|Didn't get to see Longwood because we wanted to check out the Gulf Coast 2 years after Katrina. Can't do everything and we are needing to get home because medications are running low.
The drive down to I10 on US 61 was nice. Very little traffic but that all changed in a big way just north of Baton Rouge. As the traffic picked up the road got worse. We noticed some RVs turning north onto 61 from a county road. Jim commented that it must be a shortcut around Baton Rouge. He was right.
For the past 5 weeks we have driven on a variety of roads and most were good. A few (like I20 in Mississippi) were rough, but I10 in Louisiana was the worst! In Baton Rouge the road was busted up with large holes in the concrete. We hit one so hard that Jim's shirts (hangers in place) jumped off the closet bar. My cereal bowls had bounced down onto the dinner plates and the salad plates were standing on end at the front of the shelf. I did some fancy hand work to keep them from tumbling out when I went to open the cabinet door.
All the way along I12 we bounced and bumped our way along afraid that we were going to bust a tire or an axle. We saw lots of parts that had fallen off cars all along the roadside. What we didn't see were many other RVs. I guess most knew the shortcut to avoid the dangers of that stretch of interstate. And we couldn't stop at any rest areas because they were all abandoned. Although they were shown on the map, the state of Louisiana had removed every sign and blocked off the exits. The entire experience was as if neglect had taken over that long, straight stretch of highway.
Mississippi was another story. The interstate was newly resurfaced and the welcome center had been refurbished and was inviting. Kind of like returning from the Twilight Zone to reality......
We decided to leave the interstate behind at Gulfport and take US 90 along the gulf. We got turned around a few times. The roads nor the streets were marked very well. We were lost for a little while and couldn't find our way back to the interstate when I spotted traffic just south of us. We had found the beach road.
It was a beautiful, sunny day. Not hot. The beaches were empty. We stopped in one parking area to take pictures. The boardwalk that runs along the beach is still broken up. You could tell that sand was being added to the beach. It wasn't very wide at all. Across the street was evidence of the storm's fury. FEMA trailers are still being used on nearly every street. Few homes have been completely restored. There were many vacant lots with nothing but a foundation remaining. Many comerical properties still unusable. But right in the middle of it all was a beautiful new playground, brightly colored, blooming in the whitesand....Aah...life goes on.......
The bridge is still out on US 90 so we returned to the interstate at Biloxi and headed toward Mobile.