A Travellerspoint blog


Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama to Florida

sunny 78 °F


Several days have passed since writing my blog. Shortly after leaving Fort Worth I stopped at a Travel Center for fuel. Waiting at a traffic light to proceed into the Center a semi-truck pulled next to me. As the light changed he swung left to turn to the right, clipping my passenger side mirror & breaking the support shaft. "Pop" it went, and the mirror head was hanging by two wires. I proceeded into the Center where I cut the 2 wires removing the hanging mirror head. After fueling I faced the challenge of driving through Dallas-Fort Worth traffic without a passenger-side mirror. Fortunately, I have a rear camera and two side cameras but they do not take the place of a mirror for a quick glance. Hugging the right lane as often as I could I made it out of Dallas to Tyler, TX and on to Rusk, TX, my destination for the night.

A cute story. Upon arriving in Rusk I got lost trying to find the campground. Spotting a fire station I stopped for directions. One of the firemen on duty said I will take you there. He led me from the station in one of the fire trucks (a small one, not the ladder truck!) about 3 miles to the KOA. That is small town hospitality! The couple who checked me in at the campground are participants in a program called, Workamper. I was aware of it but this is how it works. An individual or couple who owns an RV can offer their labor as a camp host maintaining a recreational facility in exchange for a free campsite plus wages. There are hundreds of participating campgrounds, State Parks, National Parks throughout the country. Work requirements are usually 15 hrs. a week with contractual periods of 2 wks, a month, two or three months, or a season. Its very flexible and something I might consider. It sounds like an adventure for another year or two.

From Rusk I drove on to Lake Charles to visit my sister Carol & hubby Larry. I arrived at 3:00 pm to get caught in a traffic jam. It took 2 hrs. to travel 9 miles to get to Carol's at 5:00 pm! I-10 traffic is insane with the construction work going on. Carol had prepared a 'home-cooked' meal for us and we enjoyed catching up on family news. The next day we had lunch in the downtown district of Lake Charles, Very Charming! That night, again we ate out, this time in a Cajun restaurant. Good food, and spicey, too. I shared my mirror dilema with Larry & Carol. Larry & his son, Troy are mechanically inclined. To surprise me they took a trip to the hardware store, bought a couple parts to cobble up a temporary solution to my mirror problem. And it worked! The next day I got out my roll of duct tape and taped it to reinforce their work and now all is good enough to get me home. Then I'll get a mirror replacement. Duct tape & Larry and Troy to the rescue!!

My next overnight stop was Biloxi, MS Elks Lodge, a place I had visited in the Spring. Nice facilities and friendly people. Driving on I-10 is cluttered with semi-trucks. After crossing the AL-FL stateline I began to notice the effects of the recent Hurricane Michael. For nearly 75 miles from Pensacola to almost Tallahassee there were literally thousands of trees either uprooted or broken off about 20' from the ground. Road sign and billboards were lying on the ground and buildings were collapsed. This was viewed from the highway so I can just imagine the damage I couldn't see. The breadth of the damage zone is what surprised me. Naturally, I arrived in Tallahassee in 5 o'clock traffic but managed to find the Elks Lodge without difficulty. The club had a Halloween Party which we observed, and accepted their invitation to join in their buffet dinner. It made for an enjoyable evening.

Today, my goal is to reach Sarasota for an overnight, then drive on to Estero on Sunday (about 1 1/2 or 2 hrs.).

Unless something exciting happens in the next day or so this will probably be my last blog entry for this year. It has been a fun experience for me and I hope your vicarious travels with me have been enjoyable. At trip's end I will have traveled approximately 12,450 miles and visited 13 different states, plus Canadian Provinces of British Columbia (BC) & Alberta. BC only to cross the US/Canada border to get to Alberta & Banff, Lake Louise, and Calgary. In this whole process I accomplished my goal of 3 summers ago to visit all the lower 48 State Capitols. The United States is truly America the Beautiful.

Posted by dixter 05:40 Archived in USA Tagged home headed

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