02 November 2014

Across the U.S., Day 27 - Thomasville (GA) to Mobile (AL)

7,782. This is the amount of km I have travelled so far (~ 4835 mi) in almost four weeks. Guido did me a huge favor and created the below progress map by utilizing the coordinates tracked by my spot system. Pretty interesting, I must say.

For today's route I thought about traveling through the northern part of Florida. But for some reason I just don't find it appealing to spend extensive time there. Probably because to me, Florida is for the elderly and I don't qualify for this yet?? I decided to stay some more in the southern parts of Georgia and Alabama instead.

Suddenly, we spotted that fellow and had to stop to say 'Hi'. But that other donkey was really not interested or impressed by our appearance. What an ignorant ass!

On my way through Georgia and Alabama, I came across many more cotton fields, and one with harvesting machines. The origin of is type of cotton picker was invented by the Texan John D. Rust in the 1930s.

Cotton picker

Genetically modified cotton has become widespread. Most GM cotton is grown in India and in the U.S. The below cotton is root-knot nematode resistant. Another GM variety, which is widely used in India, is BT cotton. Due to genetically modification, it produces a specific crystal protein derived from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis which acts as insecticide. Advocates of GM crops emphasize the benefits (reduced insecticide use, improved cotton quality, increased yield), but this is only one side of the medal.

Packaged for further processing

Cotton seeds, which I exposed from the fluffy fiber

After harvest, the fibers are separated from the seeds. The protein- and oil-rich seeds are processed for cottonseed cooking oil or margarine while the protein is used to produce animal feed. Can you tell that I'm fascinated by Gossypium hirsutum?

Those two extra hours today (daylight saving last night and return to CST) were filled with intense exploring of the area. What I have seen from the cotton state Alabama so far was indeed beautiful: very green, lots of pine forests, rolling hills, well maintained houses.

I am so glad to have a GPS!

I only briefly cut through the panhandle of Florida, the sunshine state ...

... and shortly after I entered Alabama again on my way to Mobile, I was greeted by a beautiful sunset.

Snap shot taken while arriving at Mobile on I-10

More to come, after some sleep!


  1. 7,782 - what an impressive number! What an awesome woman behind the wheel, behind all these stories and the beautiful photos!

    Thank you for providing an insight into the world of cotton and the picture of the fancy harvesting machine. Markus said, he would love it to drive by our ice cream parlor in Bonn-Duisdorf with such a thing . . .

    But one of your photos made me very sad this time: Your waving but ignored little donkey - poor boy ;-)

    1. You are very welcome, Ingrid. It's so much fun writing the blog also because of such great feedback I get from you and others.

      King Markus on a King Cotton picker cruising through Duisdorf. LOL! Maybe as a BD gift when you guys are back to Germany one day?? Would a different type of harvester do it for him as well? Might be either to organize in Germany than one for cotton.

    2. Before Markus saw that cotton picker machine he fell in love with a little green tractor at the 'Rosenhof' years ago. You can see 'Markus at work' in our facebook photo album about the Rosenhof riding stable. So just in case he could not get such a big fancy machine, I am sure a little green tractor would make him also happy someday back in Germany.