Welcome to The Jungle

So I got a little lax in my travel log. After surviving Texas there was little energy for writing more. Louisiana was a bit more gracious (after the roach motel) and provided us with more po boy than we could fit in our ever growing bellies.

I will say this about Louisiana, even though 90% of my known and unknown relatives live there: they are worse drivers than Texans. I swear every one of them wanted to run into me. That would have actually worked out though, since both vehicles have been acting a bit rough. The last time we got hit we were given quite a bit of money by the insurance company to promise we wouldn’t sue, completely out of nowhere.

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Traffic brought on by roadwork or by deadly accident? I’m going with deadly accident.

Mississippi and Alabama were a blur, there really isn’t much to them way down near the Gulf.

But Florida… Oh Florida. Y u so big?

The panhandle of Florida is nothing but pines in lines and a whole bunch of nothing. It doesn’t help that we live almost as far as you can go to the other side of the state. We made it 96 miles in before passing out at a rest area for the night. I have a hard time believing it, but I slept like a rock, despite the fact that the van was like a greenhouse.

I awoke to the sound of Haitians. Haitian is a very distinct dialect of French that I only recognize because there was a Haitian church meeting next door to us for awhile. I thought “wow, you don’t hear that out west.” Then I noticed they had Colorado plates. It’s funny where you will run into people.

Once I was awoken from my deep slumber it was a mad dash across the state to get home.

When I pulled in the driveway I swear I heard “Welcome to The Jungle” starting up and a whole band of gorillas scattering out of the yard. Six months has certainly taken its toll on the yard.

The inside wasn’t much better. We left in a hurry and I forgot how bad it was. The stagnant air doesn’t help and there is a layer of dust on everything. I am not throwing my hands in the air about it though. It’s a lot of work but it’s not insurmountable.

I won’t lie. We haven’t completely emptied the cars yet. We had a few favorite places to visit first. Our Chinese buffet, Publix, and Target.all the places Alamogordo and Cloudcroft don’t offer.

Now with well fed bodies and a few local itches scratched we can face tomorrow. As of now that means a two mile run followed by trying to make the yard look less terrifying and making the truck not so scary to drive.

We’ll see if our actions will match up with our desire…

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Texas, So Much Texas

Hugeston…I mean: Houston

“The sun never sets on the vast Texas Republic” or so the saying goes, right?

Texas is huge. Yuuuuuge. So huge it should be divided into three states: West, Central, and East Texas. As it is now you get to mile marker 800 on I-10 and think “isn’t this a bit ridiculous?” only to drive 80 more miles before finding the end of the state!

I can honestly say that I have never driven through this state and thought “Gee, I’d really like to live here.” it’s not that it has no beauty, or that the people are all bad. Well, OK, much of it is bland and the drivers are insane, but it’s not that. I just couldn’t live in a place that takes ten months to get out of. The geography is just too immense.

We made it through. It only took all day, but we survived. One full state down, four to go.

Now to see if we survive this roach motel.

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Texas. Just Texas

Houston

Texas is huge. Too huge. If Texas wasn’t so huge we’d be in New Mexico by now.

I kid. But only slightly. Seriously, why is this state so large?

Day four began with an exorbitant expense. Roof repair tape is not cheap at the only open place in town (no one buys rvs on weekends?).

I patched the roof, got the horde rounded up and fed, cleaned up some of the accumulated trash out of the vehicles, and hit the road around noon.

The roof patch worked for about… 20 miles. Thanks to the blazing hot sun the goo of the tape just kinda melted and the tape began to slide. So much for having a “wide temperature range”. Grr.

I added a few more layers of tape and we proceeded with caution.

Then the license plate began to slip. I swear, everything melts in Texas! Now our plate is tied to the ladder of the trailer with a zip tie and a couple of pieces of clothesline. We look classy.

Texas is not only huge, it’s also humid. And with no ac, it is a sweaty drive. I hung out in a gas station just to soak up the air. A sunset and the cooling of the air it brings has never been more welcome.

Also Houston. Lol no, it’s not THAT big.

We made it to Junction, a town with no phone service. That might be the only notable thing about Junction. The roof needed a bit more rubber cement and a push on the tape. I think it will hold up. I hope.

It’s day five. Lord willing, this is the last day of driving. By tonight our smelly, dirty, bloodshot-eyed, little wagon train should be in New Mexico!

And So It Happens

If there is one state I will be a total tourist in it’s Louisiana.

Across the Mississippi

As soon as we hit the border and I get my Community Coffee at the welcome center, the Zydeco comes on and I immediately begin my search for boudin.

I have roots there. Both my parents were raised there, and on my mom’s side several generations populated the state and gave it it’s Cajun culture. I spent many weeks there in my youth soaking up the heat and humidity.

So yeah, I may have a bit of a bias.

But not all of yesterday was blissful. Not even boudin can fix what happened just before Houston.

I noticed a small bit of plywood layer float down from the sky. I knew immediately what it was. The roof repair had failed and the roof was peeling back in the 60 mph winds. I pulled my wife over and after some frantic discussion we limped along the interstate for three more miles to the next exit.

A new layer of tape was added for temporary measure but the rubber cement would take too long to cure to allow us to drive much further. As much as I make fun of Texas for having service roads, I was very thankful for them last night!

We limped along for 30 miles to the Flying J and called it a night. Hopefully the rv parts place nearby will have a ton of roofing tape. We’re going to need it!