August 9, 2007

Today started at 5:30 AM. It was dark, and the Austin air was filled with the sound of night insects. Heading southeast towards Houston, a gray, thick morning fog accompanied me past cattle ranches and towns with BBQ stops and qwik markets. Fortunately, the bulk of the traffic flow was headed north, towards Austin, so my route from Austin to Houston was fairly easy – easy, that is, until I hit Houston.

As plain as I can say it, Houston sucks. The traffic is abominable – even worse than Atlanta, if that were even possible. I can’t begin to tell you the machinations they have you go through simply if you wish to travel from local route 290 to I-10 east. It was atrocious, and I can’t believe people do that on a daily basis and call that living – ’cause it’s not.

Once you get out of Houston and are able to head east through Beaumont and the Louisiana border, everything is fine. But I will admit, this leg of my route was a bit more than I expected to chew off – all told, 8+ hours and 1000 miles on the car since yesterday morning. While I enjoyed the trip to and from Corpus Christi, having to do that then follow it up with a trip from Austin to New Orleans might have been asking a bit much. Even for me.

At any rate, it’s great to be here in New Orleans, my favorite place in the whole wide world. I arrived here around 4 PM, took a two-hour nap, cleaned up, then headed over to Mulates for a wonderful feast of zydeco gumbo and a very blackened Tilapia. After that, a nightcap at my absolute favorite hotel, the Omni Royal Orleans: two lovely glasses of Pinot Grigio at the Rib Room Bar. Life, frankly, does not get better than that. If I had my choice, I would set up residence at the Omni Royal Orleans – that is, if all possible options of a solitary monastery life weren’t available.

Tomorrow morning, it’s back on I-10 – this time going west, so I can hook up with Highway 51 along the Mississippi River, which I will plan to follow all the way north to Southaven, Mississippi and a reunion with my friend Pat. Together we will try to take every blues bar in Memphis by storm. I can’t wait to spend a day alongside the river I love and feel so deeply in my soul.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:21 | Comments (0)
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