Hubby ran in the Crescent City Classic 10k race on Saturday. I went down to City Park in New Orleans to see if I could watch him cross the finish line. I never did find him in the crowd, but it was fun to watch all the folks in this race that is traditionally run on Easter weekend. Many of them ran with bunny ears on their heads, and all the politicians running for mayor were out in full force.
I parked in the Lakeview neighborhood near City Park so I could walk over to the stadium. Only a few months ago, all of it was under water. Most of the houses were empty. Almost all of them had been gutted already, and the majority of the debris picked up, but there was still plenty left. The watermarks still stained the buildings (you can see it in the picture here), weeds were growing 2 feet high, windows were broken, and everything made of metal was rusting. Flooded out cars sat decaying in driveways. I could distinctly smell mold all around.
Despite the obvious disaster, there were quite a few people living in primitive conditions in the neighborhood and plenty of folks living in travel trailers in the driveways while they rebuilt their homes.
I took this picture because I was happy to see the little island of hope that someone had planted in the street median --- new flowers and landscaping... something pretty amid all the watermarks, trash and decay.
Anyway, I had a bad feeling driving in this area, and sure enough I picked up a nail in my tire. I decided that since it wasn't losing any air, that I would keep going and change it at home. Big mistake. As I crossed the Industrial Canal on I-10 over what is locally known as the "Highrise" bridge, the tire blew out.
A worse place for a blowout does not exist. There is ZERO shoulder on that bridge and it's a looong way down to the water, and a long way down the the other side of the bridge to get off. Black smoke started to come from the tire and I struggled to keep control as I slowed way down, turned on my hazard lights and prayed that no one would slam into the back of me as they came careening over the crest of the bridge while I was wobbling down the other side on my wheel rim. A man in a white car saw what happened and pulled over at the bottom of the bridge to wait for me.
I made it to the bottom and was able to pull out of the traffic. You don't really realize how fast 60mph really is until you are standing 3 feet from a thousand cars, semi-trucks and city busses whizzing by at that speed. The kind stranger helped me change the tire and I was on my way home in no time.