Day Fifty Eight – Monday, October 17, 2016

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The Decision

This morning we were sitting having breakfast at the Homewood Suites in Beaumont, Texas, when I said to Susie, “So, what’s your decision?” She replied, “I’m not sure…what about you?” “I think we should head home”, I said. “Yea, me too, she replied.” So, that’s our plan. We are not going to run home (according to Google Maps, we could be back on Long Island in 23 hours driving straight), but we are heading in the general direction, and if we see something that we might want to stop at along the way, we will, but we are not going out of our way to do stuff. We are going by Memphis, so Graceland is still a possibility, but the methodology of our trip is changing. Remember back early in these blogs when I talked about the desire to roam free, but the necessity to plan ahead? Well, we both feel that that time has passed, and now we are just going to get up each morning, take a look at a map, make a decision of what we are doing and where we want to stop, and reserve a hotel. So, here we go….

First an important announcement…..the Denim Shorts are back!!! After two weeks of trying to look “classy”, I am back in my car travel mode!! Comfort!!!

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As I write this, we are in Suite 1610, of the Horseshoe Hotel and Casino in Bossier City, Louisiana! We said good-bye to Texas this afternoon, a state we first entered way back on September 23rd, and entered Louisiana. The Horseshoe Casino Hotel is a Caesar’s property, and how do you pass up a free hotel room? We have a reservation tonight, downstairs at Jack Binion’s Steakhouse, and we figure we’re trading a room charge for a dinner bill. Sounds good to us!

Our last day in Texas, was mostly spent driving north on US 96 in the eastern part of the state, and we have to say that what we saw today was a very different Texas than we have seen before. The land consisted of lots of rolling hills and, for want of a better word, forests. We even saw several logging operations along the way. I guess the truth is, that for a state as large and diverse as Texas, there really isn’t one truth as to what it is. We have seen so many different Texas looks during our stay in the state, and today’s was just one more. That’s why we think a Texas Road Trip will be in our future.

So what did we see today? Well we saw the Kirbyville, Texas Police Headquarters, which appears to be an old gas station.

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We saw a Jeep that seemed as muddy inside as it did out.

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Then we had an experience we have only wondered about. As we’ve driven around the country, we have seen so many pieces of tires along the side of the road from trucks, and recently Susie said, “we see so many remains, how come we never see it happen?” Well, today we did!

Susie was driving behind an old, slow, dump truck, when suddenly there was an explosion and smoke from the left rear inside wheel, and pieces of tire were flying everywhere. Did he stop? Nope, he just kept going down the road and Susie kept dodging things…tires and at one point, even one of his back tail lights, that popped out, and bounced down the road at us! He drove about 5 miles down the road and the tire started smoking, stinking, shredding, and throwing pieces all over the road again. More dodging! We sat next to him at a red light where he was waiting to make a left turn (thank goodness…no more truck pieces to dodge!) He made the left turn, so we have no idea of the outcome, but file this under, “Be careful what you wish for!”

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Oh, and in case you don’t know what I mean, when I write that we stopped at a self service car wash to clean up the Sonata (which we did again today), this is the kind of place I’m talking about! Today’s was one of the cheapest, only costing us $1.50 to have a clean car!

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Before I wrap it up for the day, here’s something else very different about Eastern Texas. I’ve said since we entered the state, that Texans must love their cell phones, because you always see towers, and have great service. Today, on US 96, we drove for a good half hour or more with no cell service! That’s even worse that that entire town in Wyoming we reported on earlier with no service! Probably traveled 30-40 miles during that time, and absolutely no Verizon signal to be had!

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