We cleverly avoided the I-10 while getting out of New Orleans, but our cleverness ended there. We got caught up in traffic on I-59 North, averaging about 10 mph until we finally got off at Exit 19 (despite a sign which said the exit was closed except for local traffic and took rural routes. Ironically traffic seemed to improve on I-59 once contraflow ended. Seems a lot of the slowdown came from where they merged back to two lanes.

We knew we needed new tires before taking a long trip, but foolishly we did not deal with this before the evacuation. So we lost a big chunk of tread just past the Alabama border. I drove nervously on the exposed tube through rural Alabama waaay far off our planned route, a combination of bad directions and more foolishness. We finally made it to the Super Wal*Mart in Thomasville. Just under the wire: the last car they serviced today. I had them replace all four tires.

We decided to bunk down in Thomasville rather than press on to Tuscaloosa. Xy thought it would be fun to swim in a hotel pool, but the pool was closed because they just dumped a load of chlorine in it. We snuck over to the hotel across the street and almost got in that pool, but then the weather turned; the temperature dropped and it started to rain. So that didn’t work out.

Then we had a meal at Gaston’s Grill & Hot Bar. Disappointing. Immediately after I stopped at Walgreen’s and picked up some antacid.

The hotel was jam-packed. It sounded like the people in the room above us were staging a judo match or something. But we were tired enough that we slept well.

I’m sure Thomasville has some charm. We took a drive through the historic downtown district and it looked pretty cool. They even have an old-fashioned single-screen theater which was actually showing a film.

But I’ll be glad when we push off for Tuscaloosa this morning.

The most frustrating thing to me is hearing from Michael Homan, who’s riding the storm out, that he’s lost power in his part of Mid-City. If we lose power at our house, we lose two month’s worth of Xy’s frozen breast milk. But I suppose it could get much worse.

  1. Thinking of you all and everyone else down there. Looks like not as bad as Big K, but I’m sure verdict is out until it all passes. I’ll be listened to 870am all night tonight….

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