Saturday, September 10, 2005

About Baton Rouge

So, here's the short form of the supply run to Louisiana.
Maxy Pertuit and several members of the concom core of New Orleans (Crescent City Con and others) made it to Baton Rouge and were staying more or less in contact with each other. As soon as I had a solid address and picked out a safe route on the nav software, we here at High Flight put together a loadout. Loni came over from Cushing OK and Paul and Torrin pitched in on sorting the $4,000+ in supplies, clothes, food etc. that I'd bought and stacked, so we could fulfill the specific needs that Maxy & Co. had asked for.
Word was also that diapers & baby formula were scarce there, so every bit of spare room (not a lot) I packed with those, just to give away to whoever might need them. I used a rooftop pod & SpaceBags to carry the clothes, and a bumper mounted cargo pod to carry gas cans---both for their vehicles and for the generator I took them---and other gear such as tools, rescue rope, tarps and so forth.
After halting for one thundershower and a couple of short naps---I'd been working on just a few hours of sleep a night at that point---we had the vehicle pretty heavily laden, but roadworthy. Six hundred-some Powerbars and Atkins bars, hundred-some canned goods, sixty pounds of pasta & rice, feminine needs, hygiene & grooming goods, sauces, spices, utensils, cooking gear, airbeds, sheets, blankets, tools, luggage, and so on.
The trip there was not too bad. I drove as far as I safely could between short naps "in the saddle" at truck stops. Weather was surprisingly clear and there were few traffic slowdowns. Into Baton Rouge itself, though, that's where things got pretty congested.
Fandom holding true, a household became a center of activity---it took us a couple of hours to offload all the material, and then fans showed up one or two at a time over the following hours and nabbed what they needed. We were all able to swap jokes and hugs. We estimate that we got supplies to between 12 and 22 fans & their families & friends that way.
I then got word that someone I knew in Oklahoma had just been picked up by ambulance, apparently due to heart attack, so I dashed out from Baton Rouge just a few hours after arriving.
I stopped at Natchidotches for a brief rest & got word that she was OK, and then checked in with other contacts to see who if anyone I needed to pick up and transfer. Literally while turning around to pick a couple up, I got a call they'd gotten accomodations.
The trip back was, pretty much, uneventful. But it sure felt good to sleep in a bed when I got back.


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