~Sunday, January 22, 2023~
Day 953 (Travel Day)
On the road again…..I just can’t wait to get on the road again (NOT!). Really, I shouldn’t complain since things are going well. But what a big push it’s been. In hindsight, our idea of blowing through Texas to get to Louisiana was not the best idea. While staying at a few of these Harvest Host places, we wished we had taken an extra day at each to really see what each place had to offer and connect with the people that were hosting us. That’s what Harvest Host is all about; a unique, meaningful experience. But with our pace, we weren’t allowing that to happen. It sounds cliche, but it’s about the journey, not just the destination. Note to self for next time.
They say good things come in threes. Today, it started with 1. driving through one of my childhood towns of Marshall, Texas. Within 35 minutes of our drive, I saw signs for Caddo Lake State Park. I remember the many picnics and time spent on the lake with family and friends and especially remember the flooded cypress forests we’d boat through to get to the open water. Since I lived there when I was about 8 or 9 years old, I don’t have vivid memories of street names and such, including my own. I even tried jogging my mom’s memory about that one and she couldn’t recall either, as it was a very long time ago. However, I did recollect the names of the schools I attended in the 2-½ years we lived there….David Crockett Elementary and Trinity Episcopal School. David Crockett looked nothing as I remembered
with a huge remodel since. Instead of the 1-story building I remember, it looks more like a high school now with its sprawling, 2-story structure. And my private school of Trinity Episcopal I thought was part of the church itself,
is now a separate building down the street. The church is exactly as I remembered. Nothing else looked familiar as we drove around the city limits. Had we driven to the more historic section of downtown, I might have recognized something. In any case, I have fond memories of our 2-1⁄2 years there, being near family. I even picked up that good ol’ southern drawl which I quickly lost when we subsequently moved back to California.
About 15 minutes east of Marshall, we crossed into Louisiana, back to parishes instead of counties. Entering Shreveport, LA, the highways were absolutely terrible. Hold onto those coffee cups as you’re in for quite a bumpy ride. Thank goodness, it only lasted 10 minutes. We also drove through the familiar place of Natchitoches as we did a few years ago. I’d forgotten that it was established in 1714…one of the oldest towns we’ve seen on our travels.
The second of three things was finally arriving in Louisiana after our 300-mile day. Location…..Palmetto Island State Park in Abbeville, LA, where we’ll be enjoying some non-drive time for the next 5 days, unless it’s for excursions or touring around. At the entrance to the park, we were greeted by a 50-foot alligator (no, not a real one), and a very welcoming park attendant.
We’ve never gotten so many handouts at one campground that was sure to cover all the bases. It looks like we won’t be short on options to sightsee. Our timing of being here wasn’t ideal as they’re putting in sewer at every campsite in the park. Currently, there are only about 8 sites, including ours, that already have it. But with 90 sites to go, it’s a major undertaking. That explains the ghost town that it is. There are maybe only a handful of campers here so far, but anticipate there being more by week’s end. Our campsite is perfect with lots of privacy, room to spread out and a total jungle vibe. Being that the park is pretty much out in the middle of nowhere, we were shocked to have any cell reception at all, having not just 1, but 2 bars. Now the big question……will we be able to watch the NFL divisional round between the 49’ers and the Dallas Cowboys? which leads me to number three…..
Yes!……..we scored on tv reception as well, even being out in the boonies. Low and behold, we had the 49’er/Cowboy game on Fox network. Yippee, skippee. But boy did we cut it close. We pulled in and unhitched just in time for kickoff, all while luxuriating in the glory of full hookups.