When I left you, dear readers, I was bedding down in the Walmart parking lot in Gulfport MS on Tues night. I had some nagging sense of "There's something you should know about this place" and finally fired up the laptop to google. Well, the first thing I found was a story of a few rvers who had been chained up by tow trucks in that very lot at 2am about a year and a half ago, and were forced to pay $500 cash each to be released. It had happened at least one other time at 2am. I was like, "Oh, awesome". I read some more and apparently they had been reimbursed and apologized to but I was still nervous. Especially since I was the only RV in the lot. I had asked the security guy & he said it was ok, but we all know how that goes. I didn't feel like moving so decided to roll the dice. I left the front curtains open figuring tow truck lights would wake me up. It was a dumb move.....I couldn't sleep. Every little noise had me awake again. I finally fell deep asleep at 1:30 am, and woke again at 4:40, still in the same spot, so that was good. :-)
I got up around 9am, got coffee and gas and hit the road around 10. I blasted past New Orleans on I-12, and through Baton Rouge, which was a white knuckle ride. At 1 pm I saw signs for the Atchafalaya Welcome Center, and I stopped there for a break. Super nice folks there and free coffee. While I was there a big PC cruiser pulled in next to mine. They weren't that friendly, probably because I looked homeless in my torn tie-dye shirt & comfy pants. Sorry, yes, I'm driving in ratty comfy clothes. It's uncomfortable enough without dressing for success. Get over it.
After lunch and relaxing, I headed south a bit as I'd seen a sign for the "Levee Rat Bar". It sounded like it might be a fun thing to see and on the water, so I headed down this narrow road. Turned out it wasn't on the water and was just a little roadside bar. Which was, however, apparently packed on a Weds afternoon judging by the parking lot. I turned around & got back on the highway. The guy at the visitor center had told me about a cool lake with a boardwalk through the swamp, but I never saw the sign. So I decided to press on. I had heard about beach boondocking at a place near the TX border, turned out that was 70 mi out of the way so I passed on that too.
I hit the Texas border at 5pm. I was tired...hadn't slept well the night before, and put 300 miles under the wheels that day. Plus I was now driving into the setting sun and it was killing me. I pulled into the rest area at the border and parked in the shade of a semi. :-) I figured I'd have dinner & a nap, then drive another 2 hrs to get west of Houston before stopping for the night. I fell asleep around 7pm, woke at 10pm and said no way can I drive right now. I went back to sleep again, woke at midnight and decided to hopefully leave around 3 or 4 am. I did get up at 3:30, got gas & coffee & on the highway at 4:15.