State Capital Visit Trip 2013 - Part 1 (last updated on 2014/10/21)

2013/11/27 To Baton Rouge, LA

To the airport

Left office at 4:30pm, I thought everybody was going somewhere this evening for the Thanksgiving holiday but the road to the airport was not too crowded. Just only occasional slow downs. So I arrived at off site parking at 5:30pm, asked to see if I could get my car washed at the entrance, and the attendant said okay. (I did not know what would be the out come...) I took a shuttle bus to terminal C and D. It stopped at D first so I get off, hoping to get to the rental car center earlier than stepping out at terminal C. However, the result was it was much faster to stay in the shuttle until it gets to the terminal C. Get on a shuttle bus to the rental car center at 5:50pm, finishing the paperwork after a short ride. My car for this trip was a Chrysler 200C, which had a XM satellite radio, suitable for long drive. After signing the contract on iPad, I got on the car and picked up the paperwork at the gate before leaving at 6:15pm under pretty much dark sky.

My getaway vehicle: Chrysler 200C

To Baton Rouge

I drove to south to get on Beltway 8 west, changed to US-59 south to I-610 since the car I got did not have an EZ Tag which cannot travel on the Sam Houston toll road. The traffic was fairly modest on the way After driving along the road, finally changed to I-10 west, now I can head toward Baton Rouge. The road was pretty crowded and I see many passenger vehicles and trucks. I stopped at McDonald's for dinner around 7:30pm because I had no water with me. I got a large drink cup filled with Coca-Cola. I then continued. I passed Beaumont, Lake Charles, Lafayette. The outside looks pretty dark but I sometimes smelled the air like swamp, and when the road is going through wooded area, I could see the sky better. Arrived at Port Allen around 11:00pm, grabbed some post cards and water. I then continued and arrived at the hotel at 11:30pm, it was chilly already. Checked in my room and went to bed at 12:30am. I was up since 3:30am so it was a long day.

Driving on I-10 to east Checking in at the hotel

2013/11/28 To Montgomery, AL then Jackson, MS

To State Capital

Woke up at 5:00am, tried to check on the weather on TV but it shows "no program". I did not know what was happening until I stepped out from the room to workout in the gym. The hallway was dark, no elevator working... guessed that the power was out. Even at the fitness center, I could not use TV or treadmill. The only choice I had was the elliptical trainer which does not need a power to operate. Worked out for 30 minutes, and it was around the time when the power came back on. Had a breakfast at lounge. They serve pretty decent one so I am not complaining too much. Took a shower and packed my bag for the day. Left the hotel and drove freeway back to downtown to take a picture of the state capital building.
It was around 26F and I cannot stay outside too long. There must be a turkey trot going in downtown area, so a part of streets were shutdown which made my travel difficult. After taking a picture of the state building, I stopped by the old state house, among with the USS Kidd placed on Mississippi river.
No power, pretty dark in here.

Louisiana Capital Building Old Capital Building USS Kidd

To 10311 East Brookside Dr.

I ran back to my car because it was too cold and then headed out for the next place. I got stuck at a railroad crossing and needed to drive around so I lost about 20 minutes. After leaving the downtown, I get on I-110 and get off by the airport. Heading east on state road 408 to visit the site of the shooting death of Yoshihiro Hattori back in 1992 at suburb area.

The site of shooting.

Heading to Montgomery

 I continue driving on the road after that to get back on I-12. I kept driving on the east, passing by the famous Biloxi, made a road change at Mobile, AL to start head north on I-65. Because today is Thanksgiving Day, I cannot find any places to eat, no McDonald's, Burger Kings... so while the fuel getting low, I began to hunt for a gas station with meal offered so at 1:00pm, I stopped at Love's in Evergreen, AL for fuel and lunch at Arby's. I grabbed the meal then head out to catch up with the time I lost. The road from this part is more ups and downs and more trees around.

I finally get to eat something...

State capital of Alabama, White House of Confederacy, Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church

Arrived at Montgomery around ?. I know I am a little late but headed to the area by the state building. There weren't many people so it was awfully quiet. After taking a picture of the building, I was able to make a short walk to stop by at Martin Luther King Jar memorial church, and Old White House of the South.

Alabama Capital Building White House of the Confederacy Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church

Heading to Jackson, MS

Get back in my car then began heading west. I took I-65 south and getting on the U.S. 80. Drove by an airport and occasional traffic signal. The speed limit was soon raised to near freeway speed. Driving on the load road is not too bad but makes me very sleepy when I am tired, so I stopped at a CVS to grab drink around 4:36pm at Demopolis, AL. The sun was coming down and I know that I cannot make it to Jackson before sunset. Driving through winding road and passing Mississippi boarder, I finally get on I-20 west. Kept driving under twilight, then stopped at Pearl, MS for gas under dark, at 6:42pm they only took Master card... Ate at Denny's nearby. It was a short drive before arriving at Jackson around 6:00pm. The outside was dark, so I gave up on taking picture of the building since I am not sure how safe the down town is... I have impression of the part of the town is particularly not crowded and not safe in the night.

It's getting dark outside

Dinner, not many choices I can have.

Check in at hotel

I kept driving west, wishing that I did not reserved a hotel too far from the town to save a few bucks. Checked in at the hotel, which was located by Mississippi state border. I tried to find a place I can buy postcards but failed after stopping by more than 4 places. People are flocking to stores at mall and Wal Mart for their Black Friday deal. I was tired so went to bed around 11:00pm.

2013/11/29  To Little Rock, AR then Dallas, TX to see my friend

State capital of Mississippi

Woke up at 5:00am, 26F outside again, stretched my body and worked out for 30 minutes in the gym of the hotel. Had breakfast similar to the one yesterday. I was the only one at 6:00am, I guess there were many people too tired from shopping. Scraped the frost off from the windows of the car while I am warning up the engine, left the hotel and drove back to the capital building, I was able to find a place to buy postcards also. The area by the state house was not hilly but looked pretty nice, I took a picture then walking back to the car. I did not feel safe there since I saw some homeless people walking around. I don't want any trouble with so many stuffs sitting in my car. Changed the setting on the navigation unit and by accident, made a stop to old capital building.

Mississippi Capital building Old capital building

To Little Rock, AR

Leaving Jackson at ?. From here to Little Rock, AR, I cannot take any interstate until I get to Pine Bluff in Arkansas. So, I began driving on state road by getting on US 49 and headed to Yazoo City, I then kept going on the US 49W to Indianola, passing Belzoni. I changed US 82 to Lake Village, passing Leland, Greenville. Once I crossed into Arkansas, I was driving on a road by a lake for a while. Taking US 65 to Pine Bluff, passing McGehee, Duma on the way. I finally get on I-530 from Pine Bluff and it was a smooth drive after that. 

Crossing into Arkansas
Driving along a lake

State capital of Arkansas

Arrived at Little Rock. The first thing I did was to swing by the state house. It was located at hill top, and looked very nice. I parked my car and walked up to snap a picture. It did not take too long so I now head to William Clinton Library, parked the car and walked along the river and old part of the town. I walked in a store to buy a few more postcards and went to market place to buy myself lunch around 2:00pm. Texted my friend to let him know that I will be leaving soon.

The state capital building


Heading to Dallas at my friend's place

I get on the I-30 and began headed to west toward Dallas. It was a simple drive but because I have been driving three days in a row, I was getting tired. Somehow made it to cross to the Texas, then got off from the interstate at Greenville, heading west on TX-302. Fuel my car by making a short stop. I then change to TX-121 but realized it was a bad mistake. The smooth way was to use a toll road but my car cannot be there so I drove along the road with other cars, making stops at nearly all the traffic signals. The TX-121 is spared from the toll road at last near northern part of Dallas, then I began heading toward west to get on I-35E. Arrived at my friend's place at 7:45pm, went out to eat with him at Olive Garden. It's been one year since we met last time, and had good talk. Used this sofa for the night, went to bed around 1:00am.

Crossing into Texas

Getting closer to Dallas

Drving at night


2013/11/30  To Nacogdoches, TX before returning to Houston, TX

Kennedy Assassination site

Woke up at 5;30am, the outside was 40F so it is not so bad. Checking on the net and found out that Houston is expecting 70F weather today. Stretched my body, took a shower then repacked for today's drive. It is a sunny morning and had a breakfast with my friend at McDonald's. After dropping my friend off, I left to Dallas downtown. Took I-35E toward south under very few traffic. I can see clouds moving from the west and I think by the time I get to Nacogdoches today, it must be overcast then. There were many cops on the street to catch speeders.
Stopping by at Dallas downtown area for President Kennedy assassination site visit in the morning. Because it was 50th anniversary a couple of weeks ago, so there were many people hanging around from the morning. I paid 75 cents for 30 minutes parking, walked around to check out brick made buildings in downtown area. After a short walk, it's time to go.

Assasination site of JFK


Nacogdoches, TX

Get back in my car and headed toward Nacogdoches, TX. Getting on I-30 then I-45, soon I changed to US-175 and began my trip to east bound. I drove passed Kaufman, Athens, Frankston to Jacksonville, I then changed to US-69 to Alton, while passing Rusk. Finally changes to TX-21 under cloudy sky and made my way to the destination.
After arriving at Nacogdoches, I made a stop at a train depot around noon. The building is not actively used but looks like a Christmas related display was going on. I had lunch at nearby restaurant then made few stops at the town. Austin University to take picture of ? Moved the old university and ?.
It was around 1:30pm and decided to head back to Houston. Time to wrap up my trip....

Stone Fort Old University Hoya House

Back to Houston

I fuel my car at a local gas station at 1:40pm, bought a couple of bottled drinks before leaving the town. I drove on US-59 south toward Houston. On the way to Houston was very boring, I usually maintain around 70mph, then when the road approaches to a town, the speed limit decreases to 60mph, once in the town, it is 40 or 30mph. I repeat this many, many time. I was back in Houston area around 4:00pm, made a stop at a gas station to fill up at east side of the airport then arrived to the rental car center for returning.
On the way back to Houston.
Drove 1,966 miles

Returning to home

After dropping the car off, I get on a shuttle and return to the parking. When I arrived, the car wash was not done because the person who gave me the ticket put a wrong date. Giving up, I left the parking around 5:00pm, drove to LTF for workout for 30 minutes before coming home. Refreshed by taking a quick shower then drove home. I was pretty tired so ate a quick dinner and went to bed.

Go to Homepage / Top / State Capital Visit - December '13State Capital Visit Project