NATCHEZ TO VIDALIA
Tom and I got some work done in the morning before an 11:30 AM run over the bridge.
I ran out from the bandstand and met up with a police escort at the visitor’s center. Over the bridge to Vidalia, Louisiana we went, cheered on by Natchezians along the way—including Stratton Hall yelling GEAUX TIGERS! GEAUX VICTORIA! It was a charged run, with all the fandom, and as I made the turn just at the base of the bridge, my fan club multiple with Jen accompanying Stratton as the cheer squad, motivating me onward for the last mile. I went over the levee and landed at the river front, dried off, and we found our way into the convention center to meet Bill Murray and Hannah Junkin.
Now, you should recall this was not our first trip into Vidalia. By this time, we’ve learned that Natchez, Mississippi and Vidalia are inextricably linked, and whether through Jim Bob’s Redneck Adventures or Lena’s Everyday Adventure, people are adventuring in Vidalia (not Natchez!)…
For our dedicated day in Natchez, however, we had a more educational adventure. First we met with Bill and Hannah who introduced us to Corrine Randazzo. We all had a nice conversation over lunch before a crowd of people arrived for Corrine’s presentation about the history of Vidalia being moved from closer to the river. Many of the homes from early Vidalia were moved and are still standing today.
Corrine spent many years searching through the Natchez Democrat newspaper for documentation to find the details of this history. Her powerpoint presentation was very thorough and pictographically vivid. She used the bridge piers as reference points to describe where the old buildings stood, including the home where she grew up.
We didn’t want to take up too much of everyone’s time, so we kept our presentation brief, inviting folks to share stories with us one on one if they had time. A few people stopped over to the table where we sat and visited, but for the most part people made their way out and on with their days. Tom and I took the opportunity with the remaining afternoon (and rain coming in the next days) to bike the 36 miles to Blackhawk slated for the following day. The conditions were still good, and the weather forecast showed three days of rain moving in. Along the way, we saw a few remnant cotton fields, but most were bare. The harvest of corn, soybeans and cotton seems to be just about over by now.
After logging our miles, we drove back to Vidalia for a night’s rest, knowing that tomorrow was another full day where we’d try to ride close to Morganza, again attempting to beat out the rain, and then circle back to the Hydroelectric Plant that fuels Vidalia for another Vidalia story.