2006 2 20 9:45:54 AM MVC-FD91

2006 big winter road trip - roll 3

Next stops are parks around Mobile, Alabama. The one I hang around all day is Chickasabouge County Park, where I was on my last year big winter road trip. The people are cool and I sell $200 worth of plastic. Everyone is talkin about "the big one" - six months ago, Katrina.

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MVC-003X.JPG 2006 2 19 6:08:54 PM That night I start the drive to Biloxi, Miss., and try to contact a few courses I had played last year. One of the course owners just starts crying when I call. Along the way I can start to see damage, but its dark, so its hard to see, other than snapped trees and debris along the road. I make it to the newly opened Isle of Capri casino, where I was last year. The bridge across the bay is out, and things are really starting to look bad. I stay in the casino lot that night, and awake the next day to the horror. Here is the reason the bridge was out, and things get a lot worse as I drive along the demolished cost to Gulfport.

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MVC-008V.MPG 2006 2 20 9:45:54 AM The dammage is shocking... I become overwhelmed by it all. For 200 miles, from Mobile to Baton Rouge, its like a bomb went off. I see property owners just standing there with blank stares at empty lots where their homes once were. Huge trees are downed and snapped. The trees left are still filled with debris. Demolishion and construction crews are the only people there. Every DG course along the way is shut down. I drive through New Orleans, right by the Superdome, and nearly every building in the entire city is boarded up and abandoned. Signs read "you loot, we shoot". Just like everyone, I had watched Katrina on TV and followed it closely, but that did not prepare me for the destruction I see. Words cannot describe it. Here are photos of 2 of the dozens of abandoned cats near a Casino along Lake Pontchatrain. The look in their faces echo that of everyone in the area; SHOCK.

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MVC-0012X.JPG 2006 2 20 1:41:34 PM Its too hard to believe, especially since I drove the coastal route just last year, and it was soo beautiful. The city of Gulfport is the worst; not one building is left standing for 30 miles! I make it to Baton Rouge and play a wonderful course called Highland Road Park. Everyone in this city complains about the traffic and problems caused by migrants from the areas of destruction. I meet the local course pro named Will Timmons ("The Toad"), and we play until its dark. Later that night I drive I-10 over the Mississippi river and the 24 mile long bridge over the Atchafalia basin swamps to arrive in Lafayette and write and upload this web page in a Pilot truck stop with Wi-Fi. I cannot stop thinking about the destruction I have seen.. its just impossible to imagine.