we stayed up late saturday night hanging out over at jack and sue's, so we slept a bit late. so we didn't take off until about 10am. i had to go by work, then we went to eat before hitting the road. le peep in the village (near where i work) had what appeared to be a long wait, so we went to the house of pies on kirby. there weren't that many people waiting, but the cooks were putting food up way faster than the wait staff were taking it to the tables...there were plates on top of plates and the manager was kind of freaking out. so they didn't seat people for awhile. we eventually got seated and had a good send-off meal.
then we hit the road, where the first thing i did was go to far up 59...maybe that's not a good start. :) we ended up going down 90 until just after nome, then taking 365 down to port arthur. once we got on 365 we started to see a lot of fallen, broken trees and lots of twisted pieces of sheet metal roofing and other stuff sat out by the road. people were also burning a lot of trash and wood they'd cut up from fallen trees. port arthur still had a lot of visible effects from the hurricane (torn up buildings, non-functional traffic lights, etc.). not having a good map of port arthur, we made a couple of big loops through various parts of town until we finally found 82. we were thinking we'd go along 82 if it was open, since it runs along the louisiana coastline. (here's where mithras can opine that it's so i could mock the hurricane victims.) 82 was open until you hit the bridge at the border, where there were police or gov't people or something, and it was only open to local traffic. so we had to turn around and go back around up to i-10. we went over a couple of huge bridges, and from up there you could see a lot of blue tarps on roofs.
it was already dusk by the time we were going through bridge city, so we decided to stop in lake charles. we weren't sure what the helmet laws are in louisiana so i was planning to stop at the welcome center (where we could get a new state pic as well)...but the entrance and exit were barracaded. we then made it lake charles...where all the hotels were booked. (rita plus katrina.) when i asked how far we'd have to go to find a room, two people said probably 100 miles east or west. i was worried we were going to have to find a manger to sleep in, and i don't think my brother or i had plans to miraculously deliver a halloween baby. fortunately, after i explained our dilemma they let us stay at a best western if i signed a paper saying i would only stay for one day.
then we went to find a local place to eat. (why eat at chains when you're on a trip?) it was around 8:00pm or so, and pretty much everything was closed. it looks like the town is still disoriented from rita. we eventually found a place around 9pm called deangelo's. it's a chain, but they only have about 8 places, mostly in louisiana. it was pretty good.
i'm now at the best western, where they provide free internet access. but no shampoo, evidently. oh well. we did have a good breakfast provided by the restaurant, and got to talk for awhile to a manager about the status of things in lake charles. some things open, some not. lots of trash still waiting to get picked up.
today we should make it across all of louisiana hopefully. we didn't cover too much distance yesterday.