Bumps – jumps and jockeys

On the road again, but not according to plan. We had originally intended to travel north, Malc wanted to visit Memphis. However given the unseasonably low temperatures, 10-15 degrees below average and the depressing weather patterns hovering to the north west we decided to re think. One thing that we can depend on is the accuracy of the weather forecasting, almost to the minute! And we have become avid weather watchers; you have to be in this game! So westwards it was…the route took us through swamps, up impossible bridges and over “the worst road in the USA” according to Malc. The last stretch of the I-10 really was the worst we have experienced yet. Pot holes the size of buckets, a concrete surface that looked like 12-inch thick broken biscuits, and crevasse like gaps. Poor Malc was the one with white knuckles this time, from hanging on and trying to keep the rig on the road. He says it’ll be a miracle if we have any suspension left!

Today 24th Jan, finds us settled just west of Lake Charles in a small town called Vinton, chosen primarily because this site has excellent wi fi, something we have been lacking of late. This has given us the chance to catch up with everything and to plan the next couple of moves. Finding sites with a good connection has now become one of our priorities; we’re tired of “cruising and hijacking” So hopefully life will be a little easier from now on. We are looking to move west again, probably hugging the gulf coast, as this seems to be our best chance of better weather. Now: Vinton really is a small town, having driven up Main St…less than a minute…we wondered what people do here. Where do they work? Well many we think, probably work in the chemical industries in Lake Charles but the rest we don’t know. After 2 days of continuous rain today’s (Jan 25th ) sunshine was a bright and warming reward, back up to 65degrees. We did some much needed house keeping, spent time looking at camp sites on line, checking e mail’s etc, skyping with some of you and then decided to take a drive around the area. It is a bit forlorn, not affluent but the people are really friendly. We were somewhat surprised when we passed a large complex called Delta Downs which as the sign told us was a casino, hotel and racetrack, but as we were a bit scruffy we were a little hesitant at going in. But you know us! And this impromptu visit turned out to be a lot o fun! It wasn’t Goodwood…remember that? Nor was it Ascot, but on the other hand it was very interesting. Everyone was dressed just like us…ordinary people in ordinary clothes, mostly men it’s true, but all shapes, sizes and ages. There were a few families and what seemed like a lot of granddads. Here they race thoroughbreds 4 nights a week, on sand, under floodlights, with male & female jockeys, sometimes for a pot worth $1 million. The profits from the “slots” help finance the race prize money. You are able to bet on other race meetings, including horse and trap racing, whilst watching on TV. They are also the first racecourse in the US to have a spa for the horses! When we asked about placing bets we were given a conducted tour and comprehensive tuition. At the end of the night Malc came away $1 down after betting on 4 of the 10 races. We ate in the buffet restaurant…all we could eat for $16 including drink. Oh and by the way Malc’s collected enough points on his race reward card to collect 2 free drinks at the bar, so the $1 loss seemed to be worth it after all. www.deltadowns.com  Those dam horses were tricky to get photos of…they wouldn’t keep still!

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