Talk about a trip that doesn't go as planned. This is it. Katrina forced quite a major change in plans. Of course, my change in plans is nothing compared to the changes forced on the folks who live in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Right now, I'm in a coffee shop in Fort Wright, Kentucky, on my way to a new Civil War museum, then home. I cut my trip short by a few days due to Katrina. But I had a great time.

After a great day at Shiloh on Saturday, I drove to Memphis and spent some time with the Swanbergs. Sunday morning it was becoming obvious that my southern-most trip plans were endangered by the storm. I called the visitor center at Vicksburg and confirmed that it would be folly for me to attempt to visit there. The ranger said that they were under a tropical storm warning and that they were expecting winds of 70 mph. He thought they might be closed on Tuesday for clean-up. And they were seeing many, many people who were fleeing coastal Louisiana so finding a place to stay would be nearly impossible. So I revised my plans and decided to head east to Corinth, Mississippi.

Good thing. As I drove east, I found Mississippi Public Broadcasting and they had suspended all normal programming and were devoting themselves full-time to the storm. They were expecting that cities as far north as Jackson would be experiencing hurricane force winds. Jackson had been on my list of places to stop so I made the right decision.

As it turned out, I had a very nice visit in Corinth. It's a small town whose size belies its significance during the war. As a cross-roads for two major southern railroads, it was of great strategic significance. I got there around 4:00 and spent the next 3 hours walking around town and looking at various Civil War sites. The battery on my digital camera were almost gone so I shot a roll of black & white 35mm film. I'll be interested to see how they turn out. Because I was there late in the day and had a bit of sunlight to work with, some of the photos may be good. Then again, they may be crap. That, in a nutshell, is the big drawback of film. You never know until days later whether there is anything usable. It's somewhat true of digital, too, because it's hard to know for sure whether the photo is going to really look good until it gets to a computer monitor. But at least you have an idea about the way the shot was framed and using the histogram there is at least an indication about the exposure. After my travels of the last month, I'm sold more than ever on the superiority of digital photography.

One last thing: it was easier for me to find places to post short blog entries when I was in Thailand than when I was driving through the USA. I had a wireless connection in that Days Inn in Lexington, TN. Other than that, it was hard to find easy ways to update the blog. That would be the downside of cheap home-access. And short hours at the public libraries in the towns I visited.

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Museums and old buildings, part 2