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Friday, January 3, 2014

New Blog Series:From Sea To Shining Sea Part One


While lying in bed one morning my husband said to me, “how about we go to Houston to pick up the trailer I found on line and hook up to take it to Oregon?” 

Houston, as in Texas?” I asked in shock.

“Yes.  We can save $5000 by driving to Texas instead of buying that unit locally.”

Getting cleared to leave took four days (mail pickup, yard maintenance, security system, notification to key family members.)  And we took off Sunday, Sept. 20.

We headed at first out in our truck on highway 20 to Montgomery Alabama where we visited with some friends one night, than continued the next morning.  We did ask if they could come with us to Oregon, and funny thing, they could not, due to a family project obligation.   But they made us a lovely breakfast and we returned to the truck, which was packed to the gills with anything one might need when traveling across country.

Monday we headed to Baton Rouge.  Yesterday I85 and today I65 have been wonderful roads.  Trees are just starting to turn fall colors and the weather is hot and still at 97 degrees.  Alabama had an interesting exit for us:  Near Slapout, in Deatsville, we saw a lot full of tees where somebody had nailed pots and wash tubs all over the tree trunks. A  number of 1930 style houses on tilt with disaster mobile homes permeate Slapout.  Cotton fields were ready to harvest throughout the state despite the year long drought.

We learned there is a Creek Indian Reservation in Alabama, as evidenced by the huge casino that said so.  I understand that any local Creek gets a monthly stipend from that casino’s income.  It depends on how much Creek DNA each individual has that determines the amount of the stipend.

I didn’t know Chickamauga is so near Mobile and the Civil War Battle Site.  I-65 continues on a huge raised bridge which seemed to be about 25 miles long. over swampy wetlands.   We crossed the exotic Lizard Creek.  It joins the Mobile River on its way through the swamp to the Gulf of Mexico.  That whole “bridge” is lined with evergreen pines and deciduous oaks, sweetgum, and cypress trees growing in the swamp.  Our swath of freeway made me feel like a gliding bird.  Obviously there was nothing else out there including billboards.  Maybe a couple of lost alligators.

Mobile Bay is about 35 miles wide according to my map with the farthest end having towns with names like Citranella, Satsema, Daphne and Theodore, which makes me curious.  Mobile is where Mardi Gras originally was held before New Orleans stole it and made it notorious.  One barely makes it through Fat Tuesday in time for Lent.  Maybe Mobile actually escaped?  Anyway it looks like Florida.  I don’t know what I expected but it wasn’t that.

We joined I-10 West and the road and traffic were so good we felt blessed.

I passed a sign saying Pascagoula, Mississippi, 24 miles just past the Mobile Greyhound Racetrack.  The track reminded me that seeing a greyhound race is on my bucket list.  But it is closed on Monday Mornings, alas. 

The road became horrible and we bounced all over the place for too many miles before we pulled off onto an outlying road on the other side of Biloxi, Mississippi. We stretched our backs and let our little dog run around.  We’d stopped where a brand-new structure stood out in the middle of nowhere and a sign pointed toward it, with the words, “Hurricane Shelter.”  The place looked like a fort, but had a ball field and stadium.

So my dog is doing her business and I’m following her to bag her evidence then looked around that building for a trashcan.  My husband said, “This is a high school.”  Eek.

We left forthwith along with our evidence.  Before we got back to the freeway, we noticed all the trashcan from the businesses along the sparsely populated road were at the end of driveways.  But they were standing open so I made a doggy deposit from my window.  Ask for a trashcan and presto! One appears.

The most recent hurricane had been Katrina, but we saw no evidence of her violence during the seventy mile stretch of  I-10 through Mississippi, nor the tip of Lake Ponchartrain at Slidell, Lousiana either.  Finally the weather has been more kind to Louisiana than I expected, thank God.

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