Thursday, March 11, 2010
The morning was dreary and I drove in and out of light rain showers throughout the day.
Crossing Louisiana was very interesting, even though I stayed on the interstate nearly the whole way. The highway became a very long bridge at one point, traversing swampland. The bridge seemed to go on forever , I’d guess it was 15-20 miles long. As I reached the end, the trees diminished, and flooded fields appeared on either side of the road. I thought they must have had some very heavy rain recently, until it finally dawned on me that I was looking at rice fields.
Before I go much further, I want to quiet any concerns anyone has about my stopping at rest areas after dark. While it is not my intention to drive after dark, sometimes I must while looking for a place to stay at nite. Starting even on Hwy 95 south, the rest areas have had signs stating they have on-site security at nite. The only time I had to stop at nite was in Louisiana. I pulled into an empty parking lot – it wasn’t late, just dark. Another Volvo pulled in beside me with a man at the wheel. I stayed put while he got out and started walking. From the way he walked, I could tell he was as stiff and road-weary as I was. So I got out, too. I was careful, not fearful (Thanks, Holly) I stayed alert, and when I left the restroom, I checked the area – by then several more cars had stopped, and the security man was on patrol. So all was well!
The closer I got to Texas, the scragglier the trees got. Gone were the majestic Live Oak Trees, and the start of cattleland. I stopped at the Texas welcome center, and checked with the attendant about my intention to cut south on a secondary road to avoid Houston traffic. She said it was a perfectly good route. I looked around and picked up some brochures for San Antonio, and New Braunfuls (a German heritage area). While scanning the display, a word jumped out at me!!! CHOCOLATE!!!! I picked up the brochure for a shop in Fredericksburg, TX, ---- and it is on my route! (More or Less)- so I’ve added Fredericksburg to my itinerary. It also has an “artisan” coffee and tea shop, 2-3 vinyards, old churches, and much more.
I passed Beaumont, and picked up the road south. It was about 30 miles of nearly straight road, very light traffic, through grazing lands. At the end of 30 miles, the road made a sharp right turn, and I was driving along the gulf once again. The surf in places was only feet away from the road, and there was evidence it flowed over the road at times. There were no buildings in the area – just wide vistas of water on one side and beach grass in the other.
When the houses finally started appearing, there was a lot of construction going on, and the newly constructed homes were perched upon 2 full stories of pilings. Usually with storage and parking space on the ground, open deck on the 2nd floor, and the house above that. Everything was on pilings, even the brick elementary school.
I finally arrived at Port Bolivar, and caught a ferry to Galveston, and from there to Alvin, arriving safely at Joy and Clyde’s home about 6:30 p.m.
Until next time