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Day 17, Camp 9 - Sam Houston Jones State Park, Lake Charles, LA

Posted 12-06-2009 at 09:07 AM by Phantom

2009/12/2 - (4 nights @ $9 per night)
Day 17, Camp 9
Sam Houston Jones State Park
Lake Charles, LA
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We drove from Grand Isle back up LA 1 to LA 24 west to Bourg, through Houma to US 90, west to New Iberia, west on LA 14 to Abbeville, then south and west on LA 82 to Oak Grove, then north on LA 7 & 14, across I-10, through Lake Charles to Sam Houston Jones State Park... (see map)... nearly 300 miles and 7 hours. While more than I prefer to drive in a day, much of this was due to my desire to stay off the major freeways... travel the back-roads and see the countryside. Unfortunately, much of the 'countryside' is industrialized with oil and natural gas enterprises combined with many boat-building yards, barge and tug building, off-shore oil rig repair and services. Lots of businesses that involve large amounts of rusting steel. The land itself was amazing... vast stretches of saltwater marsh. We drove from the bottom tip of the bayou country, across the lower edge of Louisiana. I'd wanted to hear some Zydeco and Cajun music... and taste more of the cuisine. Sadly, we find it hard to stay up much past 9 pm. Often our camps are rather far from towns or music venues... that don't normally even get started until 9 pm. Having become an old fart is causing me to miss out on a lot of fun! Donna says we are now officially FROPs (Free Range Old People). I resist. Or, as I was thinking when we drove through Bourg... "Resistance is futile... you will be assimilated"...
Next day was Thurs. 12/3... we went into town, did laundry, a little shopping, lunch at a little Mexican restaurant. We must have been really dirty... Four loads of wash and dry came to $14!
Friday we vegged out around camp. Weather was cold and drizzly. We decided to hunker down and wait out the bad weather... paid for 2 more nights. Had to move to a different site, one space over! ... in the cold drizzle. Read, checked out the 'Free and Cheap Campgrounds' book for our next move... photographed maps, played a little Mandolin. Snow and freezing predicted for the night! A rare occurrence in this area. Earliest snow on record for Houston.
Saturday morning is bright but cold. Some frost and light snow on the vehicles and roofs. I disconnected the water last night to be safe. Temps dropped to 28. The faucet was frozen shut this morning... a tiny icicle hanging from my water filter at the spigot.
Saturday dawn was bright and clear... still chilly. We went for a hike on the trails in the park. Did about 3 miles... Through a Cypress swamp and into Long Leaf Pine with an understory of Yaupon. Everything was draped with the long pines needles. Made the woods look like they were getting ready for Christmas. Later in the day I did another couple miles along the Calcasieu river trail. The views into the swamp in the late afternoon light were beautiful... the river not as much, residences lined the far shore. Did get a short glimpse of a pair of Pileated woodpeckers!
Sunday morning dawns bright but clouds over quickly. Rain predicted for this afternoon. We'll push on for Texas!
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  1. Old Comment
    MTDECK's Avatar
    I have been following your blogs closely and you have been on the route that I am wanting to take. I have bought my Airstream ( 22' International CCD) and will retire at the end of the year. I live near Nashville, TN and my first trip is Key West. I plan to go to Pensacola and then follow 98 on down the panhandle. I know you made this run before and my question is how hard is it to find sites during the winter season. Do you make reservations or just show up?
    Posted 12-06-2009 at 07:17 PM by MTDECK MTDECK is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Well, Lake Charles has been our home for the past 17 years. And I hate that I was not keeping up with the member comments while I was home last week. We could have gotten together. So you "endured" our south Louisiana snow storm :-) I got up Saturday morning and captured a few pics. Morning had heavy overcast but by 10 am it was turning into a nice day. You guys seem to be having a great trip. Thanks for visiting our state. Take care......steve
    Posted 12-10-2009 at 12:13 PM by Steve & Mary Steve & Mary is offline

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