Monday, September 11, 2017

Ocean Springs to Houston

I had a fantasy that I would stop in New Orleans for lunch on this trip, but in reality, it was a long, long drive and I didn't even pass through NOLA. In stead, I stayed on I-10.
Whew, that was a long day of driving.

I started early, but not too early. As I was packing up the car, the housekeeper spoke to me and wanted to make sure I knew that I wasn't being rushed out just because she was cleaning the room next to mine. She told me that I didn't need to leave until noon and it was about quarter to ten.
I thanked her but told her I didn't feel rushed.

It was just a little after ten when I hit the road. I stopped at the Winn Dixie in Ocean Springs to fill up my water jugs and was ready to head to Houston with three days of food and water in the car.

I drove for a long time through the bottom part of the 'L' of Louisiana.

 I stopped for gas and to let River stretch his legs in a town called Lake Charles.

The whole drive was uneventful until just a few yards from the Texas state line when I immediately started seeing evidence of Harvey.

I saw a camper 'parked' in a giant flooded area, which upon further inspection was the rest area I was hoping to use. There was a big sculpture of a giant "Lone Star" in what I assume was the lawn of the rest area, but today it was a perfect symbol of the devastation, as it was standing in a huge stagnant puddle of stinky water.

The traffic along I-10 was thick but not slow. There was no extra room on the highway, but not so many cars that we couldn't all go the proper speed. Many of the cars I saw headed west on I-10 had Florida plates.

Along the side of some roads there was a great deal of accumulated dirt.


I wouldn't even have registered any of these facts as they were not glaring or remarkable, but I did notice them because I was looking for evidence.

Similarly, there was a lot of debris on the side of the road in Texas. I wouldn't have given it a second though had I not known about the storm. In fact, for the most part on my way into town, everything seemed quite normal.

I wwas given a suggested detour by Mini, which I'm glad I took because I was on the access road, whizzing by stopped traffic on I-10 once I got into Houston. There was a road closure, though, that forced me back onto the slow highway for just a fraction of a mile. Other than that, it all seemed normal.

The woman checking into Motel 6 ahead of me asked to purchase the wi-fi, but the clerk suggested she didn't because, he said, since the storm, the wi-fi has been very poor.

I was expecting to find a post apocalypse landscape from seeing the news reports, but so far I haven't seen much devastation.  I understand that just because I don't see rubble everywhere, that doesn't mean that people weren't extremely devastated by the storm. But I'm saying that it's encouraging to see that the city picked itself up, dusted itself off and is continuing on without missing more than a beat or two. It's a resilient city and everyone seems to be in good spirits.  The energy here is very positive.

And the weather today is actually gorgeous; the best weather I've ever experienced in Houston.

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