Parks · ruins

Windsor Ruins – Mississippi

In Mississippi I went to the Windsor Ruins. Apparently this absolutely enormous building was built as the largest Greek Revival mansion in the state. It only stood for a few years before it burned from the top down leaving nothing but 24 eerie columns. I tried to go after dark (against park rules) but didn’t make it. Still it was oddly impressive, nestled in some rugged and wild country. It was quiet and so peaceful out there. The columns reached towards the sky with a little plant growing on one. Some of them were crumbled and I guess the metal stairway that was left after the flames was taken by a local church. It was a bit weird in the sense it felt like I was looking at a Greek ruin in the middle of frickin’ Mississippi.

As I left I noticed a dirt road, apparently going to nowhere. Seeing as the road I was supposed to take was closed due to flooding the decision was made to try this one. I travelled farther and farther down this road as it got increasingly worse. It got narrower, the path got more bumpy. It looked like the last travelers through here might have been in a Conestoga wagon. Then, as if I was on some sort of crazy safari I saw something dash across the road at such an alarming speed that I couldn’t even come close to identifying the wee beast. I turned around and took the path more travelled.

As it turns out I think I figured out what the strange blur I saw was. Apparently armadillos are a small, probably mythological, southern creatures with the armor of centipede and the speed of light. I had been wanting to see a live one and in all the photos they look so placid and even slow.. HA! Wrong! I also got to see two deer cross the road and it was broad daylight.

I took lots of photos of the scenery because it was just gorgeous down that way with gorges filled with greenery and vines wrapping around trees. It was a strange landscape. On my way out I came across yet another roadblock, this time on a main highway. I stopped and a very young officer asked, “So where y’all trying to go?” Apparently, “I don’t know.” isn’t a great answer to give someone. He picked up his little list of places to go and ventured a guess, “Arkansas? And you’re taking which highway?” “Uhhh…. Let me see…” This time the GPS was consulted and the cop just started laughing. “Oh you got a Garmin. I had one of those. She told me to drive straight into a lake once.” Comforting thought! Thanks! Apparently the Big Black River had overflowed and I had to go literally an hour out of our way to get back on track.

When I got back into town, and after passing this particular gas station three or four times trying to find an addressless ghost town, I stopped in to fill up. The locals were ever so helpful… “You trying to get to Vicksburg? We saw you pass by a few times…” Great, now I’m being watched! SIGH. Can’t do anything conspicuously these days.

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