6:05 a.m.: We pulled out of our driveway, camper in tow. Headed northeast toward Houston in the pre-dawn. A good, early start. No stress, no angst. Two happy campers going on a long vacation!
7:10 a.m.: Stopped at a McDonalds in Wharton for a nutritious (HA!) breakfast.
7:55 a.m.: Came to a full stop on Houston’s Southwest Freeway just south of Sugar Land. Endured stop-and-go traffic for the next 10 minutes.
8:20 a.m.: Endured more stop and go congestion near downtown Houston. Finally passed the downtown area and headed outbound. Traffic dropped off immediately.
11:05 a.m.: Stopped for gas on the outskirts of Nacogdoches. Paid $2.83 per gallon. Had seen prices as high as $2.99 not too far back, so thought I was getting a good deal. (NEVER thought I’d say THAT at $2.83!) Learned two blocks later that I’d been had! A corner Diamond Shamrock station had regular at $2.72! Dang it!
1:10 p.m.: Crossed into Louisiana at Shreveport. Stopped for lunch a bit later at a Wendy’s in Bossier City.
After lunch, Carol offered to drive for a while, so I’m being a dutiful blogger and preparing a post for later in hopes that we’ll have an internet wifi opportunity tonight in Montgomery, AL. Assuming we make it that far.
Lots of traffic on I-20 for a Thursday afternoon. Like us, many others are probably using this as the principal east-west route since I-10 is shut down in places.
More later, if anything of interest happens.
It’s now later. Much later. We noticed in Louisiana several roadside signs announcing that there was no access to New Orleans. Well, DUH! But we also noticed a number of convoys of electric company repair trucks also heading east on I-20. They included a lot of trucks with “man-lift” baskets to enable technicians to work on elevated lines. There were pole augers and other specialty gear.
Then I noticed the license plates. One whole convoy was from New Mexico. Another was from Oklahoma. They were all heading towards I-55 from Jackson, MI down to the Gulf coast.
Once we passed I-55, still heading east, we noticed a LOT more of these convoys coming from the east.
My point: Help is coming from far afield to get those devastated communities back on the electric grid. That’s an essential step in helping them get their lives back together.
We gassed up before we crossed the line in Mississippi. Good thing. The next station we found that had any gasoline to sell was well into Alabama.
Lots of trees down along the interstate in Mississippi. Some in Alabama. But no damage even remotely like what you’ve seen on the news from the coastal areas.
We pulled into Montgomery at about 9:30. Here we’re spending the night.
Irony here: the place we’re staying offers FREE HIGH-SPEED INTERNET! OK, I’m connected to their wireless router, but no internet. Come to find out, their internet service provider (local cable company) is temporarily down.