Thursday, September 22, 2005

Along the Road

The constant flow of traffic westward on Highway 71 is steady and presented several interesting views on the way home today.

Every convenience store, every service station, every fast food joint, every campground and every hotel along the way was filled to capacity. At a service station about half way between Austin and Bastrop, where a small MacDonald's shares a portion of the building, about 8 bright yellow school buses from Wharton ISD were pulled into the edge of the parking lot. My first thought was "potty time!". Everybody knows that you can find an acceptable potty at MacDonald's when you're on a long drive.

I'll bet there's not a sack of ice at any place between Houston and Austin. There's probably a world record being set for the number of coolers simultaneously travelling west.

Every few miles you would see a group of two, three or four cars pulled over, their occupants conferring. A caravan of friends or family stopping to stretch their legs, or grab a drink out of the cooler, or walk the dogs.

The traffic was so thick through Bastrop that the State Police were out, over-ruling the lights and getting people on their way. The highway, the access roads, the back way through town - all were full of vehicles headed west.

This last issue caused me to change my mind about picking up prescriptions on the way home. No way was I getting off the highway and attempting to cross the road to get to the other side. So tomorrow morning I have to get out early and see if I can slip off to the pharmacy by taking the back way through town. I rather expect that conditions will be the same or worse.

I can't help comparing the Texas evacuation with that of Louisiana three weeks ago. For all that I have criticized Rick Perry as governor, the man has done well getting the State's resources pulled together. I also was impressed with the health care agency that handles my mother's care. They called all of their clients today, making sure that everyone would have someone staying with them and that they had sufficient supplies, including prescriptions, on hand.

It is a day of unusual sights and sounds and stories.


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