiteboard is also in the men's restroom and is evidence of the interest that the upcoming LSU-OSU championship game has generated in these parts. The game is January 7 in New Orleans' Superdome.

Rain started pouring down while I was in the saloon so when I left, I ducked under a neighboring overhang to take a profile shot rather than crossing the street for the full frontal I had intended. This seemed a good chance to check out the Magnolia Grill just down the street. It had been closed all the time I was in Natchez last year but today I enjoyed a fine shrimp po' boy served by a waitress who was at least as sweet as Tupelo honey. The rain had let up at meal's end so I did cross the street for a Magnolia picture.

Today's goal is reaching Jackson, Mississippi, and the Natchez Trace is a natural route. The rain was starting up as I hit the Trace and was soon at full strength. I guess I'm paying the price for bragging about last year's rain free run of the whole trace.
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