I decided to get off the Interstate and see some Louisiana countryside. So in LaFayette I turned south on US90 to drive through the penisula-ish land southwest of New Orleans. The highway from LaFayette to Franklin was wretched. I’ve driven better dirt roads in our national forests. The speed limit was generally 65-70 MPH but I had to keep it at about 50 to keep from bouncing off the truck’s roof. Louisiana outta be ashamed.
Fortunately the road smoothed out after Franklin and was actually a pretty drive through the swamp forests of south Louisiana. After an even six hours of driving I was safe & sound and backed into a good site at the KOA in West New Orleans enjoying a cold brew.
Pulled into a campground in the woods between Gulf Shores, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida about 4pm after an easy 204 miles drive from New Orleans and a 3-hour visit to the USS Alabama in Mobile. But first, lemme recap the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.
What an awesome place! This is probably my favorite museum of all time. Dad would’ve loved it. It’s informative, creative, compelling. I learned a lot and gained even more respect for the men & women who fought (and still fight) for our nation’s values and freedom. I hope future generations continue to visit and soak up a core of what makes America great. I fear the leftist/snowflake/ineedmysafeplace generation we seem to be raising won’t care about museums like this some day. I fear it, but I pray I’m wrong. One of the really cool things that bring the museum to life are the WWII veterans who share their stories, both on video and in real life. You can talk to them. Gain their insights. Appreciate them. I loved how Sgt. John Emery, 16th Infantry Regiment, U.S. 1st Division, put it:
When you talk about combat leadership under fire on the beach at Normandy, I don’t see how the credit can go to anyone other than the company-grade officers and senior NCOs who led the way, It is good to be reminded that there are such men, that there always have been, and always will be. We sometimes forget, I think, that you can manufacture weapons, and you can purchase ammunition, but you can’t buy valor and you can’t pull heroes off an assembly line.
Today I turned off the highway at the east side of the Mobile tunnel and visited the USS Alabama battleship. Another very cool tour opp. Dang those things are big—and it’s a small boat by today’s standards! Walking through the decks and compartments you can just about feel the war going on around you. Definitely worth stopping in for a few hours if you’re in the neighborhood.
Now I’m hanging at the KOA until Monday, just chillaxing and watching the Masters tomorrow. Then headed to Savannah, probably in a one-day drive. My volunteer gig with Samaritan’s Purse in Jacksonville, AL got cancelled since they finished up their work early. So maybe I get points for my heart being in the right place? LOL. It’s time to throw a steak on the grill…
Just a couple days until I take off on my first long trip. I’ve been hanging at the Vineyards Campground in my home town of Grapevine, dialing things in on the trailer & truck. (By the way, I gotta give the Vineyards a well-earned plug; it’s a great campground run by Randy Sell and his staff.)
My loosely formed plan is to head south & east where I’ll travel through the wetlands of east Texas and on to New Orleans to visit the National World War II Museum. From there I’m headed up to Jacksonville, Alabama to join Samaritan’s Purse in their tornado recovery project there. It’ll be their last week in Jacksonville so by the end of the week I’ll turn east toward Savanna and the Atlantic coast.
And that’s all I know so far. A week-ish of planning is more than I wanna take on. You can get a snapshot of where I’m at on the Log Book pages; more detailed trip notes are right here where you are now.
Now I gotta go find the key to unlock my trailer hitch so I can get rollin’!