Destination: Lafayette KOA, Scott, LA via New Orleans
Route: US 98W, FL 281N, I-10W,
New states: Mississippi, Louisiana
We finally made the right turn to head west! And thanks to that stationary front, we enjoyed more rain. With Google Maps providing the directions, our route includes FL 281N and we pay a $7.50 toll to travel 1.5 miles. We knew we would be on a toll road, but weren’t expecting to be subject to highway robbery.
We join I-10W, which takes us out of Florida and right back to Alabama, then into Mississippi. It is amazing how smooth a road can be without frost heaves. Our romance with I-10W quickly hit rough spots in Louisiana, but nothing we couldn’t tough out. We are looking forward to our lunch stop with our friend Serene, who moved to New Orleans 9 months ago. We chose to meet at City Park because of the large parking lot available and the relative safety during day light hours.
Driving to City Park is eye opening. It is shocking how parts of the city clearly haven’t recovered from Hurricane Katrina (2005). The dichotomy of adjacent neighborhoods is striking. The roads especially reflect the hardships of New Orleans. We struggle to find a direct route to our meeting location in City Park due to road closures; those that we did travel on were in such disrepair the concrete had turned to gravel.
Serene is kind enough to drive us to Brown Butter Southern Kitchen and Bar a restaurant serving southern style food. There is no way we can find parking for Abby and trailer in the city streets. Dave is thrilled to try the poutine sandwich. (If you are unfamiliar with poutine, a trip to Canada, specifically Quebec, is highly recommended to get this delicious frite dish smothered with cheese kurds and gravy. Just devine.), Serene orders a pimento cheese sandwich, and Jess has the buttermilk chicken and waffle sandwich. Alex decides to apply his culinary license to create an open faced sandwich by stealing one of Jess’ waffles.
After a leisurely lunch, we return to the RV so we can push on to our destination for the night; Serene has a long night at work to report to. On the road again, I-10W, even in its poor condition, is a relief from the streets of New Orleans. This relief is short lived because I-10W quickly becomes a teeth-rattling, bone-jarring road where the concrete joints are emphasized every nine feet. We drop our speed to 45 mph from to ensure that we arrive to the KOA mostly intact. Genuine relief is felt when we arrive at the KOA. The unexpected speed reduction has added significant time to our travel day.
The Lafayette KOA is technically in Scott, LA and is only 0.1 miles from I-10; a more careful inspection of the map would have revealed this and we may have selected a different campground. The sites are very cozy, typical of what one would expect from a commercial campground and small enough that large rigs may have trouble getting in or out of their assigned spot.
Our spot is near the laundry and restrooms. Even though we have been on the road less than a week, Jess decides seize the opportunity and wash our accumulated dirty clothing. Bathroom facilities were clean and there was hot water and plenty of water pressure. With New Year’s Eve came the fireworks set off by the other campers. Rain, now welcomed with open arms, arrives to puts a stop to the fun. Well done rain, well done.