Gulfport Traffic – Another side effect of Hurricane Katriana

Traffic is always a headache, but when you have gone through a catastrophic hurricane and trying to get your life back together, the loss of an interstate can make like much more difficult.

Everyone trying to get through the Gulf Coast area are having to drive through the local roads, creating much more traffic and a great inconvenience. 

Our paved paradise has turned into a parking lot.

Hurricane Katrina destroyed several major traffic corridors across Harrison, Jackson and Hancock counties. Dump the thousands of vehicles that normally travel those routes to the remaining arteries and what have you got?

Bumper-to-bumper traffic. And thousands of frustrated motorists.

A bit of relief is in sight. Along with the gradual replacement of traffic lights that blew away, U.S. 90 could reopen with two lanes of travel within a couple of months.

For now, U.S. 90 is gone and so are its bridges that crossed the Mississippi Sound and the Bay of St. Louis. As for north-south corridors, Katrina left the Popp’s Ferry Bridge unusable and damaged the Interstate 110 bridge, reducing traffic to two lanes.

So how frustrating is traffic for motorists?

“Very, very frustrating,” said Melinda Massey, 34, of Northwood Hills in Gulfport. The 20-minute drive to her job at Compton’s Appliances on the Gulfport side of Pass Road now takes an hour.

“I’ve started trying to take some back roads as much as possible, but I still have to end up on Highway 49.”

Posted at Scared Monkeys and The Travel Bloggers.


Delta Secured 2.05 Billion to Continue Operations

Delta cleared its first hurdle of the bankruptcy process. It has acquired 2.05 billion in financing.

From Yahoo Finance

Altogether, Delta’s post-petition financing arrangements total $2.05 billion, an increase of approximately $1.07 billion from the company’s pre-petition secured credit facilities.

“We are very pleased to have passed this first critical milestone in our Chapter 11 proceedings,” said Edward Bastian, Delta chief financial officer. “Delta’s ability to obtain more than $2 billion in new financing is an important and appreciated vote of confidence in our business plan and our people. With this increased liquidity and the court’s interim approval of the key first day motions, Delta will maintain normal business operations as we continue to transform our airline during the reorganization proceedings.”

While bankruptcy was not an option that Delta wished to pursue, this is a good first step.

Golfing The San Francisco Area

I am not a passionate golfer, but my father and brother are. CNN has an interesting article on playing 72 holes in 72 hours along the central California coast. You can play courses such as Spy Glass Hill, Pebble Beach, The Links at Spanish Bay, and Pasatiempo.

Augusta. St. Andrews. Pebble Beach. For most golfers, those three courses represent the sacred trinity of 18-hole layouts. Play one and consider yourself among the truly fortunate. Play all three? Welcome to duffer nirvana.

So which one fits into our long weekend travel plans? That’s easy. Since our focus is public-access courses, that rules out Augusta, a course so private that even Bill Gates had trouble acquiring a membership (although he finally did).

And unless you’ve managed to procure a Concorde, you’re probably not able to skip across the pond to Scotland for a quick visit to the “Home of Golf.”

That leaves Pebble Beach, America’s premier public course. A two-hour drive from San Francisco, California, (or less if you fly into San Jose), Pebble Beach resort is not exactly a just-around-the-corner trip that we prefer here at 72 in 72. But this is Pebble. We’ll make an exception.

Besides, if you also incorporate Pebble’s sister courses into your weekend, you’ll save yourself the driving time usually required between rounds. You just need to make sure you acquire a tee time — and that you can afford the take-out-a-loan greens fees.

After flying into San Francisco International or San Jose International airports, here’s how we’d play it the rest of the weekend.

Friday afternoon

Pasatiempo: You may not be able to land a tee time at Augusta, but you can play another one of legendary golf architect Alister MacKenzie’s layouts. Pasatiempo claims to be MacKenzie’s favorite course, and his former home can still be seen on the sixth fairway. Golf Digest ranks this Santa Cruz course — which is conveniently on the way to Pebble Beach — as the 31st best public course in the country. Be aware that some holes are being worked on, but the restorations are scheduled to be finished by the end of October.

Saturday morning

Spyglass Hill: Were it not for Pebble Beach, Spyglass might well have been the destination of choice for many golfers headed to the West Coast. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., the course starts off with an ocean view off Monterey Bay, then abruptly U-turns at the sixth hole, with tall pines dominating the elevated views. And in case you didn’t know, the course’s name comes from the Robert Louis Stevenson novel “Treasure Island.” But that doesn’t mean you should wear a pirate’s eye patch to the first tee.

Saturday afternoon

The Links at Spanish Bay: You can’t make a trip to an ocean course and not play at least one Scottish-links track. On its list of the greatest U.S. public courses, Golf Digest lists this Robert Trent Jones Jr./Tom Watson/Sandy Tatum layout at No. 62. Impressed? Well, on this weekend of four courses, it’s the lowest-rated one on the list. The course is environmentally protected, meaning a wayward shot might require an unexpected drop. But you’ll feel good about doing it.

Sunday morning

Pebble Beach: You’ve managed to get a tee time. You’ve shelled out $425 for the greens fees. And now you’re here, standing on the first tee. You pinch yourself — is it really true? A few hours later, still walking on air, you reach the par-3 17th. You wonder if you can hit a one-iron within five inches of the cup — after hitting the flagstick — like Jack Nicklaus did in ’72. When you reach the green, you try to re-create Watson’s chip-in to beat the Golden Bear in ’82. Can’t be done — that was a once-in-a-lifetime shot. Just like the round you just played.

My other family members followed this path for the most part a few years ago and enjoyed the trip. Me, I would rather just visit the vinyards and enjoy the cuisine!

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