These days it seems my memory comes and goes. Someone today reminded me that yes, 10 years have already gone by.
In 2006 my niece was getting married so instead of flying back I took my old (300,000+ miles) Mercedes on a 7,492 mile lap of America.
It was the kind of traveling that I love to do – other than the obligatory places to show up, America was mine to come and go as I pleased. I visited some friends in Oak Ridge TN and since Katrina had just been a year prior, and I had never seen New Orleans, thought I would use that as a waypoint.
After all it was only 800 miles out of the way.
I stayed in the suburb of Slidell after a long drive, and it seemed pretty normal.
Next morning I drove into New Orleans and that was different. Seemed other-wordly. That main boulevard you see – with the boarded up windows – was all under the water line.
Took a Gray Line tour, and the guide thanked us profusely for coming. Their business was down 90%.
Some things I really remembered – seeing a huge amusement park – a 6 Flags park, all closed. As was a giant shopping center.
Those bent rusty steel girders you see were near the 9th Ward where the water spilled from the canal.
There was a gated community all abandoned – you could have any home you wanted for about $50,000 but you couldn’t insure them as they were all flooded. I remember seeing a newer Mercedes S Class with spray paint on the roof saying don’t tow it.
As the rescuers floated by the homes they would spray paint the outside – I forget what it meant but it was divided into quadrants with each quadrant meaning something different.
The French Quarter was unscathed – it was above sea level – were the French the only ones with any sense hundreds of years ago?
Golf courses were ruined – there was one near this park – because of the brackish water – but at the park there was some kind of festival going on – people were having a good time.
It was a memorable visit.
Anyway, here’s a few pictures.