DAY 22 June15, 2009
The night was hot (record heat in Texas) even with the 20mph winds. At 5 am, the car said the temp was 82 degrees. It didn't even get that hot at home today.
The road into Port Arthur is still closed due to the storm damage. I could see the crews clearing debris - this is almost 10 months AFTER the hurricane. I took the detour into Port Arthur and washed the sea spray from the car. Hit the Louisiana border perfectly timed for the opening of the visitor center, only to find that it was closed.
Took LA 14 through Cajun Country - Acadiana. I found a lot of unimproved land and quite a bit of road kill. There is a very nice visitor center in Abbeville. After a few calls, I decided to high tail it into the Blue Moon Saloon & Hostel in Lafayette. They were closing in 40 minutes for several hours, so I hit the road post haste.
Ended up eating at Olive Garden after finding two of the places I had chosen to eat at closed until dinner. Lunch was zuppa toscana "a spicy sausage, russet potatoes and cavolo greens in a creamy broth" and braised beef and tortelloni-described as "tender sliced short ribs and portobello mushrooms tossed with asiago-filled tortelloni in a basil-marsala sauce". The service was pathetic, but the food was standard predictable Olive Garden. Sometimes you just need something familiar.
I took a nice air conditioned nap and read the rest of the evening. I really liked the hostel. It is everything I expect in a hostel (clean, nice staff, and other travelers) and more. I have decided to settle in for a few days.
ROUTE: TX 87 North>TX 73 North>US 90/I 10 East>LA 14 East>US 167 North
Lodging: Blue Moon Saloon & Hostel in Lafayette, LA
Meals: Olive Garden Lafayette, LA (***Food *Service)
$$$: $3 Car Wash $18 Fuel $10 Post $8 Laundry Supplies $17 Meals $19 Hostel = $75