Started here:

Aiken County, SC
Missing States I
Day 1 - Saturday, May 6, 2006
Ended here:

Lake Charles, Louisiana

T o d a y ' s    N a r r a t i v e
But first, a general announcement:

I sent an email to a bunch of you telling you about this trip. I was very surprised when I began receiving "acknowledgment receipts" from some of you. It took me awhile to figure this out. I use Thunderbird as my email client (great software; I suggest you give it a try). Apparently the "Ask for a return acknowledgment" option got selected. I do not remember doing this. And would not have done this as I consider the acknowledgments intrusive and rude. So that leaves only one other person who could have done it. You're right, The Navigator.

It took me awhile to figure out what happened. As best as I can determine, that option got turned on when The Navigator sent an email to one of the female dogs he found on one of his doggie porn sites. I accused him of this and he swears up and down he didn't set the option. I noted with interest that he did not deny visiting the doggie porn site nor sending the email.

Several of you are excellent dog trainers, so I put this to you: how can I keep my dog from visiting the doggie porn sites?

And the future, I will make sure that option is not selected before sending y'all an email.

Now, the narrative:

This trip actually started on Friday evening, May 5. We left our volunteer job at Schofield Middle School about 7:30pm and drove to Newman, GA (which is on I-85 Southwest of Atlanta). There, we van camped in a Wal*Mart parking lot. For the newbies to this site, we van camp at Wally World a lot :)

We left this morning (Saturday) about 9:30am.

Later on we got a good look at the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina last August. I must admit viewing the destruction was very emotional. The two pix below are from Biloxi, MS. Traveling West on I-10 I could see tremendous amounts of destruction. Complete shopping centers closed. Windows boarded up. Weeds growing in the parking lot.

A Sam's Club with just the iron superstructure left. Walls and inside gone. Next door, a Wal*Mart boarded up.

As we got closer to New Orleans I-10 runs through residential areas. Destroyed. As far as the eye could see. Block after block after block of houses with blown out or boarded up windows. Many of the houses have a fifth wheel trailer or a RV parked in the front yard. I got off the Interstate briefly and drove into a neighborhood. I spoke with a man who has been living in a fifth wheel parked beside his house since last September. He is fighting with his insurance company about getting his house fixed. He suggested, since I was driving a cargo van with an out of state license plate, that I not hang around. He explained that, even now, there are looters and many of the folks trying to repair their houses are armed. So we left. The devastation was heartbreaking. Pray for these folks.

We didn't get to Lake Charles until after dark. There is a very steep bridge leading into town. As you're going up the bridge you can't really see what's on the other side. At the top of the bridge Lake Charles comes into view. And there are refineries to the left and right of the road. And it's dark and you can see all the lights on the refineries. Very pretty. Reminded me of Christmas lights :)

Now we are camped at a Pilot Travel Center. All the Pilots have Wi-Fi access but for some reason I can't access the web site via FTP to upload this page and the pix. But I can send and receive email. Strange.

Tomorrow we should go through Houston. Next up will be San Antonio where I'll visit the Alamo. Looking forward to that.

Good night.

T o d a y ' s    P i c t u r e s
Click on a pix for a larger view
Before the trip (Friday morning), The Navigator pauses while doing laps in the backyard. His preparation for these trips is amazingly detailed. The Wally World where we camped last night. We parked beside the light post just to the right of the dark blue Dodge Durango. How proudly it waves... this flag is in front of a GM dealership. Pretty. June's first sign.
June's second sign. This Mickey Dees is in Biloxi, MS. I asked the drive through lady about the sign. She said it was damaged by Hurricane Katrina. I asked if she knew when it would get fixed. She replied that the owner had decided to leave the sign like that as a reminder of of the hurricane. Another sign for June. (Sorry about the focus :) This is the office for a Days Inn near New Orleans. See next pic.
This is where the motel proper stood. The owner, who is living out front in a RV, told me he finally settled with his insurance company about three weeks ago and had the building razed so he can build a new one. The office building can be repaired.

T o d a y ' s    S t a t s
Begin: Friday, 7:30pm; Saturday, 9:30am
End: Friday, 11:30pm; Saturday, 9:30pm
Net (includes stops): 16 hrs, 0 mins
Mileage: (includes Friday night)
Begin odometer: 154,295
End odometer: 155,245
Net miles today: 950
Average MPH: 59.37 (mostly Interstate driving)
Total trip miles: 950

Gasoline: $40.00
     Price: $2.629/gal
     Bought in: Shennandoah, GA
Gasoline: $74.80
     Price: $2.729/gal
     Bought in: Boutte, LA
Food, ice, etc.: $15.00
Lodging: $0.00
Other: $7.00 - Internet access

T o d a y ' s    T h o u g h t
From Yours Truly in SC:

As you probably know, there are electrons flying all over the inside of your computer. But have you ever wondered exactly what they're doing?

The answer is here.

Make sure your speakers are on :)

This may take a few minutes to download if you're on a dialup line. But it's worth it.

T o d a y ' s    J o k e
From Elizabeth in SC:

A blonde woman was speeding down the road in her little red sports car and was pulled over by a woman police officer who was also a blonde.

The blonde cop asked to see the blonde driver's license. The blonde driver dug through her purse and was getting progressively more agitated. "What does it look like?" she finally asked.

The policewoman replied, "It's square and it has your picture on it."

The driver finally found a square mirror, looked at it and handed it to the policewoman. "Here it is," she said.

The blonde officer looked at the mirror, then handed it back saying, "Okay, you can go. I didn't realize you were a cop."

N a v i g a t i o n
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