Loaded up, tired, sweaty and relieved, we headed out. Throughout the whole experience we told ourselves that the worst that could happen was that we would be escorted out of town. On the way out of town, we didn't need an escort. We were evacuating (again).
It's now clear that the public story of the city being closed was not quite accurate. Many people came and went. Many people were granted access, either officially or unofficially. In retrospect I wonder if there was any legal way to prevent people from entering the city.
Our trip back to Jackson was quiet, at least for me. We had accomplished our goal. We also confirmed that most of our stuff was fine. All we had to do was wait for the building to reopen or go move it. We were all tired but by the time we got to Jackson we were ready for a bath, a beer, a good meal and a good nights sleep.
After we cleaned up we all went out to diner at Hal and Mal's with some friends. There were no hotel rooms available in Jackson. One of our friends put the three of us up in his house. That was really nice of him. He was leaving for Europe the next day.
The next morning we split up. She drove me back to Atlanta and He picked up the car he had stashed in Jackson when he evacuated his family. He drove back to his family in that car.
When we arrived in Atlanta we unpacked the Tahoe at the office. We went back to the apartment and put the rear row of seats back in then returned it to the rental agency, after taking a few photos for the album.
Conclusions- Lessions Learned
Looking back we learned a few things, should anyone be in this situation again.
- If you have to go into a similar situation get a vehicle like the Tahoe. It looks semi-official.
- Wear the uniform (black or navy cargo pants with matching t-shirt and ball cap, black jump boots and a M-16).
- Act like you belong.
- Do something, if you don't act nothing will happen.
I was also satisfying and reassuring to see the conditions in town. It gave us hope for a speedy recovery. The first up of the roller coaster ride to come.