Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023

Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023
Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Walk Around Florida Here We Come - Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Pitch black outside is when we left our place in San Antonio, Texas, at 6:30 a.m. A long driving day is in store for us: about nine hours without stops. The prettiest part of our day was sunrise. We both thought of the adage, "Red sky at morning, sailor take warning." Susan took a couple of photos of the sunrise as we drove, but she didn't send them to me yet.

The directions are pretty easy. Get on I-10 east and keep going until Baton Rouge. Take I-12 east and hook back up with I-10 east. That way, we missed the traffic going to New Orleans and cut about a half hour off of our time if we had taken I-10. 

The day went smoothly enough. The worst part of the drive was all the road construction on I-10 and I-12. Both Susan Medlin and I had our driving skills tested on narrow, bumpy lanes through construction zones! We also did our share of cursing at 18 wheelers. 

We stopped for lunch at the Louisiana Visitor Center where we had just crossed the state line from Texas. I had cut up apples, cheese, celery, and we had a couple different kinds of crackers which we carried over to a picnic table. It was rather chilly outside. Susan went back to the car to get her coat. 

As we were walking to the picnic table, there was a sign warning about snakes. So, of course, I looked for some, but thought they were probably starting to hibernate. Wrong! I saw a skinny black racer-type snake on the sidewalk. A picture would have been worth a thousand words, but my hands were full with our lunch baggies. I swear that snake JUMPED in the air. In my whole life, I have never seen a snake jump like that. Wow.

There was also a warning sign about alligators with a drawing of a big, ferocious one when we pulled into the rest stop at the visitor center. Thank goodness we did not see any of them!

Louisiana Visitor Center/Rest Area.

Louisiana Visitor Center/Rest Area.

Louisiana Visitor Center/
Rest Area.

Picnic tables at the rest area.

After lunch, we continued on, you guessed it, I-10 east. It wasn't long before we saw a sign that said I-10 was closed ahead. I briefly saw the sign, but didn't have a chance to read the whole thing. 

In a few miles, by the Atchafalaya Visitor Center, we saw flashing lights on the westbound side of I-10 on the causeway over the swamp. People going eastbound were slowing down to a crawl to see what was going on.

It looked like a big semi carrying a mobile office or a big generator was blocking one lane of traffic. The other lane was blocked by four to five big tow trucks loaded with the crumpled vehicles that had been in the wreck. The freeway had been closed for a couple of hours by this time, according to the Louisiana Department of Transportation's website. The back-up westbound was ten miles. People were out standing on the freeway because there was nowhere for them to go until they re-opened the freeway.

I-10 Westbound on the causeway over
the Atchafalaya Swamp. Total standstill!

We had the most traffic today going through Baton Rouge at about 2 pm. It seems like no matter what time of day we go through there, the traffic is bad. No wrecks, just lots of slow traffic.

The Mississippi River at Baton Rouge,

The bridge over the Mississippi.

At 4:30 pm, we pulled into our hotel in Biloxi, Mississippi. The rooms are very nice. It was dinner time. 

Across the street from our hotel and right on the beach was a seafood restaurant called Snapper's. That's where we ate. Our meals were very good and the view was awesome. 

Our table looked over the boardwalk,
the beach, and the Gulf of Mexico.

Susan Medlin at Snapper's.

Me at Snapper's.

More Gulf of Mexico views.

Someone put chips on the boardwalk
and the seagulls cleaned them up.

It was a seagull feeding frenzy.

These photos are inside Snapper's. The photo on the left shows the original restaurant before Hurricane Katrina. The photo on the right shows what was left of the restaurant...basically the foundation. On the wall, the blue paint shows how high the water was. When they rebuilt, they put the restaurant on stilts. This high-water line is on the new building's second floor!

Susan showing how
high the water was.

The West Biloxi Boardwalk.

Reminds me of Alfred Hitchcock's 
"The Birds."

After dinner, we retired to our rooms and will meet at 6:30 am for breakfast at the hotel. We plan to do the 10k Biloxi Volksmarch tomorrow morning at 7:30 am. Then, we head east on I-10 again. It will be another six hours to get to Daytona Beach, Florida, our destination for this year's Walk Around Florida.

Good night, all.

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