The 2011 Trip
Part 11 Bernice, Louisiana
Friday, December 10th, 2010

We departed Camp Journeys End, Ocean Springs, Mississippi, at 0841 Central Standard Time. A nice sunny cool morning with the temperature at 51F the same as when we arrived.


It was a beautiful drive and most of it was over what seemed like endless bridges. One we went over was over Lake Pontchartrain and that lake has several bridges crossing it. We took the I-10 right through New Orleans but saw little of the damage done by hurricane Katrina.



Joan took a photo of one house that had hurricane damage. At least we assume it was hurricane damage. Some of the staff at the Ocean Springs campground claim that some of those camped there had been working in New Orleans on new construction to replace the damage from Katrina. There was some new townhouse construction that we passed. I had visited New Orleans many times over the years and Joan did not want to stop so we simply drove by.



The trucks thermometer stated it was 54F as we passed New Orleans and the local radio station claimed it was the coldest it had been in New Orleans for twenty years. Everyone was wearing a jacket and those with hoods had them up. After awhile we kept telling everyone we dragged the cold down with us. Actually those from Quebec had brought most of it. We told them that we had told those from Quebec to make certain the last one out turned off the lights and shut the door. So many from Quebec are in Florida there are those who believe they all are there. We feel confident there are still plenty left in Quebec.

We drove past a cemetery in New Orleans and Joan took a photograph but it did not come out all that well. One has to be buried in a cement crib because of the water level.
When we reached Sorrento, Louisiana, we had driven 245 kilometres and pulled in for fuel at 1115. The temperature was up to 62F and still a nice sunny day with sunglasses all the way.

We pulled into a rest area at 1236, another 101 kilometres down the road for a snooze and departed at 1325. The temperature was 66F. The rest area we pulled into was different than most rest areas. We went around a series of roads and when we came to the rest area it was serving both sides of the four lane highway. There was little real estate for a rest area, this was big enough so they used it for both sides. Interesting to say the least.

We went over a lot of quite rough cement road around Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and farther north. There was a lot of road work and there were a lot of speed signs especially when we came off I-10 and I-49 and on highway 167. There was heavy traffic around the various cities but outside those areas the highway was down to four lanes and rather nice driving. They seem to obey the speed signs more in Louisiana than anywhere else we have driven lately. Apparently the local police forces are quite strict and this has something to do with it. We passed a few police vehicles with a vehicle pulled over.

The other endless bridges were over swamp and rather interesting. There appeared to be miles of them and one looked down on the trees and the swamp as they drove along. In places trucks were to remain in the right lane and their speed limit was 50 miles per hour. These bridges were four lane highways. Two lanes on one bridge and the other two lanes on another bridge several feet from one another.

We drove another 292 kilometres and pulled into Hodge, Louisiana, for more fuel at 1634. We then drove another 79 kilometres and arrived at Bob's home in Bernice, Louisiana, at 1800.

Bob and I managed our first radio contact when we entered Bernice on 2-meters or 146.52 megahertz to be exact. We were amateur radio operators when we met 48 years ago and this was our first radio contact. You can tell we are old and forgetful. I had purchased a new rig for this first contact as mentioned and Bob had his rig connected to his 20-meter beam rather than his 2-meter antenna. The reception was not the best but we done did it.

This was our longest drive in one day so far in the trip. We managed 717 kilometres.

It was dark when we reached Bernice of course and we felt the road the GPS wanted us to turn into was a driveway so we missed the road. The GPS took us off another road farther north and we came back via a rather crooked road to Bob's home. There have been a lot of changes since our last visit in 1972. One of the biggest is the field across from Bob's home. It was a horse pasture with a few horses and is now full of trees.

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