Custom Search

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Team Contraflow

Yesterday and today we were lucky to get some totally off-season weather: temps and humidity both in the 70's! Like, with a seven. I can't wrap my head around it. While I was thrilled with the cool temperatures, low humidity, and fresh breeze, something about 76 degrees in light wind in August brought back ominous feelings. That's pre-hurricane weather. If anyone has experienced the calm heaviness of the air in an evacuated city, followed by the jarring cool breezes and lovely sky that immediately precede the arrival of a hurricane or tropical storm, that's how this felt. And coming the week of the Katrina's 10th anniversary, it was unsettling.

Evacuation signage
Speaking of Katrina, I am going to be running Hood to Coast for the actual anniversary of the storm, and I have mixed feelings about that. Part  of me feels like I should be here in NOLA on that day, but part of me is ok with being gone. For one thing, I wasn't there on the actual day of the storm either; we evacuated. And for another thing, what better tribute to pay to Katrina than to be crammed in a van with poor food and water supply, dubious outfit changes, and a bunch of sweaty people, crawling at a slow pace down the highway?*

That leads me to our other team tribute to Katrina: our team name. We're Team Contraflow. It's a play on words that only New Orleanians will get, and I like that (obviously, since I named the team!). Contraflow, of course, means just what it sounds like - the term refers to when the state opens all interstate lanes in one direction to aid in evacuation. It's eery, driving north on southbound lanes and seeing the backs of highway signs. It's slow, and it's going the wrong way, and given our level of team talent (very little), it's perfect for our race, too. So we're Contraflow.

*Never evacuated from a hurricane before? That's exactly what it's like!


  1. I like the team name - definitely cool that it fits both your hometown and the relay! I can't believe Katrina was ten years ago - I recently read "Five Days at Memorial" and I can't even imagine.

    1. I worked at "Memorial" when it reopened as Ochsner Baptist in 2009. It was an almost haunted place at first - so many memories, so much damage that still hadn't been repaired. It's a successful, though small, hospital now.

  2. I can't even imagine what it's like to evacuate from a hurricane! Driving the wrong direction on a freeway would be soooo freaky! I hope that you guys have fun this weekend!!