There is one important warning...
There is one important warning about planning to stay in Gonzales either as a jumping-off point for other Louisiana travel or just as a place to spend the night while driving I-10. The warning is that there are industrial facilities along the Mississippi River all the way from New Orleans to Baton Rouge and beyond each of these cities. These facilities don't cause any safety risks for the traveler staying in Gonzales (or anywhere else), but people without a refining or petrochemical background may not know what a plant 'turnaround' is.
A plant turnaround is when an entire plant or even a unit is stopped and emptied to perform maintenance, safety inspections, or upgrades. The plant will carefully stop the process and empty all of the piping and equipment. When the equipment isn't running, the plant isn't making any money. If it's a refinery, having the equipment idle also means that the plant isn't producing the fuels that people use to get where they are going. Therefore, companies plan turnarounds to take the least amount of time necessary to do everything that needs to be done.
In order to do all of the work in the least amount of time, companies employ dozens to hundreds of temporary workers. Many of these men and women travel the country working turnarounds. Most are excellent professionals at their jobs, and they make good money.
This long-winded explanation brings me to the heart of the warning. When a plant in this area is having a turnaround, all of the motels in Gonzales can fill with these workers. Because they work different shifts, they don't usually cause jams at the restaurants. However, I'm used to traveling with no set destination for each night. I'm usually able to find a hotel when I want to stop. If you are driving through this area at the wrong time, finding a hotel with an empty room could be tough.
There are a fair number of...
There are a fair number of people here who get around by riding bikes or walking along the main roads. They aren't out doing it for sport. That's how they get around. Unfortunately, many of them don't have lights on their bikes and don't carry lights when they walk. They don't always wear light clothing, and some have darker skin. The danger is that folks are difficult to see by the side of the road, and I've often been surprised at how close I get before I realize that they are there. They are off the road, so I'm not almost hitting them. However, if something happened that they fell, walked, or jumped towards the road or I had to move to the side because an oncoming car crowded my lane, I wouldn't notice them until I was very close. The warning that I would give to anyone driving in this town is to be very careful and very watchful at night so as to avoid hitting a pedestrian.
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