The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Willy, Harley (back center), and Gretchen

21 June 2010 - Louisiana to Florida

          You could tell that I was excited about my travel because I was up at 0700, way too early for a relaxed, retired person.  I fed the dogs and took them for a walk before unplugging and heading out but decided to drive for a while before having breakfast.  Breaks up the journey and makes sure the dogs get some exercise too.
          One of the interesting areas that you cross on I-10 going east is the Atchafalaya Bayou.  You travel for miles on an elevated roadway that crosses the bayou with a few lakes thrown in for good measure.  It's a 2-lane road going each way and no place to pull off on the side.  Oh, there are a few exits but the first time you drive across there, you really wonder.  There is a great Visitors Center along the way.  It is huge and even has a separate parking area where RVs can spend the night if they want (boondocking of course).  It is separate from the truck parking area which is a real plus.  They even have a cup of coffee and a little museum for you as well as nice restrooms.
          Baton Rouge was the next challenge.  It is probably a very nice town but every time I have gone through, the traffic was worse than in Houston.  It is probably just because I-10 runs right through the middle of it just like I-35 runs right through Austin, another traffic challenge.  Right past Baton Rouge, I took I-12 to cut off the loop where I-10 dips down to New Orleans.  Years ago we pulled another 5th wheel right through the downtown area and parked on a boulevard just past the French Quarter.  Of course, that 5th wheel was really tiny and Dave had no idea where his "navigator" was routing him.  We parked in two metered parking slots and walked two blocks back to see the sights.  Did I mention that it was Sugar Bowl weekend--but I digress (and Dave did recover eventually).
          Once you get past Lake Pontchartrain and back on I-10, it didn't take long to cross Mississippi and even less time to across the small part of Alabama that comes down to the coast.  Both of these states have some really nice rest areas if you time your breaks right.
          I had actually planned to spend another night on the road but I started early and, even with frequent breaks, I made very good time.  When I talked to my son along the road, he was eager to have me get there.  Did I mention that "Hilary" my trusty GPS was doing all the navigating since the fur-kids were in the back seat getting their beauty rest?  Didn't really need any navigational assistance until I was further down the road in the Florida panhandle and had to cut down from I-10 to reach Panama City.  Although I had not been to Panama City before, I had no trouble going right to the house and pulling into the yard.  I actually arrived before the kids were home from work so I just kicked back in my recliner with a soda to relax for a while since it was raining.  By the time they got home, the rain stopped and we did the rest of the set-up.

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