Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Wild and Wacky Part One!

The next few blog posts are by guest blogger Region I Representative, Jane O'Brien. Jane has gone a little off the beaten track to find some places that might just make your drive a little more interesting and will certainly give you some thing to talk about at the cocktail hour!

A road trip can be long, boring, and very tiring … even with friends and good music! With a little planning you can break up the monotony…How about some options for diversion or rest and/or meal stops?  Wild and Wacky or Worth the Stop or Detour may help…

What is Wild and Wacky or Worth the Stop or Detour?

Definitely some ”quirky and worthwhile Ideas” for monotony saving options on the most direct route or for an adventure off route.  You decide the category and/or whether or not to stop … All suggestions have hourly trip estimates from the first city to ORLANDO!

Driving from or near

Baton Rouge, Louisiana on I-12 E to I-10 E

Atlanta, Georgia on I–75 S

North Carolina on I-95 S

Baton Rouge, Louisiana on I-12 E to I-10 E

While traveling the I-10, you have rest areas approximately every 30 miles.


Beginning in Baton Rouge?  The I-12 E joins the I-10E in Slidell, LA and continues through part of Louisiana, and the southern coasts of Mississippi, Alabama and the panhandle of Florida. Many areas were damaged by Katrina in 2005 and the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.   

 Covington, LA (9.5 hours to Orlando)

World's Largest Ronald Reagan Statue

At only 65 miles from Baton Rouge Covington may be too soon for a diversion, but have you ever stopped here?  The World’s Largest Ronald Reagan Statue is located in the downtown area at the trailhead of Tammany Trace Park.   Reagan stands almost 10 feet tall -- one-and-one-half times life size -- atop a six-foot pedestal (totals 16 feet!). He is wearing a business suit and is raising his right arm in a military salute. (I-12 to exit 59 for LA-21 N toward Covington; Turn left onto LA-21 N ;Turn right onto W 21st Ave)

Crawford Landing, LA near Slidell (8.5 hours to Orlando)

Honey Island Swamp Tours                                  

The Honey Island Swamp is on a 35,000 Acre preserve that is owned by the State of LA.  This two hour boat ride may not fit into your Orlando travel plans, but if friends from out of the area are coming to travel to Orlando with you, add an extra day to their visit to do this local activity.  The scenic trip takes you up close to alligators, hogs, turtles, and Blue Herons in the swamp. Don’t forget your bug spray!  (Exit I-10 in Slidell at exit 266 - 41490 Crawford Landing Rd - (504) 242-5877)



A scenic option from Waveland, MS to the Biloxi, MS Bay Bridge (9 hours to Orlando)

Katrina Tree Sculptures

 A more scenic option to travelling the I-10 is to get on US 90 in Waveland, MS (10E to exit 2 to US 90E-14 mi) at the lighthouse and travel 30 miles along the Gulf Coast beaches to the Biloxi Bay Bridge.  Besides the beautiful white beaches, you can see one of the top tourist attractions on the Coast which has become a symbol of the comeback of South Mississippi.  Artist Marlin Miller’s marine-themed carved sculptures (about 36 of them) can be found along the beaches. They are carved from oak and cypress trees left standing (but dead) by hurricane Katrina.  You will also experience the new bridges and view rebuilt homes and still empty waterfront lots.  How many did you find? 



Katrina Tree Sculptures

No time to take the US 90 scenic route on the way to Orlando?  On the way back, stop at The Jackson County Welcome Center on Interstate I-10 Westbound in Moss Point, MI where you can see this 6 foot tall eagle and three other statues carved and donated by the same artist.


Biloxi Shrimping Trip (8.5 hours to Orlando)

Do you love shrimp and have always wondered how they grow and how they are harvested?  In Biloxi, MS, the Biloxi Shrimping Trip offers a unique cruise that welcomes visitors to the Mississippi Gulf Coast on a real shrimping expedition.  It is a 70 minute actual shrimping expedition on the protected waters between Deer Island and the Biloxi shoreline. Crewmen entertain, educate and identify and show the catch.   Get a bag lunch, take a break and relax on the water! (From the harbor - August 7th thru November 30th - 10:30am & 1:30pm)


Be sure to visit the SAGANews blog again soon to see where else Jane will take us!