Lorin's family lives in the Houston area. With hurricane Rita fast approaching, they were all considering evacuating. Her Dad lives on Galveston Island two blocks from the seawall. They ran out of plywood in Galveston so I offered to run a load down there and help him board up the house. It turned out to be quite an adventure.

My truck overloaded with plywood. That's about 1600 lbs of wood. My friend John came over and looked at it and we agreed that it looked like too much. "You can take my truck!" he offered. I took him up on it. He's a true friend.

You can see from *this* picture that John has a man truck. I have a girl truck. While I was driving my truck home from the lumber yard, I was listening carefully for the sound of my tires popping, springs breaking, or axle giving up the ghost. John's truck's reaction to having this load of wood in it was to yawn and remark, "Oh, you put some wood in the back? Whatever."

Here the truck is parked in Galveston at Bert's house.

Jo-Jo and Ginger were there to greet me. They are great guard dogs, they came up wagging their tails when I came into the house.

We set right to work. We had 33 sheets of plywood to cut and put up.

We got the west side of the house done pretty quickly.

See how fast those last two went up? In the time it takes you to scroll down, we're slapping up plywood.

We moved around to the front of the house.

We weren't able to get these three windows because of how the roof is contructed. The plan was to board them up from the inside.

On to the back of the house...

At this point it was about 100 degrees out. Dang hot.

Bert looks our work over.

Kathy and David ask, "Can we evacuate yet?"

The wood is almost gone!

This was a common sight - we saw more news helicopters than we did cars.

Ok, the work was done, it was time to evacuate! I left at around 10pm. Bert & Co. were leaving the following morning.

I had plenty of company.

Sorry the pictures are blurry. I took these at a time when I was moving a little. My average speed for this trip was about 10mph. (That's what the GPS reported.)

This was on top of a mazda 626!

In this small town, the sprinklers were on! Idiots! They're about to get two feet of rain!

This is from the next morning. (I was still on the road.) Gas stations were madhouses, the ones that had gas. Lots of people were running out on the road. It was a pretty surreal experience.

People turned around and lined up for gas.

These people caged up their dogs and hit the road. I saw lots of animals and lots of classic cars on trailers.

Here I am in I-10. I got on it briefly in Sealy. (west of Houston.) If you look to the right, you see only that lone truck on the east bound side. If you look to the left, you see a thin strip of pavement - the frontage road - unoccupied.

They really need to get their act together for these kinds of evacuations. Americans - rest assured that you tax dollars are being spent on all sorts of things for "Homeland Security," but the people in charge of actually formulating useful, actionable plans, and informing the citizenry of them, are jackasses. If you live in a big city, and you have some sort of big disaster, you're in trouble.

I got over on the frontage road, along with a few others. We were moving at 40mph, and that was the fastest I had moved in about 8 hours. My average speed for about 6 hours was 4mph. Pretty awful.

I got off I-10 and started taking back roads. Ahhhhhh, 60 mph and not another refugee, errr, I mean evacauee, in sight.

It didn't last long. I decided to get on 71 in LaGrange. I was moving along fine till I got close to Austin. Things were massively backed up again.

I snapped this photo of some motorcycle abuse.

That's all I've got for images. All in all, it was a weird trip. It took me 14 hours to make it back to Austin. It's usually a four hour trip. Let's all cross our fingers and hope the hurricane spares Galveston as much as possible.