Started here:

New Hope, Mississippi
State Capitols · Southeast Tour
Day 3 - Thursday, November 23, 2006

Graphic supplied by Sue. Thanks!!

Ended here:

Baytown, Texas

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T o d a y ' s    N a r r a t i v e
Today is Thanksgiving Day. Please pause for a few minutes and give heartfelt thanks for your many blessings.
And please remember the many fine folks overseas fighting for our freedom.

This day page is a bit more graphic intensive than usual. My apologies to those who do not have high speed access. Hopefully the page contents will make up for the longer download time.

This trip has been a real disappointment for The Navigator. Yesterday, to hear him tell it,I tossed all the maps he prepared out the window. And today he missed the boat.

Perhaps I should explain. The Navigator has a real "thing" for ferry boat rides. This penchant started last March right here in Louisiana. Go read about it. Then there was the hour and a half ferry ride from Lewes, Delaware to Cape May, New Jersey just this past September. More info here.

So when The Navigator was mapping our route and saw a way to fit in a ferry ride, naturally he took advantage of it. To the right is a part of the DeLorme navigation map for Louisiana. Click on the map for a larger view. The orange line is the route designed by The Navigator. This part of the route is about 50 miles West of New Orleans. Really out in the middle of nowhere. You can see the route follows a dotted line across the Mississippi River. That's the ferry route. (FWIW, St. John Catholic Church, see the pix below, is right across the street from the ferry.)

There is an earthen levee along the river here. And there was a road up to the top of the levy but a sign said the road was closed. So I drove around a little, looking for the ferry. Finally I drove up the road, even though it was closed. Found the ferry operation! Or what was left of it. I could see where the ferry would dock and where the cars would drive onto the ferry. But there were no signs anywhere and no people around either. And no ferry boat. So I drove back down the closed road.

I saw a guy mowing his grass and I stopped and asked about the ferry. He said Hurricane Katrina sank the ferry and that he hadn't see the man that ran the ferry since.

So The Navigator, so disappointed, worked out an alternate route. If you look at the map above, you'll see that if we drove West on Hwy-18, we would come to a bridge just past Wallace. So that's what we did. There's a pic of the bridge below.

The Navigator sank into some kind of doggie depression. It took three Greenies to bring him back to normal :)

Now I want to back up a little and write some about New Orleans. We drove through New Orleans last May. Please go read the day page about this.

So, here we are, six months later and, I'm sorry to report, little has changed. There's still miles of houses destroyed. There's still storm debris stuck up in the trees. There's still junk and trash everywhere. And, despite what you may have heard on the news, there are still FEMA trailers everywhere. Very depressing. I scratched my memory real hard and was able to find the house that belonged to guy I spoke with last May. Except the house is gone. There's just a concrete slab left. And the guy's fifth wheel trailer was gone, too.

I tried to find the Day's Inn I wrote about in the pictures on that day page but couldn't find it. I couldn't remember the exit number. I tried a couple of exits without success.

The Wal*Mart was still boarded up and the Sam's Club looked the same. I stopped in another Wal*Mart near there to buy some groceries. While there, I asked the store manager about the boarded up store. She said the store will be rebuilt. But since many of the store's customer's homes were destroyed and because a lot of them had left town that it doesn't make sense to repair the store now. Sounds logical.

We're currently camped in a Flying J truck stop in Baytown, TX. We'll reach Austin tomorrow. That's as far West as we'll go. Then we'll turn East for the ride home.

I hope everybody had an absolutely fantastic Thanksgiving Day!

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T o d a y ' s    P i c t u r e s
Click on a pix for a larger view
I guess by now everybody knows who this pic is for :) What ever happened to "minimum wage burger flipping" jobs. Hmmm... let's see. Major tax cuts lead to a booming economy, a 4.4% unemployment rate and deficit reduction. Now, with just about everyone employed who wants to be, the employers are having to get creative to attract new hires. End of economic rant :) This pic was taken out in the boonies West of New Orleans. Sugarcane. Mile after mile of sugar cane for as far as the eye can see. And the land is flat here so you can see pretty far. Reminds me of wheat and soybeans driving through Kansas or Nebraska. Sign for the church in the next two pix.
Interesting architecture. And very old. There is a cemetery next door that has raised burial vaults. The water table is so high around here people can't be buried in the ground. More burial vaults. Some are literally falling apart. I noticed one dated 1803. Instead of a bridge, imagine a ferry :) See the Narrative above for the story. Believe it or not, the capitol of Louisiana in Baton rouge. Please ignore the small dark gray dog and the ugly white van. Being Thanksgiving, the place was deserted. But there were some folks in the parking lot from Texas and we got to talking. I said I couldn't believe the capitol looked like a tall office building. A guy said, "Me neither. Looks like an insurance building." A woman said, "It needs a big Wachovia Bank sign on top." LOL!
Bonus pic, the Governor's Mansion. Right down the street from the capitol. Another sign for June.
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T o d a y ' s    S t a t s
Begin: 8:30am
End: 7:30pm
Net (includes stops): 11 hrs, 0 mins
Begin odometer: 170,626
End odometer: 171,082
Net miles today: 456
Average MPH: 41.5
Total trip miles: 1,219

Gasoline: $50.00
     Price: $2.059/gal
     Bought in: Jennings, LA
Food, ice, etc.: $11.00
Lodging: $0.00
Other: $5.00 - Internet access
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S i g n    O f    T h e    T i m e s
Contributed by Linda in SC
Scenario: Jeffrey won’t be still in class, disrupts other students.

1973 – Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by Principal. Sits still in class.

2006 – Jeffrey given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. School gets extra money from state because Jeffrey has a disability.

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T o d a y ' s    T h o u g h t
From Unknown, where ever he/she/it may be:

Success is like wrestling a gorilla. You don't quit when you're tired. You quit when the gorilla is tired.

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T o d a y ' s    J o k e
From Sue in KY:

Murphy showed up at Mass one Sunday and the priest almost fell down when he saw him. Murphy had never been seen in church in his life.

After Mass, the priest caught up with Murphy and said, "Murphy, I am so glad you decided to attend Mass, what made you come?"

Murphy said, "I got to be honest with you Father, a while back, I misplaced my hat and I really love that hat. I know that McGlynn had one just like mine and I knew that McGlynn came to church every Sunday. I also knew that McGlynn had to take off his hat during Mass and I figured he would leave it in the back of the church. So, I was going to leave after Communion and steal McGlynn's hat."

The priest said, "Well, Murphy I notice that you didn't steal McGlynn's hat. What changed your mind?"

Murphy said, "Well, after I heard your sermon on the Ten Commandments, I decided that I didn't need to steal McGlynn's hat."

The priest gave Murphy a big smile and said, "After I talked about "Thou Shall Not Steal," you decided you would rather do without your hat than burn in Hell, right?"

Murphy shook his head and said, "No Father, I remembered where I left my hat after you talked about 'Thou Shall Not Commit Adultery'."

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