We got up without an alarm around 7 AM and got ready to leave by 9:00. When Bob walked Auggie this morning, he took a picture of this Jeep which had 15 ducks on the dashboard.
We have one duck, but let me explain the #DuckDuckJeep game. Someone started this game a few years ago and this is how it works. You get a small rubber duck and attach a tag that reads “Nice Jeep! You got ducked. Have a great day! Share a pic on Facebook #DuckDuckJeep.”
When you see a nice looking Jeep, you place your duck on the Jeep in secret for the owner to find. When they find it, they pass it on to someone else and so on. I made myself about 8 ducks and started passing them out last year. We usually do this while we are traveling to the surprise of the owner of the Jeep. You are encouraged to go to Facebook and post a picture of your Jeep wherever you may be. This game was created to show some “ducky love” to other fellow Jeep owners. Quack a smile! It is a modern form of the duck, duck, goose game. (Jeep owners also have an official “Jeep wave”.) When Bob returned from his walk with Auggie, we finished the last few things we had to do to get ready to leave. Leaving the campground we picked up I-12 to I-10. Traffic was light on this Sunday and got lighter after leaving Baton Rouge. I-10 took us over the Mississippi River on a huge bridge. Bob does not like tall bridges! He drove in the middle lane.
We got a great view of the Baton Rouge shoreline from the bridge and looking down the river from that vantage point.
The highway from Baton Rouge to Lafayette is a scenic drive with very few billboards and off-ramps. It hardly seemed like an Interstate and was a two-lane highway lined by trees going west. The traffic going in the other direction was hidden from us. It made for a very beautiful drive.
We crossed this 18.2 mile raised highway over the swamp in the Atchafalaya Basin and the Atchafalaya River. The Atchafalaya Basin is the largest swamp in the United States.
Autos had one speed limit and trucks had to travel at a slower speed. I haven’t seen those kinds of signs in years.
We made a rest stop at 10:30 between Lafayette and Lake Charles. As we headed west, we noticed that the diesel prices were coming down. We had a few sprinkles off and on as we passed under a dark cloud or two. We saw what looked like rice fields along the highway and after some research, we discovered that the rice fields are grown for crawfish foraging as well as rice that they use in their southern dishes like jambalaya and gumbo. They use a lot of rice!
The skies started to cloud up as we traveled west and we hit more light rain and wind, but the rain didn’t last long as we drove out from under it. We drove on this very steep, vertical bridge over the waterways near the city of Lake Charles. It was STEEP!
Bob said his blood pressure probably shot up to 200 on that bridge. He also commented that all guardrails should be as tall as these. Down below, we could see blue tarps on roofs everywhere. After some research, I found out that the Lake Charles area was hit by Hurricane Laura, a Cat 4, in August of 2020 and 6 weeks after that it was hit by Hurricane Delta. Then in October of 2021 it was hit by a tornado. There was a lot of evidence of damage around the area. We finally crossed the Sabine River and over the border into Texas at noon.
We noticed a decline in the road conditions, as well as the diesel prices, once we entered Texas–$4.69/gal. and lots of road construction.
We continued on I-10 to Texas Highway 146. Texas also grows a lot of rice in this area and has lots of rice fields and storage areas to keep it.
To avoid going through Houston to get to Galveston, we took Highway 146 south toward our destination of Galveston. (I guess I didn’t realize that Galveston was an island.) We could have approached Galveston from the east, but then we would have had to take a ferry across the inlet from Bolivar to Galveston. We called ahead and found out the wait to get on the ferry was an hour, so we decided to take the longer route around Galveston Bay and approach Galveston from the north to avoid the wait. After making one more rest stop to recheck and confirm our route, we were ready to finish up our last 70 miles. Unfortunately, we would have to go over 2 large bridges taking the northern approach, but it was the only way. The road conditions improved and we finally got rid of the construction. The sun came out, but the wind persisted. The skyline for towns around Galveston Bay was filled with chemical stacks. What an ugly sight!
We approached our first bridge over the Jacinto River which is very wide at this point creating more like an area of small bays. What a spectacular bridge it was! It reminded me a lot of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay in Florida.
Can you tell I really love this bridge? It was 4 lanes wide with beautiful yellow spires, but unfortunately Bob doesn’t really like to drive on tall bridges so he wasn’t enjoying it as much as I was! If it wasn’t for the crosswind at the top, it would have been an easier drive. From the top, we could the river below and the refineries that lined the coast.
Highway 146 South took us down the west side of Galveston Bay. We got hung up in traffic in the town of Kemah where we could look out from the top of the bridge toward Galveston Bay. There was a lot happening in this area, but the skies were very hazy, probably from all the smokestacks around.
We crossed the last bridge over Galveston Bay which brought us onto the island of Galveston.
Once we reached the Gulf of Mexico, we drove south along Seawall Blvd. for 4 miles. We had a crosswind all day long and were reminded of that by the huge waves that were rolling into the beach. Even so, there were quite a few beach-goers here on such a blustery day.
We found our destination for the next 3 nights along this highway at Stella Mare RV Resort.
We were met by a friendly man who guided us to our site #191. We were set up by 3:30 and in no time enjoying a well-deserved cocktail.
It was a LONG drive, with lots of construction, but at least it was Sunday and no one was actually working. The crosswind at 18 mph was definitely a factor all day, as well as the poor quality of the roads in Texas to add to some stressful driving for Bob. We were both so happy to sit still and NOT be moving. The campground is not right on the beach, but only a short drive away. All the sites are paved and spacious, with grass for Auggie. Each one has a cute little park bench that converts into a picnic table.
The rates are amazingly $47.00 a night for a very classy campground. All the streets are paved and nicely landscaped.
We enjoyed our cocktails before dinner and relaxed after the drive. After dinner, we all took a walk around the campground which is filled with mostly huge 5th wheels and travel trailers. There are very few buses. We watched some TV before calling it a night. ( I was tired and had a few pictures to take before posting this blog. Sorry about the delay. My camera was working much better today thanks to Bob.) We have lots to see and do in Galveston in the next two days. Bob picked me this flower! What a nice way to end a long day!