15 Jun

2020 GatorMOG Road Trip to MOGSouth’s Fall Meet in Clarksdale, MS

All of this is dependent on an ‘open’ environment for travel and a confirmed ‘go ahead’ decision on the MOGSouth Fall Meet in Mississippi. 

Although this activity is labeled as a GatorMOG event, everyone is invited. The MOGSouth Fall Meet is a good distance from those members in Florida, so a road trip was designed. Others are welcome to join us as we make our way to Mississippi, but do let Mark Braunstein know that you intend to join the road trip and at what location you think you will link up. That way we can look for you!

This Road Trip is designed to be relatively easy.  It limits the drives to 4-6 hours per day.  This allows us the time to eat breakfast, leave at a reasonable time in the morning (e.g. 0830 – 0900) stop for lunch and still arrive at our destination before dark.  It also takes in the need for a few nature breaks along the way.  Hell, we are getting older and a few stops are a necessity these days.  

We should arrive early enough, each afternoon, to get checked into the hotel, deal with any car issues (if necessary) and have sufficient time to clean up – all before we find a beer and dinner.

Note:  There are NO designated room blocks at the various hotels as our party, on this road trip, is not expected to be big enough to justify room blocks.  That being said, use whatever discount rate options you might have, AAA, Military, AARP, Senior Citizen, etc. 

Where provided below, the turn-by-turn instructions are mostly courtesy Google Maps and they may have errors.  They are just there to give you some idea of the route.   I have attempted to find a path that avoids highways and takes relatively scenic routes to Clarksdale, Mississippi (Fall Meet Headquarters).  The plan also includes some time driving on the Natchez Trace.  If you find you are on your own, follow your GPS to the next hotel or stop.  We will travel at speeds that should allow folks to follow without issues, but there may be construction or detours or other things that alter our plans. 

Note there is a one hour time difference between Orlando, FL and Clarksdale, MS.  Times shown in this document are all local times.

The details of this road trip get us to Clarksdale, MS for the MOGSouth Fall Meet.  Following the Fall Meet, we will depart Clarksdale, MS on Sunday morning for Memphis, TN.   Gotta’ go to Graceland and see Elvis!!  After that, our plans are very tentative. Anything is possible!

After seeing Graceland and the Elvis exhibits in Memphis, the road trip will dissolve.  Some will continue on as a group for a while and others will scatter to find their own way home.  

Action:  Notify Mark Braunstein if you are participating in the Road Trip and where you will join up with the others, e.g. Apalachicola, Fairhope, etc. 

Action:  You must make your own hotel reservations (and there are NO Morgan Group Rates) for the hotels identified at the various stops on this Road Trip.  Use whatever discount options you have, AAA, Military, AARP, etc.  And there are no identified hotels for the days after the Fall Meet in Clarksdale, MS.  So be prepared for more reservations after we leave and head home. 

Action:  You must make your own MOGSouth Fall Meet hotel reservations in Clarksdale, Mississippi.  There is a Group Rate (and use MOGSouth when making reservations.)  The details are provided by Joe Speetjens and posted on the MOGSouth Web Site.  There are specific requirements so please visit the web site before you attempt to make reservations.

Day 1 (Tuesday, 27 Oct) – Travel from Home to Apalachicola, FL

This day is a travel day that gets us all to the Gulf Coast.  For some it may be a short day and for others, it may be a longer day.  Hopefully, all will arrive in the mid to late afternoon.  Then we can simply take in the scenic views of Apalachicola.  It is believed that there will be folks that will join the rest of the group in Apalachicola. 

  • Breakfast – At Home
  • Lunch Stop – On Your Own
  • Hotel – Two Choices – Pick One (Using Google Maps, they appear to less than ½ mile apart.)
    • Water Street Hotel & Marina, www.waterstreethotel.com , 329 Water St, Apalachicola, FL 32320Appears to be More Modern Looking – Cheaper
    • Gibson Hotel https://www.gibsoninn.com/, 51 Avenue, Venue C, Apalachicola, FL 32320 – Appears to have Lots of Character – Pricier
  • Dinner Stop – We will figure it out when we get there.

Day 2 (Wednesday, 28 Oct) – Apalachicola, FL to Fairhope Alabama 4 h 48 min (212 mi)

Fairhope, Alabama is home to long time Morganeer and MOGSouth Club Member, Tony McLaughlin, the owner and maintainer of Morganville, the online Morgan Register. (www.morganville.org)  Tony is our host for a MOGSouth / GatorMOG Road Trip Party in the evening.  Remember, there will a one hour time change on route to Fair Hope, AL.

  • Breakfast – TBD – Need to find a Breakfast Location
  • Lunch Stop vic Pensacola – TBD – We will figure it out when we get there.
    • Follow US-90 W to County Rd 54 in Robertsdale (52 min (35.7 mi))
    • Take AL-104 W to N Greeno Rd in Fairhope (16 min (11.6 mi))
  • Per Tony –
    • Stay on US 98 from Apalachicola and go until you see a state highway 399 to the south at Navarre Beach, about 10 miles west of Ft. Walton, FL.
    • Take it and get on the beach road. It’s all pure white sand the entire trek, looking at the Gulf from there.
    • If the weather is bad, I would not do it, because it is at sea level. The scenery is terrific though! Follow it until the end, go across Pensacola Beach Bridge, and rejoin Hwy 98.
    • Stay on 98 through Pensacola, going west.  DON’T do what Google tells you, but stay on 98 through Foley, AL
    • You will enter Foley, go straight ahead on 98 for around 12-15 more miles, until you see a 4 way stop, with a Shell Station on the right. Do NOT go right on 98 here (That’s just the 4-lane into Fairhope), but go STRAIGHT ahead on ALTERNATE 98, which will curve to the right after 2 miles, and take you up a very scenic road along Mobile Bay, about 6-8 miles. Beautiful Scenery!
    • You will pass Gambino’s Restaurant where we will eat and go about 1/2 mile until you see Fairhope Pier. That is the intersection of Fairhope Avenue.
    • Take a right up Fairhope Avenue, go 4 blocks, or the second traffic light, to Section St., and then turn left on Section St.
    • The Hampton Inn is 1/2 block on your left, and free covered parking is behind the hotel, down the alley way on its left.
  • Hotel – Hampton Inn Fairhope, https://www.hilton.com/en/hotels/mobfhhx-hampton-fairhope-mobile-bay/, 23 N Section St, Fairhope, AL 36532
  • Dinner Party – Gambino’s in Fairhope, which is on Mobile Bay. Host – Tony McLaughlin

Day 3 (Thursday, 29 Oct) – Fairhope, AL to Hammond, LA 4 h 23 min (168 mi)

Hammond is some 45 mins from New Orleans or Baton Rouge.  We should get there early afternoon.  So you have options.  Staying North of New Orleans allows us flexibility on Friday to drive on the Natchez Trace. 

  • Breakfast – At Hotel
    • Depart 0900
    • Follow Fairhope Ave to US-98 W/N Greeno Rd (4 min (1.1 mi))
    • Continue on US-98 W. Take MS-26 W, LA-21 S and E U.S. Hwy 190 W to State Rte 1067 in Tangipahoa Parish (3 h 49 min (184 mi))
    • Follow State Rte 1067 and Old Covington Hwy to S Holly St in Hammond
  • Lunch Stop – TBD – We will find our own Lunch, depending on time and numbers.
    • Arrive Hammond, LA early afternoon.
  • Dinner Stop – Lots of Choices in Hammond.

Day 4 (Friday, 30 Oct) – Hammond, LA to Clarksdale, MS 6 hrs (325 mi)

This day is mainly a travel day to the Fall Meet location.  It is a longer route, staying off the highway, however; we can gain about an hour should we opt for the highway.  Better to leave early and minimize the stops (lunch, gas, etc.)  We can travel the Natchez Trace some.   We should get there in the mid to late afternoon and have time to get settled and find the Hospitality Suite.

  • Breakfast – At Hotel
    • Depart 0900
    • Take LA-1064 W and LA-43 N to LA-10 W/LA-441 N in 5 (41 min (30.7 mi))
    • Turn left onto LA-10 W/LA-441 N 46 s (0.6 mi)
    • Follow LA-441 N, MS-584 W and MS-24 W to MS-33 N in Gloster (47 min (42.1 mi))
    • Turn right onto MS-33 N (18 min (17.5 mi))
    • Turn left onto Liberty Rd (24 min (20.0 mi))
    • Turn left onto Lissie St/Natchez Trace Pkwy (2 min (0.6 mi))
    • Drive from US-61 N and Natchez Trace Pkwy to Hinds County (1 h 8 min (67.5 mi))
  • Lunch Stop – TBD – Accommodations for ?? People
    • Continue to follow Natchez Trace Pkwy (1 h 13 min (66.3 mi))
    • Follow MS-27 N to US-61 N in Vicksburg (20 min (17.6 mi))
    • Follow US-61 N to MS-161 N in Clarksdale (2 h 21 min (140 mi))
    • Continue on MS-161 N. Drive to 3rd Street (7 min (3.0 mi))
  • Arrive Clarksdale, Mississippi – Travelers Hotel, 212 3rd St, Clarksdale, MS 38614

Hotel – MOGSouth Fall Meet Hotel, The Travelers Hotel (Clarksdale, MS)

Day 4/5 (Fri / Sat, 30/31 Oct) – MOGSouth Fall Meet Clarksdale, MS


Day 6 (Sunday, 1 Nov) – Clarksdale, MS to Memphis, TN

This day is a travel day to Memphis and to visit Graceland.  Those wishing to join the convoy and go to Memphis are welcome.  Otherwise, head home!!  Absolutely no plans have been made for hotel and meals.  We are winging it!

  1. Breakfast – At Hotel
  2. Depart 0900
  3. Lunch Stop in Memphis, TN
  4. Graceland – Elvis!
  5. Hotel – Vic Graceland (Memphis, TN)
  6. Dinner Stop

Day 7 (Monday, 2 Nov) – Memphis, TN to Montgomery, AL

This day is basically a travel day headed back to Florida.  If you have alternate plans, don’t follow us!  Our plan is to get to Montgomery, AL.  Absolutely no plans have been made for hotel and meals.  We are winging it!

  1. Breakfast – At Hotel
  2. Depart 0900
  3. Lunch Stop Vic Jasper, AL
  4. Hotel – Vic Montgomery, AL
  5. Dinner Stop

Day 8 (Tuesday, 3 Nov) – Montgomery, AL to Lake City, FL

This day is basically a travel day headed back to Florida.  If you have alternate plans, don’t follow us!  Our plan is to get to Lake City, FL.  Absolutely no plans have been made for hotel and meals.  We are winging it!

  1. Breakfast – At Hotel
  2. Depart 0900
  3. Lunch Stop Vic Tallahassee, FL
  4. Hotel – Vic Lake City, FL
  5. Dinner Stop –