Friday, December 4, 2015
POST 1487; ORANGE, TEXAS; 12-04-15
At first light this morning, tried to drive US 90. It turned out to be impossible. After searching searching searching, found it. Maps are of little use as US 90 is often incorporated into I-10 ... then simply disappears; only to resurface again some many miles further West. This is because of new road construction projects.
Mostly, drove I-10 to the TEXAS border until US 90 appeared. Drove US 90 to the village of Orange, Texas where we stopped at DENNY's Restaurant and FLYING "J" Truck Stop, gathering VERY few pictures for today's Blog.
I-10 West of New Orleans travels 100 Plus miles on concrete CAUSEWAYS over endless SWAMPS. One stretch over swamps is 18 miles long with NO side roads.
The above roadway is elevated about 20 feet in the air over continuous swamp waters...not all that scenic.
Looking at a map of the area, one finds South of I-10 endless swamp with not a single alternate road in sight. US 90 would normally be in such a place, but there is NO place to put it.
So, much of I-10 is also called US 90.
More of I-10 on the Causeway.
...and more of the same; I-10 Causeway.
Finally reaching US 90 in TEXAS, came upon this miniture WALLMART standing alone in farming country miles from the nearest tiny village. I stopped, filled up with GAS ($1.77 per gallon), and went inside to find Wall-To-Wall FOOD . nothing but things to eat !
In the entire US of A, never before encountered such a thing !
TEXAS, too, is empty SWAMP with few roadways.
I-10 Bridge spanning one of the few ivers emptying out of the endless swamp into the Gulf of Mexico.
We plan to follow which ever roadway is available (near the actual Gulf from Orange - where we now are and will spend the night - Flying "J" Truck Stop) all the way to the City of BROWNSVILLE. From Brownsville, we will walk and roll North near the Rio Grande River, following the MEXICO border to EL PASO, where we will take secondary roads adjacent to I-10 thru New Mexico, Arizona, and then, California to the City of BAKERSFIELD.
We have walked little so far. With TEXAS in front of us ... and having more secondary roads instead of Interstate highways, we plan to walk much of the rest of this journey.
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A comment about I-10 and Old South roadways in general ...:
This is our third walk and roll through this, the Gulf Coast. Most of this region ... in fact much of the entire South East ... is essentially SAND of some sort. Many secondary roadways are pre-Civil War vintage; i.e., a solid surfaced roadway built on unstable sand soil. The roadways are for the most part, NARROW, THIN ROADWAY SURFACE, and mostly non existent BERMS (bicycle / walking space on the side of the pavement).
Walking must therefore be done on the PAVED surface - where the automobiles drive.
Bridges down here are without ANY space outside the White Painted Line marking the edge of the already NARROW paved surfaces.
Exciting is a insufficient FORE-WORD. I have often JUMPED off non-existing BERMS, and at least three times, climbed steel bridgework - leaning out over the waters below to avoid oncoming 18-wheelers from sweeping me into oblivion (for there is NO room for me AND an 18-Wheeler to cross a bridge together.
As far as I-10 is concerned...: Shame on the designers / builders. The SUB-BASE is totally inadequate to carry the concrete slabs which form the driving surface. The SAND has subsided between slabs, causing adjacent slabs of roadway to fall away from each other, forming a DITCH between slabs. Vehicles receive a JARRING JOLT as they roll over the ditches. Passengers and vehicles are very shaken after a short distance traveling I-10. (Solution: Design a proper SUB-Base to stabilize the roadway to prevent fluid sand from moving. Vehicle weight and vibration of passing vehicles is not the only consideration. Mother Nature inputs heat, cold, and rain which also destabilizes the fluid-like sand.