New Orleans to Texas
Trip Start Mar 25, 2013
24Trip End Apr 21, 2013
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Wake at New Orleans check out can be as late as 12 8am
Drive to Barataria Preserve 30 min 11:30am
Drive from New Orleans to Alexandria 3.5hrs 2pm
Drive through to Gladewater 6pm
Shallow Creek RV Resort 5261 Texas 135 Gladewater 75647 us 1 903 984 4513
Monday 8th April - New Orleans through to Gladewater Texas
We were all up nice and early about and whilst Wendy went and did some washing and drying at the parks facilities the kids went for a swim, there was a nice hot spa bath that they enjoyed which was no doubter much nicer than the freezing cold pool which they went from one to the other like typical crazy kids who seem to be immune to the cold water
We had this morning to do some more wandering of the streets of New Orleans and bought some souvenirs and I bought another book - that makes 5 now, this time it's a book about the aftermath of Katrina. You will remember Katrina hit in 2005 and it took about 5 years for New Orleans to recover. The French Quarters was left pretty much untouched but the surrounding areas were flattened and there were over 100 lives lost. The book is called "1 Dead in the Attic" which was used as a reference to signage that were placed in in front of houses to indicate the status of human toll within each house. There was an old retired wharfy who was stuck in his 3rd floor attic, left with just a can of juice and a bedspread and unfortunately the floods got him, hence there was a sign on the front of his house saying 1 dead in the attic, it such a compelling read which you all should read when i get home.
There are lots of old cemeteries - one near where we stayed called St Louis Cemetery which is over 300 years old, it is in pretty much total ruin apart from recent attempts to restore certain parts, many of the haunted New Orleans tours take place here - I went for a quick walk and took some pictures and overheads a tour guide talking about a lady who struggled to win a legal battle only to pass away before her settlement of 36 million dollars - this money went to the state
The houses are just amazing and the use of wrought iron is most noticeable, everywhere from gutter plates, bins, downpipes and of course balconies. Most of the houses or rather building in and around the French Quarters are 3 stories high and have so much charm, you could quite literally take photos all day.
The shops are also very nice, especially the book shop we went to, it was only 45 years old but looked much older, I could have spent hours inside just looking. I also went into a Record store, Jack and I wandered around 2 levels of vinyl and did find some Yello records - all of which I already had but it had been a long time since i had an opportunity to wander through and flick through vinyl records.
We wanted to get back by 10:30am to checkout - we could then either do some more walking around of get an early start on our pending 6 hour drive to Texas. So we returned via Cable Car which was a nice treat and something a little different for the kids - even though the kids and Wendy had been to Melbourne as a port stop on one of their many cruises and been on a Melbourne Cable Car the kids didn't remember so it was like a new experience.
It felt far safer walking the streets in day time too, all though there were remnants of the prior nights, many of whom had found somewhere to sleep like in the middle of the side walk or someones driveway, and yes there was a bit of a stench to the area which from my understanding is just part of the parcel
We were back before the 11:00am checkout time and were on track for our next part of the road trip. We hit the road and were onto the I10 west at 11:00 and passed over the massive bridge crossing the Mississippi River - the same bridge we were looking at when wandering the river last night wondering what it was, we were not even aware at the time last night that beside the french quarters where the paddle steamers were was in fact the Mississippi River so we got confirmation of that, and it sure is a big river although traveling on the way here we crossed much bigger river systems.
The state of Louisiana is massive and we were were not expecting to cross the border until near the end of the day.
The roads were pretty poor and made of concrete, at each section there was a change in the level of road which meant the RV was just bouncing all over the place, the speed limit had also now increased to 75 mph, which was just too fast in my mind so i reduced the speed to make the drive a little safer.
There are bridges that go for about 10 miles, they just seem to go on forever over swampy areas, it just seems incredible how much swamp land there is
The other thing we noticed were all the roller coater type over passes which just seem to rise above way too high and have an element of danger to each one, the lanes are narrow and one accidental misjudgment would cal for a massive drop over the bridge to certain death, these appear out of nowhere and sometime you wonder why they did it and there was solid ground that could have easily supported the road, but not here they rise like 5 stories high and seem to just balance on these little skinny poles just dangling in the sky.
For 5 hours there wre no rest stops - this was the single most disappointing thing as the fatigue plays a huge part in having a safe drive and with nowhere to pull over to freshen up and stretch your legs it became quite tedious. We filled up with fuel before leaving but within a couple of hours needed more fuel to ensure we had enough to get us to our destination, luckily we filled up at the next available exit next door to a Popeye's food outlet, it was lucky as this was the last petrol stop I saw for the entire remainder of the trip. Although the roads improved they were just so long and straight and the country side is very nice it doesn't change all that much.
Within the whole state of Louisiana there was just a single road side rest stop which had been closed, we kind of got the idea and as such needed to take a break and pulled of down a random exit hoping to find somewhere else to park, we end up driving for miles through some nice country side on this very small country road - probably not designed for RV's, but it didn't stop other drivers from overtaking or pulling out in front
We had one lady pull onto the road from a T intersection only to just stop dead in the middle of the road, her truck was stopped across the road so she took up both lanes, she just stopped, god only knows why, but she beckoned us to go around her - there was hardly any room to do so but we got passed only to see that she then turned around and started to follow us, why she didn't just make a normally left hand turn and drive like a normal person is beyond me. Another time we crossed a very narrow bridge with a warning sign as to how narrow it was, despite having arrived to cross the bridge well before another huge ute, the ute thought there would be enough room for both of us and just screamed straight at us with no consideration to slow down or perhaps to wait for us to pass, as such I was within centimeters of hitting to side rails, this was a reminder of the disney worlds rides we had been on but just a little to real to want to experience again, this seems to be the normal for these people, when they are in their cars they are like Jekyll and Hyde and Wendy had rightly pointed out, very considerate outside but in the car it seems there is no one else for them to even see. Anyway we arrived at the first available road to turn around as we were obviously not going to find somewhere to pull over to rest, low and behold it was a dump station - not the nicest of places to want to have a rest, but nonetheless my back was killing me and my fingers were starting to clamp up from holding onto the the steering wheel that i just had to stop, so we asked the man at the dump station if we could stop outside, he was very nice and assured us we could stay as long as we wanted - well that was only going to be minutes, there wasn't any likelihood we were planning on spending the night although I think he perhaps though that may have been our intention
We succumbed to McDonalds as Lilia was begging us for days to have some, I wasn't really keen for Maccas as there are just so many options but what the heck.
By this time it was about 6:pm and we were within an hour or so from making it to the Texan border which seemed to take forever to reach, so we got back on the highway and went for the last leg of todays drive and made it to our RV place at about 7:30pm.
Once we found our sopt called Shallow Creek RV Resort we discovered that the reception area had closed at 6:00pm, there were many available spot but you cant just take any old spot as it was likely people had reserved spots just like what we had expected to be the case for us, how wrong we were.
Wendy went down to see what information they had left - there were 3 pieces of paper stating that there were only 3 available spots for late arrivals, Wendy chose the top one as it shouldn't have made a difference, there was room to fill out your name and let them know which site you had taken so as to eliminate confusion for other guests who may also be arriving late
Anyway that all done now and we are over it and just want to get some rest. We are in a place called Gladewater but there isn't much to see other than heaps of bug RVs and buses so it's pretty much stay inside tonight. The weather in nice and comfortable so it should be a nice easy night.
The kids hit the hay straight away whilst Wendy does some banking and stuff and I start reading my Katrina book, I stayed up far too late reading though and didn't get to bed until around 11:00pm, although if I had gone to bed earlier i would be up earlier. As it stands I usually get up around 5:00 to check the blog if possible or to take photos so I really don't mind.
Well it's now Tuesday morning on the 9th April - we have just over a week to go. it's still pretty dark at 5:00am so I'm update the travel log and will probably have a few coffees before the others wake up. I was going to take some photos of the sky and last night it was the a very clear night and there were so many stars, but this morning there is a little cloud so no photos, just a quick update and a little reading.
We should have some time this morning for the kids to have another swim before we head off to Fort Worth and finally to Childress where we have opted for a night in a Holiday Inn.