Two Women in a Car: California to Alabama Day Four

… not to mention the cat. This is the fourth day on a road trip I took 30 July to 05 August 2016. Dear friend and fellow writer Debra found a new home in Alabama. Traveling in her Toyota Yaris with her and her cat Loki across the United States was an adventure I’ll never forget.

Seguin, Tx to South Baton Rouge, LA
02 August 2016
446 miles

Quick breakfast in the Super 8 lobby and then on the road again. Side note, laundry, even the thin stuff, will not dry overnight in humid weather.

imageLoki likes her window sills as you can see to the left. She returned to her travel kennel in the backseat with no fuss. She is now resigned to the nomadic life.

We made it to the Louisiana border about 11 am. No long security corridor this time! It’s easy to leave Texas.

Good thing we stopped in Katy just before Houston for Starbucks. We found none in Louisiana.

imageOn a gas stop, we discovered this great farm stand and bought Louisiana black grapes and small peaches.

We crossed Louisiana with only minor slowdowns till we reached the environs of Baton Rouge. At 4pm, we hit horrid traffic on the bridge spanning the Mississippi River at the start of the Highway 12 loop. Took a long time to get to the bridge and then a geological age to cross it. Long enough to recount every bridge disaster movie we’d seen and time to meditate on our probable deaths. After we crawled onto the interstate, we realized the possibility of the congestion lasting the next 84 miles was very real. We crossed three lanes of traffic to make the last exit. By now it was nearly 6pm, so we checked into the first South Baton Rouge motel we found.

Little did we know that torrential rains would hit Baton Rouge with historic level flooding. A strange feeling to read this headline days after being there!

CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam said Baton Rouge received twice the amount of rain in one 24-hour period than it normally receives in the entire month of August. The average for August is 5.82 inches, he said.
Some rainfall totals have exceeded 20 inches. Livingston has received 21.29 inches from late Thursday until early Saturday, he said. (CNN, 12 August 2016)

Reports of looting prompted officials in Baton Rouge Parish, La., to establish a curfew amid flooding that has killed 11 people. (UPI, 16 August 2016)

For those families affected by grievous loss, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

After settling Loki in the motel room and walking 45 minutes in muggy heat, we had a nice lemon pepper trout at Cracker Barrel. We tried to take a shortcut on the return, but had to backtrack. Now 8pm, it was even more muggy and hotter. It didn’t help that Debra recounted a horror film where a sentient road killed off a family.

I spent $2 drying the clothes from yesterday that were still wet. Laundry room was blessedly air conditioned.

Early to bed so we can beat the morning traffic. Tomorrow: Mississippi and Alabama or bust!

Trip report respectfully submitted by,
Michelle K

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About mlknowlden

In 2011, I left engineering to write full-time. Between the years 1992 and 2011, I’ve published 14 stories with Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine that have featured the hypochondriac detective Micky Cardex and two stories that did not. The 1998 story “No, Thank You, John” was nominated for a Shamus award. Many of these stories have been included in anthologies and translated in multiple languages. With Neal Shusterman, I’ve also published a science fiction story for the More Amazing Stories anthology (Tor) published in 1998 and co-authored with Neal Shusterman an X-Files Young Adult novel (DARK MATTER) for HarperCollins in 1999 under the name Easton Royce. For Simon & Schuster in July 2012, we published an e-novella UNSTRUNG in Neal's UNWIND world. I have graduate degrees in English and Electrical Engineering.
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2 Responses to Two Women in a Car: California to Alabama Day Four

  1. We only made the move from Texas to Alabama, and I don’t regret it! We live on the Tennessee border, it’s beautiful and the community is so incredibly close!

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