US Road Trip 2017, Day 2

Today started as all great days on the road tend to, at the Waffle House! Do love a nice greasy Waffle House breakfast. It’s how I can tell I’m below the Mason-Dixon Line.

Once it got rolling, I was off to tour NASA Johnson Space Center. I got there directly behind a huge group of little kids. It’s the way of such things. As for NASA, I enjoyed it quite well. The staff are extremely helpful. This way helpful today with the looming bad weather. I was able to get out on the tram tour to the training complex before the thunder and lightning shit it all down. We did have to skip the rocket garden due to the lightning. That was fine with me, I have been to Kennedy Space Center a couple times already. I know what the rockets look like.

Having toured all the tours and watched all the films I wanted to watch, I was off. …. to the gift shop. Can’t leave without a shirt! That, would be wrong.

Back on the road, I was headed east. The trip up through the coast and towards Beaumont was very nice. The whole stretch of road was road I e never driven before and I enjoyed it very well. The whole way was quite green. I’m not sure what I was thinking it would be like, but it was very green. Even the area around Baytown that was obvious oil town USA was green and the water was blue. All the waterways encountered on the drive looked in good health. There seemed to be very little evidence of the coastline pollution the news channels are always going on about encountered during my driving. It seems the oil companies are doing good environmental works, even if no one wants to admit it.

For full disclosure, the section of I-10 from Beaumont to the Louisiana border was a roller coaster of intersecting and diverging sections of highway, pretty much all of it under construction, that kept you completely awake. I mean UGH! 

Coming into Wallisville, I spotted the  Wallisville Wild Bird Rookery out of the corner of my eye. Dropping onto the next off ramp, I backtracked back down the frontage road to the USACE sign and pulled in. The marshy area was pretty, with lots of swamp grasses, moss covered trees, and the like. There was a medium sized white bird (stork or some such bird) out in the middle of the open area. He looked pleased with himself, so I left him be. 

Moving on with my eastward march, I continued to Louisiana. Being hungry, I decided to stop for the day in Lake Charles, LA. Lake Charles is a town based around the oil industry and the refineries are everywhere to see. Contractor pickup trucks are also parked everywhere you look. It’s a working town. 

On the way into Lake Charles, I spotted a sign for the Golden Nugget casino. I figured, why not stop. Walked in, double my money, walked out before I could change my mind. Yup. It took all of 40 minutes. 

Dinner was at a restaurant called Steamboat Bill’s. it was pointed out to me by the hotel desk lady. She said that everyone said good things about it. I too will say good things about it. The Cajun fish plate was good, as was the atmosphere of the place. And, the staff was very friendly. 

The hotel for the night is the Best Western Bayuo Inn and Suites. It is on Route 171, north side of I-10. Price was right, and the room is excellent! 

That’s about it for Day 2. I’m having a good time. You should get out and go as well. 

Everybody loves Waffle House.

A life sized Space Shuttle, on a life sized airplane. 

The real Apollo 17 capsule. 

The USACE Trinity River Waterbird Rookery. Taken from the observation platform. 

It was a nice enough casino. Had a pretty good sized gaming floor. 

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