Grabbed coffee and checked out of the hotel. My car was waiting for me and I gassed up in Lee Circle.
I was hoping to take a scenic route. Someone had recommended SR-90. I found it, but it didn’t take me out of town and I wound up driving around downtown NOLA for too long before I resigned to take I-10 West to Texas.
Here’s the thing. I-10 is a twin span road over swamps and bayous. The open space around the road wreaks havoc on my peripheral vision and depth perception and makes me dizzy. Adrenaline rushes up my torso and flies out of my fingers. I break into a sweat.
It’s like I have to drive with blinders on. I skooch way down behind the steering wheel and slow my speed way down, too.
That was the way I drove across Lake Pontchartrain.
It’s how I drove to the NOLA airport.
It is how I began the drive to Texas.
Eventually, my thoughts turned to the civil engineers who designed and the workers who built this road. What a marvel! They risked life and limb getting down into those croc-infested bayous and swamps to get concrete footers in place that would hold this road up.
Just thinking about THAT really got my adrenaline going!
I’ll also note that driving over five weeks across all of these roadways and bridges brought me up close and personal to the infrastructural challenges we face nationally. Yes, I encountered considerable construction along the way and back, but we’ve got hundreds of thousands of miles of degrading roads and bridges to fix.
Eventually, many miles later, I turned a corner on my visual/driving condition!
After Houston (where I accidentally got on the turnpike to downtown instead of bypassing it altogether…), I headed north on a state road to Georgetown. I arrived by early evening, where I dined and stayed the night at the home of long-time friends.