Jon Dailey – Deep South USA (Oct 2016)

This trip was going to tick off another 4 new States for me making 49 so far (only Hawaii to do … next year, I hope!) I love driving in the US and ended up driving 2,220 miles through 7 different States (Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas & Tennessee) as I never pick the most direct routes. I have to admit to having been a little apprehensive before this trip because of all the media hype (not helped at all by the Top Gear!!!) about the racial tension but I’m pleased to say those fears were totally unfounded! Everyone was so friendly and welcoming! A first for me was staying in small bed & breakfast accommodation … I loved it! Each one made you feel that you were part of the family and one even had free beer in the fridge!!!

dailey-graceland

usa-jon-daily-classic-cars 

jon-dailey-bikes

 

I flew into Atlanta and stayed at Montgomery, Mobile, New Orleans, Natchez, Little Rock, Memphis, Huntsville and back to Atlanta spread over 18 days. I’m glad I’ve seen New Orleans and Memphis doing what they do best but it’s too “in-your-face” for me and I prefer the less brash places. Each of the other towns have their own unique charm and it was fun to be able to wander the downtown areas, call into a bar (or two) and eat their local food.

The South has lots of history, some good and some not so good but it’s still their history and they are proud to be able to share it with you in museums, tours etc. As a self-confessed petrol-head it was fantastic to drive through Biloxi (Gulf coast of Mississippi) during “cruise-week” when there were thousands and thousands of classic American and custom cars cruising the 30 mile coast line. Another great find was the Barber Vintage Motorsport Museum on the eastern side of Birmingham, Alabama. I’ve never seen that many vehicles in such fantastic condition and displayed so well in the 5-story purpose built museum.

As usual, the worst bit was having to come home and it’s HUGE thank-you to Mags and Jules for organising another memorable trip.

usa-jon-dailey-bridge