Freeport, TX -> Hattiesburg, MS

Trip Start Aug 01, 2006
Trip End Aug 15, 2006

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Flag of United States  , Mississippi
Monday, August 7, 2006

Roadtrip - Day Seven
Mileage: 608.7 miles (2246.0 total)
Starting Location: Freeport, TX
Ending Location: Hattiesburg, MS

Day 7 started early, at about 6:30am, as Danny was waking up for work. We then worked out the plan for the day, such that he'd try to get me into his work for a tour. We weren't quite sure whether that would be allowed, or whether I'd have to do something particular (like sign a non-disclosure agreement) in order to be allowed in the building. I waited for Danny to call me later in the morning after he had asked the appropriate bosses, to find out that everything was ok, nothing out of the ordinary needed.

So I got the tour of Danny's work. Wow, he gets to work with really expensive and complicated equipment. Imagine the typical chemist / scientist workroom, with all the bells and whistles. Though with all of that, one of the tools Danny uses involves contributing his own eyelashes (so he can use them to manipulate very small samples).

After the tour, I was immediately on the road, and I was determined to make a decent amount of progress towards Maryland. Though about 2 hours in, I found out that I was still really tired from the night before. So I pulled off at a rest area around noon, and took a nap for a couple of hours. It was very effective, because I then was able to be completely awake until after midnight.

On my way through Louisiana, I made very few stops, but I did make a bit of a detour to see Eunice, LA, the longtime home of Heather McElroy. I had heard so much about the city, I figured it would be cool to get an appropriate visual image in my mind. It turned out to be really cool, and I believe gives a better idea of what it would be like to live in Louisiana. Also, the route that was required to get to the appropriate highways was specifically labeled as the scenic route. So there were lots of roads completely covered by trees, churches, farms, etc. About 30 miles outside of Eunice, it started to storm pretty hard. Apparently it was the remnants of Tropical Storm Chris. As I'm going down these backroads, theres treebranches falling from all of the trees looming over the road, and the rain is so hard, I couldn't see even with my windshield wipers on full. This continued for the next hour or so, most of the way leading up to Baton Rouge.

Just after Baton Rouge, I decided to stop to get something to eat. So I stopped at La Fleur Jr's in Walker, LA. It's a small seafood place just along the highway. I ended up ordering the seafood platter. Unlike ordering such a dish in Michigan, this platter had quite a bit of diversity to it. It was a combination of: Catfish, Shrimp, Crab Cake, Oyster, Gumbo, and Frog Legs. This meal was amazing. Not to mention it came on a plate that was literally a HEAP of food. I basically skipped the fries that came with it, and could barely finish the meal (minus the fries). The catfish was particularly good, and you could tell all of the seafood was extremely fresh. Also, the gumbo was very tasty, and I now know what gumbo is! It's basically a stew with shrimp and rice in it. And the frog legs were a bit weird, and very small. After eating them, I can't really understand the appeal to them, because it seems like way too much effort for not much satisfaction.

After my stomach was completely satisfied, I continued on, until several hours after dark, which put me well within Mississippi, just a bit past Hattiesburg. I stopped in Hattiesburg before ending the night to jump online and check my e-mail at a local Best Western. Then I drove a few more miles to a "Rest stop" which is more like "Parking area" as there is no building or bathrooms. It's just a slab of concrete along the highway that consists of largely truckers who have pulled over to sleep. I then slept in my car for the night, from around midnight to 8am.

And now, I'm on the road again, until next time...
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