14 May 2017

From the Gulf to the Lakes-an American roadtrip.

The long,very straight,windblown road.
I'm back in Oz after a very long American roadtrip-New Orleans to Chicago. From the Gulf of Mexico to Lake Michigan-2400kms-following the Mississippi River for much of the journey. It wasn't your usual "look at the wonderful scenery" trip. No,in the words of the Simon and Garfunkel song I went to look for America. The southern underbelly-conservative America-Trump heartland. A million miles from the thrusting west coast locations I visited last year.
What did I find? Very friendly people. Everywhere I went I met the nicest people. Always eager to talk and to hear about Australia. To my surprise when the subject came up most of the people professed to despise Trump. I am talking waiting and bar staff, rental car workers and hotel porters etc. Everyday people. Maybe I had a skewed sample but it was not the overwhelming 'we all voted for Trump' picture I was expecting.
I did encounter in a hotel restaurant a group of six well dressed middle aged women on a 'girl's weekend' who were fanatical Trump supporters. In the course of a civil,casual conversation they asked me what I thought of Trump and when I gave them my restrained/edited opinion they bristled and then they told me that he was already the greatest American president ever and that in 12 months I would not recognise America. I told them that they may well be right on that. There's no reasoning with people like that so I left hurriedly before they pulled their Glocks from their purses/handbags.
I saw a lot of very dull scenery and a lot of very rundown towns and cities. The tourist websites describe the historic rivertowns of the Mississippi as little gems. That's nonsense. They are very sad places. Shuttered shops, abandoned businesses, depleted populations and abandoned industries. No wonder they sing the blues.
I'll put up my commentary and photos from the trip over the coming weeks.
You've come to the right place ladies

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