dragoness_e: NASA F-15A #837 (NASA Starscream)
Posted a day late because I was too tired last night. The Quality Inn in Amarillo had a really good "Continental" breakfast, too.

Amarillo, Texas to border of new Mexico



Flat, flat, flat. Wind farm to the north of the highway for several miles. Huge pylons supporting three-bladed props, with each blade nearly as long as the pylon was high. Painted white and can be seen for many miles. They farm something up here. Terrain is deceptive; it appears flat, but close-up, there are depressions and low hills. It's mostly farmland, interspersed with some cattle range. Passed three wind generators close by the highway, not far from a ranch where they had cattle corralled, and cowboys on horses tending to them.
Amarillo to New Mexico, with LOTS of pictures )
dragoness_e: NASA F-15A #837 (NASA Starscream)
I woke up early--too early, and couldn't sleep, so I checked out of my hotel, partook of their very nice "continental" breakfast, and hit the road by 6am. ("Continental" breakfast doesn't usually mean "cereal, cook-it-yourself waffles, and hard-boiled eggs in addition to the customary pastry, juice and coffee")
Tyler to Amarillo )
dragoness_e: NASA F-15A #837 (NASA Starscream)
Finally got out the door this morning at 9am. I wasn't in a hurry to leave, for all that I ran around like a maniac yesterday packing. Daughter went to work, though, and that left only my spouse to say good-bye to.

I managed to miss most of the Baton Rouge morning rush-hour, which was good--after crossing the Mississippi River, I was in new territory. It looked a lot like the old territory. Most of the highway from the west side of the river to Lafayette is causeway over the Atchafalaya River basin, which is mostly swamp. Miles and miles and miles of cypress swamp alternating with open marsh and the occasional bayou/river.

I was annoyed to discover that I'd forgotten to recharge my iPod after the last trip, which rather limited my listening time. I resorted to the local radio stations; there's a surprising number of classic rock stations in the heart of rural Louisiana. Go figure.

From Lafayette I swung north on I-49 towards Shreveport and I-20. I-49 takes one the length of rural Louisiana: flat, planted with crops, planted with tree farms. Duller than ditch water. Ditch water at least has interesting microorganisms if you look at it through a microscope. I did pass a tractor cutting grass by the side of the road, and there was a huge flock of egrets or ibises following it around--eating things flushed out by the mower, no doubt. The occasional heavy rain livened things up a bit.

Shreveport is a moderate-sized city, and has decent highway design: there are bypasses for those of us who just want to go around town, not into it. Took the bypass over to I-20 and headed west. West from Shreveport is Texas!

East Texas does not look like a "whole other country". It looks like north Louisiana, which is to say, pine woods and kudzu. However, Texas meant "within 2 hours of crashing in my hotel room", so that was all good. There was a bit of unintended comedy when the lady at the front desk gave me the same room as someone else, then had to straighten both our keys out. I had a hot bath, which made me feel immensely better, went out and picked up a few odds & ends I forgot, had dinner, and am now crashed.

Oh, that rain I've been driving through? Has been flooding East Texas. I read a local paper; apparently, there's quite a few rivers at record high flood levels (not to mention flooded towns/neighborhoods) thanks to the non-stop heavy rain. Floodwater: It's not just for Louisiana any more.

Estimated Distance Travelled: 420 miles.

Tomorrow: Destination, Amarillo! I drive through more rain and the prairies of Texas. Hopefully I find a camera I want, too. I need something to take pictures with.

July 2017

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