Thursday, January 28, 2010

Road Trip: Stennis-Pike #1, part 3

(the final part of my Dec. 8, 2006 drive to Stennis Space Center and forts Pike and Macomb).

The setting sun lit my rear view mirrors in orange and pink as I bumped and juddered eastward on US-90. I was hoping at first to take it all the way to Biloxi, potholes or no, but I didn't make it far past the Mississippi line: it stopped at St. Louis Bay, where Hurricane Katrina's surge had toppled the US-90 bridge.

Oh, well. I found a little barbeque joint, had a damn good dinner, then went to K-Mart to look for something to close up the Tracker's rear window. Remember in part one, when I described how I was using fish hooks and bungee cord to hold the window up? Here's where that's important.

Remember that it was in the upper 20's when I left Pensacola, wind chill around zero, winds out of the west. That was daytime. Now the temperature was dropping and that wind was coming from behind. There were sizable gaps between the window and the rest of the Tracker's convertible top. Before I was even over the Mississippi line, I had my coat zipped up to my chin and was wearing my gloves. The truck's heater was full-on, but the heat wasn't going very far out of the vents before its own ass got cold.

So I went shopping. My inner MacGyver led me to get a map, some cheap shoelaces, and a pair of yellow terrycloth towels (the Tracker's yellow, that's why). I rolled the towels into long cylinders, bound them, and then tied them to the bungee cords so that they blocked the gaps as much as possible. Worked pretty well! [look in the Pike-Macomb group] Still cold as hell.

The map? Duh. Used it to find a way to I-10.

I made a short stop in Biloxi. Wanted to see the lighthouse. It's not very tall, but it's right in the middle of US-90, a short distance from the casinos and clubs. By now it was 9 p.m., but Biloxi was still working to recover from the enormous damage wrought by Katrina a year before. In the short distance along Highway 90 between the lighthouse and the wrecked bay bridge, I could see blocks and blocks of damaged or demolished homes and businesses. But right up on the waterfront, there were some open casinos with their attendant nightlife.

I headed back up to I-10, stopped briefly at Mobile's Battleship Park, took a few more pictures, and headed home.

Some Biloxi and Battleship pics are in the "Nighttime" group at my Flickr page.

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