Friday, October 2, 2015
We left the campground at 9:45 this morning and headed west which took us along the Barnett Reservoir where we discovered there was a beautiful drive on the Natchez Trace Parkway. We were so glad the GPS headed us in this direction as it was a beautiful drive for several miles. We followed the bank of the Reservoir for most of the drive and discovered they have a beautiful bike trail here that evidently is quite well known by bicyclists.
|Natchez Trace Parkway|
|Barnett Reservoir along Natchez Trace Parkway|
In no time we were crossing the Mississippi River and driving into Louisiana. One thing we noticed right away was the change in the landscape. In Mississippi there were lots of pine trees and the land immediately turned flat and open as we crossed the River into Louisiana. While pine trees did come back into the scenery as we moved on west it was interesting how it changed so drastically right at the river.
|Bridge between Mississippi and Louisiana. Notice the flag on the bridge to the right.|
We ran across a few cotton fields soon after that and I snapped a few pictures. These were a little better pictures than the previous ones I shared.
As we passed through Monroe, LA I was reminded that our son Marc had mentioned the Duck Commander store was here, of the Duck Dynasty fame. We discussed the possibility of driving back here to visit if the drive isn’t too far.
About an hour later we arrived in Minden, LA. I had read about their historical district on Trip Advisor so I was expecting something really nice but was pretty disappointed. I really didn’t see any shops to visit. The road to the campground took us right through some of the downtown which isn't much fun if you hit it when it’s busy. It’s one thing in just a vehicle but entirely different when pulling a 36’ RV behind you, but as usual Dean did a great job of maneuvering Bentley through the twists and turns.
We are staying in the Kisatche National Forest at the Caney Lakes Recreation Area in the Beaver Dam Campground.
I have to say Louisiana had the worse roads of any state for the longest period of driving we have done. It started on the east side and was that way all the way to the west side and in all of the towns we visited. The drive to the campground seemed like it would go on forever and of course we had to drive slow due to the condition of the road. Once we turned on to the park road I realized we might have a problem here as it did not appear we would have a signal for our phone or any internet service at all.We finally decided on site 20, since many of the sites had reserved placards on them. I called early that morning to see if they had plenty of sites. The ranger advised they had many sites available so we were surprised there were so many reservation placards as you can only reserve so many days prior. Our site is pretty nice here, being both level and on gravel. We have a view out the front door of nice pine trees where we can see glimpses of Caney Lake. It is a nice large gravel spot with both water and electric hookups. They provide a grill, fire ring and a picnic table for each site. We found when setting outside sometimes you could pick up a signal on the phone but it was not constant and it did not work inside at all. Originally we planned to spend four nights here but due to the lack of phone signal we decided to cut our stay here by two nights and we will go on to Bullard, TX a little sooner.
|Our site, #20.|
So here is our bad news for the day – ha, you thought it was the lack of phone and internet signal, right? Nope, this tops that. I was putting the slides out in the living area. I watch as both go out to be sure nothing has moved during our travels that might be in the way of the slides as they go out. As I looked from the dining side back to the kitchen I looked down at the floor and the roller evidently is not working again. Something had caught the vinyl flooring and ripped it back several inches in a big V. You can only imagine how I felt seeing that, especially since we thought that problem was behind us. There isn’t anything we can do about it now so we’ll go back to putting the metal plate down and Dean trying to lift the kitchen side of the slide as I bring it in and take it out until we get home and Deryl can look at it. Oh well, at least we can get it in and out. I’m thankful for that.
We took a walk around the loop of the campground. Dean took a look at the reservation placards on some of the sites to discover most of them were old – as much as a month! We passed up some nice spots because the reservation placards were there. That was a bit frustrating. Oh well, the one we have is fine, however one of the spots we had looked at had a really beautiful and open view of the lake.
I wanted to find a laundromat so we could hit Bullard with everything clean. We headed into town and after literally driving all over Minden, we finally found a laundromat. Our first try took us to the far west side of town and we never did find a laundromat, then a second selection took us to the east side but it turned out to be a cleaners. I went in to ask where a laundromat was located and they sent us on east and then back south, then back west. After 30 minutes of driving around we finally found it. I will say even though it didn’t look that great from the outside or inside, the machines seemed to be clean and the dryers worked better than any others we’ve used in other laundromats on this trip. In less than two hours we had everything done and we headed back to Bentley.After dinner of macaroni with meat sauce we settled in for some TV (fortunately we picked up several local channels) before heading to bed.
Saturday, October 3, 2015
I woke up about 6:30 this morning. I read some on my Kindle since I was unable to get online to read my daily RV blogs.After breakfast we discussed our plans for the day and we decided we would drive back to West Monroe, LA and visit the Duck Commander headquarters. The drive was still bumpy but not as bad without Bentley following us. I’m not sure what I was expecting but more than what was there. It was a large metal building that was pretty plain. Here are a couple of pictures I took. Their large trailer with pictures of the Duck Dynasty crew painted on the side was sitting out front.
|Us in front of warehouse/store building.|
Upon entering the store, a young lady immediately asked us to step over to a site where they handed Dean a “toy” gun and asked us to pose for a picture. We looked around the warehouse which was mostly T-shirts, sweatshirts, memorabilia and of course the various Duck Commander duck calls. It was interesting and I’m glad we went, but really not what I thought we would see. We did buy the picture of us for a souvenir. Since we purchased it we also received the rights to email it to others and or post it to Facebook. I emailed it to myself and then sent it to a few family members. Here it is for everyone else to see.
I took this selfie as we were leaving in front of the building and then we headed out to find some place to have lunch. We decided to take local highways back to Minden rather than the Interstate. We stopped in Ruston, LA at a local Popeye’s. Dean told me it was my turn to pick out where to eat. I really like Popeye’s, especially their red beans and rice.
We enjoyed the drive back and passing through the small communities. We set outside for awhile before I made our dinner of taco salads. We spent time figuring out our route to Bullard for tomorrow before heading to bed.