Sunday, November 4, 2012

11/4 Near Beaumont, TX (East Texas)

I did not get much sleep last night, but I got up early and left Potter's Creek to drive the 280 miles to Beaumont, Texas.  Found the Einstein's Bagel shop and bought my dozen bagels.  They were SO much better than the ones I had gotten at another brand shop a couple of weeks ago and threw out!  Ate two and froze the rest in my tiny freezer.   

There was an amazing amount of traffic on I 10 for a Sunday, even between San Antonio and Houston.  Houston was difficult because of the heavy traffic and a lot of lane changes and turns getting through Houston.  Had to really watch my GPS and lane markers. 

The country west of San Antonio was mostly scrub and desert, and flat.  North of San Antonio where I stayed for five days was hilly, with bigger trees and more grasslands.  More houses, too!  As I drove past Houston, I could feel the humidity get higher and noticed that the trees were bigger.  Lot of piney woods and swampy land that looked much like northern Florida.  One sign of being in the South and out of the desert were the signs for Stuckeys and alligator farms!

I stopped for gas about 25 miles west of Beaumont and almost got swayed into following a sign that said "Beach."  Turns out I am not too far north of Galveston.  Very, very tempting, but I just don't have time now, so I listened to my reasonable self and stayed on my planned route.  I have to be at the Fleetwood factory for warranty work in a few days.  There will be other years when I can spend more time along the Texas Gulf Coast and Lousiana.

I plan to make it to Natchez, Mississippi, by late  tomorrow afternoon and stay in the same place two nights to rest up before tackling the Natchez Trace.  (Also need to get some papers graded so I can pay for this travel.)  The Trace is an ancient Indian trail and a path used by people in the late 1700s and 1800s who used to float down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, but then had to get back upstream before they had steamboats.  All of those feet, human and animal, and their wagons cut the path as deep as 20 feet in some areas.  The modern road that follows the Trace is a two-lane highway that runs 444 miles from Natchez to Nashville with not a single stop light--much like the Blue Ridge Parkway.

I drove the Southern chunk of the Trace back in the late 90s when I was making marketing trips for General Physics and visiting GM plants in the south.  It was a teaser, so I am looking forward to spending three days driving the entire 444 miles.

Got two weeks of laundry in the park laundromat, so as soon as the dryers are available, I will get stuff dried and put away.  I really need at least two weeks worth of clothing for times when it is hard to find a laundromat.  (Not only do I have to find a decent laundromat, but I have to find one with a big enough parking lot for my big vehicle.  Hard to do sometimes.)


  1. awww, maybe you'll make the beach in 2013. as you plan for the future and make natl park and state park reservations, plan for longer stays.
    so many great places to stay for a long time at each.

  2. Will do that, although probably not next year. Got a lot of places to go and things to do.