The Quest for Road Food

After touring downtown Natchez, we planned to head over to Mammy’s for dessert. We were disappointed to discover that Mammy doesn’t like to bake everyday and takes a nap in the afternoon! She closed at 2 PM, so we weren’t able to get any banana carmel pie or hummingbird cake today. We may just stick around until Tuesday just to sample Mammy’s cooking!

Natchez

We had an uneventful drive to Natchez in Mississippi yesterday. It was only a couple of hours including the stop at a quilt shop we drove by accidentally. Alan spotted it and graciously turned the trailer around and went back. I got a great deal ($4.19/yard) on some Aunt Gracie’s that I will put on the back of my Chairman’s Challenge (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, you can check my other Blog!)

We had reservations for two nights here at Natchez State Park but after checking out the campground we decided to extend another night. The sites have nice, level concrete pads with big picnic tables Also, it is only $16/night – pretty cheap.

The campground only has 40 sites that are well separated from each other (except near the Lake where they are a little close together.) The one down side is they don’t have any hiking trails except for a short nature walk. They really should get some boy scouts out here to cut a trail or two. The roads make a nice loop so we will probably go for a ride tomorrow.

Today, we are off to town to check out some history and maybe an antebellum mansion or two.

Natchitoches

It’s pronounced nakitosh . . . We avoided the highway yesterday and stopped in this little town near the Red River.

We were considering spending two nights and exploring the town but the campground left a little something to be desired. The sites in the back were okay, but when we got in at 5:30 all that was left was in the front. The view from our site looked right into a truck stop. It was a little noisy but it didn’t keep us up – we were both exhausted after getting an early start and a relatively long day on the road.

We never did meet the manager or owner. They had closed the office before we got in so we paid our money in a little envelope. When we left this morning the office was closed again. There seemed to be a number of people living in this campground. We have seen a lot of road construction and we read recently that Louisiana has very low unemployment so people are probably travelling here for work and staying in their camper to save money.

We will cross into Mississippi today. We have reservations for the weekend at Natchez State Park near the Mississippi River.

On the Road Again

We’ve made it out onto the road again -this time for our first big trip of the year. We don’t really have a destination planned although we do have a couple of ideas of places we would like to visit. We are targeting the Smokey Moutains National Park in Tennessee.

So, of course we need a name for our trip. I’m tentatively calling this the Tennessee Waltz. I like this name since we aren’t in any way taking a direct route. We are starting out going through Louisiana and then up the Natchez Trace in Mississippi. We may even head North out of Tennessee and go all the way to Michigan. We will just have to see how things go . . .

2008 Wrap Up

2009 is looking a lot different from 2008.  We are about to head out on our Big Trip of the year (tentatively called Tennessee Waltz), but it doesn’t look like we are going to be on the road as much as we were last year:

South Texas

  • 12 Nights
  • 1,194 miles

Sunny Southwest

  • 62 Nights
  • 5,224 miles

An iPhone goes to Arkansas

  • 28 Nights
  • 1,947 miles

Caddo Lake

  • 3 Nights
  • 419 miles

Rio Grande River Tour

  • 14 Nights
  • 1,824 miles

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge

We took one of our days at Goose Island and headed over to Aransas Nation Wildlife Refuge.  We thought we might get to see some Whooping Cranes but that didn’t exactly happen – unless you want to call two small dots in the distance, kind of moving around “seeing”.  We did see some other interesting wildlife that we weren’t expecting – including a lot of alligators. 

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Of course there was some of the more traditional Texas wildlife:

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Okay, here is the big grand finale – the whooping cranes:

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We got this photo from a very large observation tower.  If you really wanted to see the endangered whooping cranes, you had to take a boat ride and approach the birds from the Bay side.  You can read more about the whooping cranes here:  http://www.fws.gov/southwest/REFUGES/texas/aransas/whoopingcranes.html

We did enjoy the Park and took a couple of short hikes around the Refuge.  The water was exceptionally clear.

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We made it back home after a stop at Lake Sommerville.  I don’t have any photos because we didn’t do anything.  Alan fished for a couple of hours and I sewed but that was about it.  We never even took the bikes off the truck.  We did see a lot of vultures, though!  They even had a warning posted at the Visitor Center about them picking at your trailer if you weren’t careful. 

Final Tally:

  • 15 Nights
  • 3 Campgrounds
  • 1,157 miles

2009 Inaugural Trip Photos

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I never took the time to post any decent photos from our 2009 Inaugural Trip to Southeast Texas.  We never had an Internet connection so everything I posted was from my iPhone. 

 

Here are a couple of photos from our day in Shriner and tour to City Market.  Along the drive to Luling (my mouth is watering just typing Luling), we stopped to check out Palmetto State Park and spotted a tree full of vultures.  They were probably American Black Vultures.   We also saw a lot of them at Lake Sommerville.  Palmetto was a nice out-of-the-way Park.  We may consider staying there in the future but it doesn’t have many sites.

 

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On our hike through Buescher State Park, this is what we saw on the way out:

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By the time we were making our way back to camp, this is what we were seeing.  The fire was pretty serious.  A number of people lost their homes and a lot of land was burnt.  We were still hearing about it days later until they finally got it completely controlled.  I’m not sure if the drought is officially over in the area, but we have been getting a lot of rain here in North Texas. 

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Here are a couple photos of the Big Tree on Goose Island:

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We enjoyed the birds at Goose Island.  There were Brown Pelicans and White Pelicans.  We’ve seen Brown Pelicans in Mexico but these seemed more colorful and had a lot of attitutde.  It took a lot to budge them off their perch. 

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You have two options when camping at Goose Island State Park – you can stay in the wooded area of the park or right on the water.  We opted to avoid the wind on the water but it looked pretty cool to be right out on the Bay.  We did notice that no one was sitting out by their campsite looking over the water!  We figured that meant we probably made the right choice for us considering we spent most of our time just hanging out at the campsite when we weren’t riding our bikes. 

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I’ll write up a separate post about our visit to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.