Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mississippi Gulf Coast

Odometer 28240

Trip meter 173 miles

Tuesday night's weather forecast was for possible severe weather overnight with winds kicking up before we went to bed, so we pulled in the slide-outs on the motorhome to make ourselves a smaller target, and have less canvas in the breeze. The report predicted the cold front would hit at 3 AM and with rain, thunderstorms, and more wind- and they were right almost to the minute. Not being used to storms like this one, I lay awake for about and hour, Joan was awake much longer, while it passed over. Tornadoes were only a slight possibility for our area, and as predicted they went north and east of here.

Poche's RV and Fishing Camp and Breaux Bridge, Louisiana were very nice, but we were anxious to get back to the Gulf coast. After breakfast we secured for travel and headed for Breaux Bridge to see about filling our propane tank. On thing we've noticed in our travels is that propane can be hard to find, and when you do find it, it's not usually at a gas station. The folks at Poche's told us we could get propane at L&L Tire so we set a course with the trusty iPad and motored off into town 6 miles away. We came up on L&L located on a busy 4 lane road and immediately my alarm bells went off telling me this didn't look good. I couldn't see a propane tank, and couldn't see a circle drive. We had about a second to decide go-no go on turning in, and we decided we needed the gas so I turned in. Fist thing we noticed is that there is no curb cut at the (gravel) driveway so we crashed over a lowish 3" curb and into a pot-holed gravel area with many 3-4 foot puddles of standing water. Next thing we noticed was that the driveway dead-ended at the rear shop. Still no propane tank in site. I parked in the gravel drive and walked to the front of the tire shop. This is no Les Schwab, none of the employees looked up, said anything to me, even looked interested in helping me, so I went to the office and a very nice young lady there informed me that I'd have to unhook the car and back over behind the back shop where the propane tank was, and she'd have someone come fill my tank. Not to belabor the story here we did eventually get the tank filled, get the car hooked back up, and gingerly made our way back out to the street where we blocked two lanes of traffic as we slowly negotiated the curb. We had decided earlier that we would take interstate 12 east to the Mississippi state line- a good choice seeing that it was grey and windy, and nearly noon.

Many of the highways we have been on are poured concrete with slab joints that set the coach to thudding one-to the next. Today on I-10 was no exception. We were not on the interstate very long before we started to cross the Atchafalaya Basin, which we later found out is the largest swamp in the United States. Get this, the bridge is 18.5 miles long! Each direction had it's own bridge so there are two parallel bridges elevated 20-30 feet out of the swamp.

We couldn't help but wonder what the cost per mile was for building this structure. The construction was first class with large concrete pilings and extra wide concrete roadway. Very nice!

Just before we entered Baton Rouge, we crossed over the Mississippi River- a first for Joan! She has never been this far east, having traveled to Minnesota when she about 13 years old, and seeing, but not crossing the river.

The recent rains both here and further north, have kept the river full. Grey skies make for grey pictures (sorry)

Baton Rouge is just over the bridge on the east bank of the river, since we were not stopping here this time, Joan snapped a photo of downtown BR from the moving bus.

Around 1:30 in the afternoon we were getting a little peckish, and the small town of Walker looked to offer some fast food fare of interest. We had salad and a sandwich at the Jack and were able to circle around behind a grocery store and get back to the freeway entrance without having to unhook again.
Louisiana is not a wide state- only 250 miles wide at this latitude, and since our whole trip today is only 160 miles to Waveland, MS, we soon saw this welcoming sign.

Soon after entering Mississippi, we turned in at the welcoming center, a large, gracious estate house on manicured grounds, where we picked up maps and brochures for our explorations.

Within minutes we had arrived at our RV park, Buccaneer State Park. This park was devastated in the Katrina hurricane, and got wet again in hurricane Ike. They have rebuilt and are just now re-opening.

The blog wouldn't be complete without a sunset picture. We took a quick site seeing tour after setting up the motorhome, we drove the car up the beach a few miles. Can't wait til tomorrow- sunny but cool in the 50s and 60s.

Jeff and Joan

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