We planned to take 3 days to complete the 1100 miles home. With today’s sunny weather, easy roads, little traffic, and the promise of cold at the end of each leg (there is ice on the water now) we ended up covering better than half the distance. After traveling throught the states of Mississippi, Tennesee, Arkansas, and Missouri we ended up in an RV lot in Marion, IL. If all goes well we should be home by late afternoon tomorrow. Maybe we even get a chance to see the grandkids this weekend!
Lat/Lon: 31* 40′ 38.78″N, 90* 20′ 11.22″W
This morning it was obvious the rising waters would force us to move. We decided to start heading North.
We took our time traveling the byways to Lake Lincoln State Park. The weather turned out to be cool, but sunny. Tomorrow we’ll get serious about heading home and jump on I5. We have about 1,000 miles to make it home and plan on taking three days. This should keep us away from snow covered roads if the forecasts hold, and bring us home Sunday.
Tomorrow we’ll winterize the trailer before we take off, so the cold weather should not create any hassles with the plumbing.
Every campground is unique in one way or another. We will remember Tickfaw State Park for being everything we always expected Louisiana to be with all the water, wetlands & swamps. While the weather has been nice & sunny here, the water in the park keeps rising.
We asked the ranger were all this water is coming from and he calmly explained that all the water that falls North of here has to go through here. The water next to the site went up 10″ while we were here (we’re tracking it) and another 10″ – 12″ and the pavement we’re on will be submerged. To keep things simple and just in case we did hook-up the trailer before it got dark out so moving out will be fairly simple chore.
We’re not sure were we will end up tomorrow yet. The weather forecast just a little North from here does not sound all that friendly yet (too cold). If we have to move we’ll probably find a dry spot not too far from here before moving North to Memphis on Friday.
Lat/Lon: 30* 23′ 3.20″N, 90* 38′ 8.79″W
There are only a few ways to get to the East side of the Atchafalaya basin, one way is via the 18 mile long bridge on Interstate 10 or by traveling the byways South of the basin, just North of the Gulf Coast thru the Louisiana swamps and farm fields. Since we wanted to get the ‘Louisiana swamp & bayou’ flavor we choose the latter. It took a couple of hours longer but we felt it was worth it. Today also brought us back on the East side of the mighty Mississippi River again, after more than 2 months on the other side.
We ended up in another nice Louisiana State Park, along the Tickfaw river. The plan is to make this our last stop before heading North again. We were going to wait here for the weather to be somewhat decent for travel, but we are told our stay may have to be limited to a few days. The park is expected to be completely flooded in a few days and we may have to move. In the mean time we’ll stick around and enjoy the great sunny weather.
The plans for today was to check the bayous, canals and swamps of the Atchafalaya Basin. With more than 1.4 million acres (5700 sq. km), most of it inaccessible we could only hope to scratch the surface We biked along levees, trails (some pretty muddy), and paved roads.
We also rented one of the canoes that are available in the park and spent some time on the water, only to get tangled up in some pretty thick weeds.
We felt we got a good taste of the state of Louisiana until the ‘camp host’ stopped by with a genuine Cajun meal and topped of the day for us. Most public campgrounds have on site volunteer ‘hosts’ that perform various tasks around the campgrounds. In return they get to stay for free for an extended period.
Lat/Lon: 30* 3′ 41.75″N, 91* 39′ 25.42″W
Our 150 +/- mile trip from the Sam Houston Jones State Park today took us to the byways along South Louisiana to the Lake Fausse State Park. The weather cleared up nice today and we had a fair amount of sun. One obvious thing we noticed once we left Texas, was the need for an ‘Adopt-A-Road’ program in this state. Lots of litter along the roads. Too bad. Our route took us by miles & miles of rice and sugar cane fields. The park is located right next to the Atchafalaya Basin, which, at 1.4 million acres and stretches for 140 + miles, is the largest wetland and swamp in the USA. Tomorrow’s plans are to check that out a little closer.
Once we registered for the campsite (located right on the bayou), we found out we are only a short ride from Avery Island, home of the world famous Tabasco Sauce. Since we had some shopping to do anyways, we decided to check this place out. We took a tour of the factory and of course checked out the gift shop before heading back to the campsite.