Posted by: sunnyharvy | November 26, 2013

Westward Ho!

I haven’t posted in a week because we’ve been a little busy trying to make some headway in a westerly direction while dodging a huge weather front and having some fun…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

We left New Orleans, LA bright and early ( for us that’s 10:30 am) to head through Bayou Country along routes 90 and 82 (definitely NOT Interstate highways!). Got off the highway for lunch and came upon this gas station before stopping for lunch along the Teche Bayou in Franklin, LA. Except for the occasional former plantation house, this is pretty typical architecture for the area.

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Right across the street from where we parked to have lunch in haRVy, we saw this sign and just had to investigate. The curator was more than pleased to show us their collection of Civil War artifacts, including many from the Union Army. We got quite a lesson from him. Not sure we agree with his opinion on everything, but very interesting none-the-less.

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We camped that night near Abbeville, LA at the Palmetto Island State Park, which proved to be a delightful surprise. Very quiet and pretty. The “island” is not land surrounded by water but a large grove of palmettos surrounded by fields and swamps. A much appreciated benefit at all the Louisiana State Parks is free use of the laundry services. It’s amazing how much something so simple can make such a difference.

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The next day we drove along the Gulf where the oil industry is very much in evidence with derricks, both on and offshore, tank farms, and pipelines running seemingly everywhere. We took a brief ferry ride (free for seniors) across one of their shipping channels and arrived in Port Arthur, Texas (our 15th state!) late afternoon. Not liking the feel of the area, we ventured on to Baytown where we parked overnight at Walmart.

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The drive through Houston on Interstate Route 10 was very hectic and stressful even though we timed our passage through to occur after rush hour. Very happy that Al was at the wheel! It got more civilized as we got closer to San Antonio, but we are both glad we usually choose to avoid major highways. Arrived at that evening’s home for the night, the Texas Aviation Museum at the Stinson Airport with plenty of time to view their collections, take a bike ride around the area, and watch several private plans and helicopters take off and land before dark.

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That night we learned about the horrendous weather heading our way. There didn’t seem to be any way around it, but we decided to take roads further south to our next destination to the west – Big Bend National Park – where we hoped we might dodge the worst of it. We were not entirely successful at doing so, but you’ll have to wait until my next post to read all about that.

We have experienced lots of ups and downs in temperatures over the past few weeks and experienced another one while in San Antonio. One evening we are working up a sweat while riding our bikes in tee shirts and the next morning we’re bundled up in hoodies and jackets because the temps had dropped into the 40’s. Unfortunately, this cold front was going to stay with us for a while.

Although the forecast called for rain, we felt obliged to visit The Alamo while we were in San Antonio and it proved an interesting diversion from worrying about the weather.

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After our visit to The Alamo we headed a few miles west to stay at our first military campground at Lackland Air Force Base. Al is allowed to do this as a retired DOD employee. Not a beautiful place, but we were happy to take advantage of the hot showers and laundry facilities.

On the road again to Del Rio, we saw this sign – “Hitchhikers May Be Escaping Inmates” – not that we were planning to pick any up, but I guess that’s good to know! This portion of our journey featured lesser traveled (more relaxed driving) roads through the wide open spaces we expected in Texas. Stayed the night at Loughlin Air Force Base for free since we couldn’t find anyone to register with. This close to the Mexican border we felt secure within the confines of a military base.

We are now enjoying all that Big Bend National Park has to offer and that’s a lot spread out in a space larger than the State of Rhode Island. A full report will follow. We can only access the Internet by driving to the campground store so it’s a bit less convenient.

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Responses

  1. Hola! Solamente em San Antonio! No Riverwalk this time, huh? Always surprising to see The Alamo in the middle of the downtown area. A real preservation statement.

    • Rain and cold temps prevented us from enjoying the river walk, although we would have enjoyed walking and peddling some of it I’m sure. And yes, The Alamo is definitely a preservation statement. Interesting to learn about its entire history.


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