Wherever the Road Leads

‘A’ Is For Arabi

And ‘A’ Is For Ants

And gnats.

I filled up with gas just before leaving Pine Lake RV Park in Bishop. I traveled more-or-less 180 miles. I filled up just after I arrived in Arabi. I pumped more-or-less 18 gallons.

Ouch… 10.2 miles per gallon pulling the trailer. It could be worse. Gas is $3.37 here.

When I told the lady at my previous RV Park, Pine Lake, that I was coming to Arabi – AH-rah-bee – the first word out her mouth was ‘gnats’. She was right. But thrown in with the gnats are ants.

Pine Lake was a wonderful place to learn how to live in a trailer. That somewhat mastered, I can move on to learn how to live with external inconveniences, like ants. Within a short period of time they were crawling all over the camper. I had ant spray and was able to deal with them, but the bigger issue was, how are they getting in?

A quick walk around and I noticed they were crawling up the power cord then finding their way in and also crawling up the sewer hose, to the trailer frame, then finding their way in. Bit by bit I have tried to eliminate access routes. After talking with one of the full-time residents here and learning the difference in harvesting abilities between a John Deere and an International Harvester Module Builder – cotton picker combine to the rest of us – I asked him about the ant problem. As well as what I had already done, he suggested spraying the tires and that seems to have cut the original invasion down by 90%.

Also, it entailed learning to live more crumblessly. Coffee is now stored in the refrigerator, as is cat food and even the bag of potatoes. I stumbled across another huge invitation to ants after I spilled raw egg white under the burner, then lifted the stove top. Gag a maggot. What was there was all crispy and burnt but I am a lot happier knowing it’s been cleaned.

My new friend, the cotton expert, was a fountain of local information. I had been driving the back roads to the local metropolis of Cordele, Georgia, the closest town large enough to have a Wal-Mart, and had passed a number of fields of what looked like strawberry plants. Having lived in Alabama, I should have known better as they are cotton plants. I also passed a number of pecan groves, stately old trees grown in rows.

However, Cordele is known as the Watermelon Capital of the world and those are grown in abundance. They are also cheap, locally. I have noticed a number of ancient pick up trucks beside gas stations or in vacant lots, filled to the brim with watermelons and a hand-drawn sign on a piece of cardboard that reads, $3. I am sorely tempted but I don’t know how I would deal with a big ole watermelon, an already-packed fridge, this heat and the ants.

I went for a drive today, camera in hand. This is rough country to harvest in. The temperatures are in the nineties each day and the gnats will drive you insane. The crops do indeed get harvester, though, heat, gnats and all. But not by blacks anymore, not by whites driving machines, not even by Americans. It’s all done by Mexicans, glad of the money and with no entitlement in place – yet, but give our current government enough time – to sit in air conditioned comfort and await their Welfare checks.

 

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Tupelo, struggling to accept being homeless.

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My new temporary home.

 

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Quite a pretty dump station.

 

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Arabi City Hall

 

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Arabi Town Square

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A Pecan Grove. The trees are planted in straight lines.

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Remnants of days gone by in the grove

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Cotton field. Cotton doesn’t blossom until September, a ways off yet

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They gut school buses to harvest watermelons

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A flatbed truck laden with watermelons to be sorted

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The local cotton gin

Don’t know as I’d ever come back here – if I did it would be after investigating when gnat season ended – but everywhere is worth visiting once.

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Comments

  1. Alistair Mair  July 15, 2014

    While being a bit more rustic, the site looks more level than your last location. A day picking water melons may make you appreciate how hard such work is. LOL

    Summer here in the Toronto area has been great so far. The weather a mixed bag of sorts but pool weather for sure!

    reply
  2. elayne  July 17, 2014

    how long are you planning to stay here? where to next? thank you for sharing the pictures Gordon as many of us would not even know about these places and all the interesting things about them without your blog.. It is appreciated.

    reply

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