Today was a very early day. We had to attend the Coretta Scott King Breakfast honoring a number of authors and illustrators, among them Tonya Bolden. The breakfast is scheduled to start at 7am. We were advised to get there by 6:30 when the doors open so that we could get good seating. Yesterday, the first work day that we had to cross the Lake Ponchartrain Causeway, it took us nearly an hour and a half to make the trip to New Orleans. We therefor decided to leave the campground at 5 am, which required that the alarm be set for 4 am. As it turned out, we had a great run over the causeway and made it into our parking lot by 6 am. The breakfast ended around 9 am and we headed back to the campground were on the road around 11am.
The breakfast was an interesting affair. The Coretta Scott King award is given "To encourage the artistic expression of the black experience via literature and graphic arts, including biographical, social, historical, and social history treatments. The Award honors African American authors and illustrators for outstanding contributions to literature for children and young adults." This is the 37th Annual Award. There were two winners, one author and one illustrator. In addition four Honor winners were selected by a the jury. Our friend, Tonya Bolden, was one of the Honor winners for her book, Maritcha, A Nineteenth Century American Girl. The book chronicles the life of Maritcha Lyons, a young African American girl who grew up in New York City and eventually became the first African American Assistant Principal in the New York City School System. Susie has a special fondness for thsi book because she read it in manuscript form before it was published and is acknowledged by Tonya.
Our original intent was to take mostly back roads and approach Lafayette from the south as the map showed. As we turned on to Interstate 12 for the initial part of the trip, we decided that having already driven 130 miles and being somewhat tired, we would forego the original route and go by Interstate Highway directly to Lafayette. This decision cut approximately 100 miles from the trip. The trip took us through Baton Rouge, over the Atchafalaya Basin on a nearly 20 mile causeway. The Atchafalya Basing was part of the natural overflow of the Mississippi River. The overflow was blocked by a series of levees and channels designed to be part of the flood control system. According to some articles I have read over the past few years, this tinkering with nature may have had another effect that adversely contributed to the damage caused by Katrina. This is not my area of expertise so my opinion doesn't carry much weight, but If the excess water has to flow past New Orleans rather than flowing down the Atchafalaya...
There were no rest areas or other places along the Interstate to safely stop so we took no pictures today.