We set an alarm last night for the first time since we left on this trip. We had a long drive of 305 miles ahead of us today (about 6 hours) to Lafayette, LA. We left at 8:45, 15 minutes ahead of our planned departure time. The drive today took us west on I-10 to Mobile, Alabama, New Orleans, and Baton Rouge, LA with a stop for fuel and DEF. It was a mostly sunny morning–very humid with little breeze. We crossed the Alabama border shortly after being on the road.
Traffic was light as we headed for Mobile. We crossed the bridge over Mobile Bay where the ocean was like glass.
From the bridge we got some great views of the USS Alabama docked at Memorial Park.
We have toured this beautiful ship before, but it is always awesome to see. We could also see a ship being constructed within a building for Austal. Austal is a global defense contractor and a designer and manufacturer of defense and commercial ships.
Further down the road we came upon the George Wallace Tunnel which would take us under the Mobile River.
It freaks me out anytime I go through a tunnel under a body of water. I don’t know why. It just does!
We traveled the short distance through the “foot” of Alabama into Mississippi.
We planned to stop in Mississippi for fuel and DEF. (Diesel was 10 cents per gallon cheaper.) Bob says I need to explain DEF so I’ll try. Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is injected into the exhaust catalyst to break down noxious gases to improve emissions. Only newly diesel engines require DEF. We located the Pilot Station on our Pilot app, but once we exited I-10, we made a wrong turn and put ourselves into a position where we couldn’t turn around , so we had to disconnect the Jeep, back the bus out of where we were, and reconnect before heading to the gas station. The fueling and getting turned around set us back about 30 minutes, but everything worked out in the end. The rest of the drive was pretty uneventful. The terrain changed to forested areas and tidal marshes once we got away from the metropolitan areas. We crossed into Louisiana and headed for Baton Rouge.
As we crossed the bridge over the Mississippi River, we entered Baton Rouge.
From the bridge, we could see the barges and tugs navigating up and down the river.
It was quite an interesting and beautiful waterfront in Baton Rouge.
This elevated bridge over the Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge went for 18.2 miles making it the 2nd longest bridge on the interstate system in the U.S. It crosses over the Atchafalaya Basin and was quite an architectural feat for 1971. The Atchafalaya Basin is the largest wetland and swamp in the United States.
The road conditions got considerably worse in Mississippi. It was a washer board and made my teeth rattle. Then the construction in the last 20 miles made it the ride from hell. Needless to say, it was a long day. We finally arrived at our campground, the Lafayette KOA, at 3 PM.
They gave us site #309 which was located in the new section of the campground.
All the sites are situated around a lake. This new section is beautifully maintained and has lots of grass. We set up doing the bare minimum for our overnight stay.
It was very hot when we arrived so we were anxious to get the AC going. Auggie wanted to stretch his legs outside, but he didn’t stay out there long due to the heat. We relaxed for awhile before dinner. We saw dark clouds approaching and Bob checked the radar to see the rain coming. I took Auggie for a quick walk before the rain arrived. It had cooled off a little and there was a nice breeze blowing. He really enjoyed running in the grass. We sat out the rain inside and had dinner. Auggie got his evening walk around the lake after dinner. The full moon was up early tonight.
We are back on the road tomorrow headed to Longview, Texas–a trip of 287 miles.