Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Montgomery, Alabama

Made it to Montgomery the other day and it's a stark change from Mobile. The ass-hats of that town are not to be found here, at least not in any of the places I've been thus far. When I hitched a ride into town and was dropped off near a coffee shop, an employee who was setting up outdoor tables said "grab a chair, backpacker." Those were the first words spoken to me by a Montgomery resident. I enjoyed being called a backpacker. It's a far cry from "f#@&ing bum" which was all I heard in Mobile.

Being treated like a sub-human for those two days took an unexpected toll on me mentally. It wasn't a pleasant experience at all. There were a few exceptions, like the three girls who were nice to me. Laura, Donna and Caroline, thanks for treating me like a human being when so many others cursed me for asking directions or threatened to arrest me for walking on the sidewalk.

Montgomery is turning out to be a pretty cool place. The downtown area is really nice and full of historical points of interest, most of which are civil-rights oriented. I got to see where Rosa Parks got on the bus and where Martin Luther King ended his march, as well as a house he lived in. I've also seen the Confederate White House where Jeff Davis lived. The Hank Williams museum is there. I took a trolley ride all over the downtown area for 50 cents. They point out all the historical places along the way. I rode it a couple times just to be sure.

The whole Montgomery area seems to have more warmth, culture and charm. I really like it here, so I don't regret staying a few extra days to nurse a sore ankle. I'm staying with a guy I met on couchsurfing.org, a website for travelers that helps people travel cheaper while meeting people with similar interests. It seems like a really cool idea and I look forward to hosting travelers after my trip is finished.

The weather cleared up a little. Yesterday was the first day since a week before my trip began that it didn't rain. I was beginning to think I should have taken a boating trip instead of a walking one.

Not sure how much longer I'll be in Montgomery, probably just one more day, then I'll move on. I'll either head up to Birmingham or over to Atlanta, and then make my way into North Carolina. I have a lot of that area to explore and I might spend a month doing it. After that, toward the end of October, I'll see how the weather is and figure out where to go from there.

5 comments:

Midassa said...

I'm so glad that you've found better people on your journey and your spirits are back up where they should be! I can't wait to hear where your travels take you next and what new things you'll see!

Gracie said...

I'm so happy to hear that you're feeling better about the human race, hon. Have some fun in Montgomery, and tell your host that all your friends and family at home are grateful to him for keeping an eye on your crazy self while we can't. ;)

Take care of that ankle, now. You can't run from zombies with a limp. -- Gracie

Paula said...

glad to hear your days have improved.

Anonymous said...

Hey J,
glad to hear things are looking better! What happened to Florida? I thought u really wanted to go there? Grammy's b-day is today. She is 81! She had surgery yesterday on her knee. She is going to be in the hospital until Friday or Saturday. Then she will be recovering at ur moms. Stay safe and take a bunch of pics for us!!! -Cassie

capybaramom said...

J.
So glad to hear your voice, even though it was just to get my etoufee recipe. And thanks for the email.
I hope we can do some more hikes together when you get back. I have a lot of room to woodburn on my new hiking stick. Take care of that ankle and stay safe. Don't forget to find a church along the way!
Love--Mom