Jan 23, 2013 - Driving, Technical, Texas, Travel, USA    5 Comments

Rae au pays de l’or noir


Today’s drive was tricky to plan and I spent hours yesterday with Google Maps, my Texas Shunpiker Guide, and my GPS to found the best route. Both Google Maps and my Garmin wanted to route me straight through Houston while the Shunpiker Guide wanted to send me through Galveston. I finally came up with a route that looked pretty good and planned to solidify it once I got my hands on another Texas road map (having lost mine to a cat and coffee collision).

It was foggy when I woke up at 6:30 this morning and visibility was still poor at 7:20 when I had had my coffee and toast and was packed. I decided to hang out for a bit longer until the visitor centre opened at 8:00 so I could get the map and confirm my route. I entered the coordinates for my destination into the GPS but knew I’d be mostly on my own for this drive.

That done, I set off on I-10 westbound, stopping a few miles away at a Conoco pretending to be a Flying J. I missed the first entrance, which wound up being good as entering through the next entrance allowed me an easy exit out of the first and a much easier return to I-10.

From I-10, I took exit 798 and meandered my way down to route 35 by way of route 146. I checked the GPS a couple of times and it finally came up with a route that resembled mine, but with a few more twists.


The Fred Hartman Bridge was very impressive!


The first part of my day was in a world of oil refineries, hence the title of this post.

When I started to run out of road, I finally listened to my GPS and turned into… Pasadena.


I was on Nasa Road and everything was space themed, so I figured I was near the space centre. Yup, I drove right past it! Note to self: you haven’t seen Apollo 13 in a long while.


At some point, I passed a relic of olden days:


Entering Bay City, I was overdue for a break, but I had been holding out for a real grocery store, passing only little food stores. So I was quite glad to pass a Walmart, where I was able to stock up on fresh fruits, veggies, meat, and beer before landing at my somewhat remote destination, saving me from having to go out tomorrow.

Port Lavaca was soon upon me:


Today’s drive was difficult. The roads were in poor shape and I was mostly passing through towns so there was a lot of stopping and going. I really felt the toad today, my gas mileage was the pits, and I could feel both the engine and brakes working hard. It would have probably been easy to just bite the bullet and go through Houston on I-10, but I don’t regret my choice.

Just one damper on the day: I have a nice big crack in my brand new windshield. 🙁 I don’t think a glass place will be willing to fill it. Since it’s well out of my view range, I’m going to get a DIY kit and try to fill it myself before it gets worse.

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  • I-10 through Houston is no fun. Rush hour 24/7 and many merges and bear lefts and rights just to stay on the highway. Norma spent all her time watching the GPS and telling me what lane to be in.

    You are in a part of Texas that we bypassed when we panicked after thinking we were going too slow. I will be interested to hear and see more about it.

  • Am I glad I made the decision I did!

    You will kick yourself for missing the location I’m in. 😉

  • I love the Gulf! Have a plate of shrimp for me. And don’t tell me you don’t eat shrimp!!

  • *snort* Me not eat shrimp? You have not been reading my blog, have you? 😉

    “sShrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey’s uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that’s about it. ”

    He forgot shrimp mousse!

  • Please do a video so we can hear the sounds of the beach… Was 10 degrees her on Monday night. Warmth…so jealous!

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