South Mississippians Hit The Road For Thanksgiving

Jesse Campbell stood outside his Chevrolet Suburban. He had just packed it for a Thanksgiving trip with his wife, his mother-in-law, and his three children. "We have the movies for the kids to watch in the truck on the way down," he said. "And we have candy to keep me awake."

The only thing missing at that moment was Campbell's wife. Once she got home from work, the Gulfport family hit the road. Next stop San Antonio -- and Thanksgiving with Campbell's sister-in-law. "There's going to be a lot of traffic," he said. "But hopefully everybody will be alert and ready to travel, prepare."

Dalton Smith needed gas before his out of town journey. His car tag said the Saucier man was out to sea. Actually he was headed to Destin for Thanksgiving without fishing gear, and without much noise. "We decided to get away from the family and the traditional rat race," he said as he pumped gas into his pickup truck. The Smiths' planned to "just sit over there in a condo for a couple of days and take it easy."

Even though it was the eve of a holiday, interstate traffic rushed through Gulfport much like it does on any Wednesday. It was pretty hard to tell that some of the nation's estimated 31 million Thanksgiving drivers were motoring through South Mississippi. The closest thing to a traffic jam we saw was on Highway 49 south of I-10.

Fortunately for John Salisbury, his family was going north, to a Tennessee turkey feast. "Figure I'm going to hit some pretty heavy traffic," he said just before he got into his car and took off. "I'm hoping for good weather. And no accidents."