Back in the Pelican State! Oct 30th - Nov 2nd, 2014
We crossed into Louisiana on October 29th, after a very long day's drive from Wichita Falls, TX, aiming for an RV site at the Shreveport Elks Lodge. Not a problem ... we were the only ones there! Again, nothing fancy, but all we were interested in was to get off the road and relax. Turns out this Elks lodge is situated on the Red River, spacious and sprawling, with lots of ankle-deep, soft green grass. After settling in, we walked around the grounds a bit, admiring the touches of autumn color this far south.
Autumn on the Red River.
On our way to Baton Rouge: Crossing Big Muddy -- M, I, double S, I, double S, I, double P, I.
Not a really pretty Mississippi River shoreline in Baton Rouge.
The saying here goes, "It looks like money to me."
It's a tradition by now that the six of us pick a restaurant and enjoy dinner out one nite.
L to R -- Jim, Bubba 'n Nannie, me 'n Jimmy, and Judy
Our first time here and the food was very good.
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Louisiana had been bone dry for weeks (in NorCal we're used to being bone dry!), which meant the four of us could walk "back on the river" late Sunday morning. This adventure is something we always used to do, but in the past few years, the path to the river has become an alleged path, full of tangly undergrowth intended to trip the careless and lead us astray! When I lived next door to my sister (1990's), she and I used to love hiking back to the river, accompanied by her independent black cat named "The Twit," and a goofy Catahoula cur dog that jumped around like a Springbok. In early summer she and I would pick blackberries for jelly, wearing gum boots to protect our legs from briars and our feet from snakes! But all four of us are right fond of plunking ourselves down on a patch of stones, picking thru them looking for Louisiana agates and fossils, unusual shapes, variegated colors, or flat skipping stones, and this IS the place to do it!
After a cool morning's start, Bubba and Nannie lead the way from their house, looking for the trail.
And once we break out of the trees and brush, we emerge on the sandbar. And millions and millions of stones! Jimmy sez, laying on the hot rocks draws the aches and pains out of an old body. (don't you believe it!)
BFF: Nannie and me.
Eventually, the stones get HARD, elbows, hips, heinies, all feel the pressure, regardless of a sandy layer below the rocks. Then, we have to get up and move around. Nannie and Bubba are looking at the sandbar opposite.
Two hours later, our stomachs think our throats've been cut. No lunch! Time to, uh, find the way home? Which way? No visible path here. All's well that ends well, however. We stumbled along, backtracking a couple of times, but we made it home!
I used to have a LOT of Louisiana agates and fossils (especially Crinoids), but over the years, I've given most of them away ... to children and science classes. And even now, parked in one spot, I'll scoot this way and that way, picking over the stones. I search for and exult when I find a nice specimen, and into the plastic baggie it goes. And those durn things are now inside Tergel, joining other treasures we pick up here 'n there. Jimmy and Nannie gathered up enough small, rounded pink stones that look like mints to half-fill two baggies. We skipped stones, walked the length of the sandbar, took pictures, scattered, and came together again.
And there you have it. We had a great time, as usual, but it was time to move on. Monday morning, we bid Nannie and Bubba adios, fired up Tergel and pointed her nose East, aiming for the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay. A very special birthday party awaits us. And hopefully one of those yummy shrimp po-boys that Judy mentioned!