Midway Journey West

We’ve made it halfway on our journey west as we stop in Sonora, Texas. We traveled some 1400 miles so far averaging about 250 miles a day after our longer trip on Day 1 to Panama City.

We had a relaxing visit with Dave and Lisa and enjoyed burgers on the back deck with their wonderful view of Lisa’s butterfly heaven and the bijou. Our journey on Day 2 took us through Mobil Alabama and the dreaded I-10 tunnel. Of course, someone honked their horn endlessly and revved their engine to make sure we noticed them 🀑.

Oaklawn RV Park near Biloxi Mississippi. Not much – but convenient and everything worked.

We stayed that evening at a convenient campground near Biloxi Mississippi. Nothing to write home about but it was easy in and out with good hookups. We got our first taste of local color here, as noted on one of the resident’s pickup truck πŸ˜†.

Day 3 took us to Louisiana. Between Mississippi and Louisiana, you would have thought you were in some southern version of Las Vegas. I figure if your city didn’t have a casino you were shit out of luck. Other than that driving through the bijou areas was particularly scenic. We stopped that night in a nicer campground again located conveniently near I-10. A step up from the last place!

Day 4 started with a harrowing journey across roads that looked like they had been bombed. They were in such disrepair. About 10 miles east of the Louisiana – Texas state line the road turned to shit as they worked to repair the damage. It kept up for another 40 miles or so in Texas before getting dumped into bad traffic in Houston.

Texas 🀩

It was raining just to make life interesting. We made it to our campground in Schulenburg, Texas. The nicest place so far, although it rained hard all night into the morning.

On Day 5, we headed into the Hill Country of Texas as we drove through more crap roadways around San Antonio. The rest of the drive, however, was pleasant as the rain stopped and we finally had some scenery again (after the oil refineries around Houston!). It finally started to feel like we were in the west with good-sized hills (or are they small mountains?) with equally small trees. The temperatures started rising, and it was 90 degrees by the time we got to our campground for the evening in Sonora, Texas.

The campgrounds looked basically abandoned except for two trailers. On closer look, I noticed all the utilities looked new. WTF? Turned out the place was built by pipeline workers in service to the people of Sonora. Their town flooded several years ago, and a new set of campsites were set up for temporary housing as the residents rebuilt. Shortly after that, during the pandemic, the oil industry in this area got clobbered economically. Everyone left, leaving a nice but deserted campground. As noted, the hookups were new. The person who runs the place works during the day but was super responsive to my text messagesβ€”worked for us!

Welcome to the Wild West! Yippie-Tie-Yiyay 🀠


Our first stop – a New Orleans wedding reception for my nephew Adam and his beautiful bride Zeynab!

Getting there

We arrived safely at the NOLA (New Orleans Louisiana) with some interesting challenges along the way!

On the way to brother Dave’s house on the 19th we ended up getting a nail in one of the trailer tires. Thankfully I was immediately aware because of the TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) I installed before I left. Good move on my part for sure after reading tails of what could have happened. But it did not and we met some interesting people which actually re-instilled a sense of faith in this country for me.

We arrive here safely on Thursday with no incidents on our way from Panama City and with some trouble found the KOA campground near the airport. the drive here was through territory relatively new to me (in the past 40 years at least) as will be the rest of the journey until I hit Fort Collins.

Driving in this city is fucking crazy – worse than Atlanta and Atlanta is pretty bad. Once I got the trailer setup I setup the X6 for Sport mode and took it in stride. I am amazed how well the X6 drove in heavy fast traffic!

The KOA here is in a compound of sorts but very nice and not too full. It took me about 30 minutes to get to where everyone else was staying.

We visited with them Thursday evening. Friday I dropped Jake off at Pet Paradise boarding and helped them setup the venue.

Zeynab and Adam’s Reception

Marigny Opera House

The reception was held at the Marigny Opera House slightly east (down-river) of the French Quarter. An old Catholic Church turned into a Opera House and then abandoned after Hurricane Katrina. It has been partially restored now by the local community and serves as a multipurpose venue including weddings and performances.

This is the first time the whole Tubridy family has been together since Kari & Carl’s wedding in Florida in 2019. Zeynab’s Family was there in force from the Washington DC area. Zeynab family is from Somalia and they all belong to the same tribe! Her mother was going to school in the US and forced to stay here after political unrest in her country some 30 years ago before Zeynab was born.

Adam, Lisa, Dave, Collin (the third son!), Rick & Myhra, Carl, Kari & The Dude
Carl, Rick, Dave and Adam

After a great meal of traditional local cuisine (and boy does NOLA have cuisine!) the main act arrived. A fantastic performance by a traditional New Orleans Jazz Band the Young Fellaz played for several hours and included a second line march around the opera house!

Young Fellaz
Second Line street parade at Zaynab & Adam’s Wedding

The event was very special – as special as Adam and Zeynab are. It was great to meet her family – now part of ours – and what the future will hold!

Saturday we all got together with Adam, Zeynab and her mother Fay for a great brunch at Broussard’s – a famous dining establishment in the French Quarter. I was fascinated as Fae told us the story of her family in Somalia.

I picked up Jake later that day – he did better than I expected and of course everyone loved him. We headed back to the Excellent Adventure and prepared for our journey to Alamagordo!