10/28/18 Ville Platte, LA.

DAY #10

Woke up today and prepared to do what every real man (no?) does on Sunday,  watch football!  I was able to get over the air reception and while it was only NBC, CBS, and sometimes Fox (its reception kept going in and out), channels that I normally seldom if ever watch.  The gods were with me this day because those otherwise (in my opinion) quality devoid stations which were the only ones I could get were the only ones that had football.  So I made myself comfy and vegged through the games.  I know sitting in a tiny trailer (on the bed) in the woods of Louisiana watching TV on a little screen may not sound cool and adventurous (oh god, you’re right it’s not),  but the weather was nice and the environment was tranquil and  just kicking back in Louisiana was OK.  I then prepared for the big game of the week; Vikings vs Saints on Sunday night football.  Sitting in Louisiana while a resident of Minnesota and therefore someone identified as a Viking fan, seemed almost magical (OK, I’ll go with that), I thought yes, I am the good luck charm this teams going to take to victory.  Hey we lost and I guess I wasn’t the good luck charm after all, I was just another disappointed fan.

By early afternoon about 98% of the park was empty again.  The weekend campers had packed up and headed home, and once again the park was mine.

It is bothering me a little bit that I’m not getting out and about as much as I think I should.  I haven’t been getting photos or doing a lot of meandering.  I think I’ve gotten into such a rut that in many ways I’m almost stuck. I don’t want this tiny trailer to become my hideout from the world like home in Osakis has so often been. Don’t get me wrong, we all need to have a place where we can feel safe & secure, but not as a place to hide, rather, as a place to live.  I know the things I need to do and how to do them, it’s just getting off my ass and getting it in gear…argh!!!

Just thinking while in my introspective mood, when Marcia died, I remember feeling like a little boy in a huge crowd suddenly lost from his loved one, sometimes I still feel that way.

10/27/18 Ville Platte, LA.

DAY #9

When the sun set the night before it was quiet in the campsite, I was one of only a few there.  Waking up Saturday morning though brought a different scene.  The park (at least around me) had almost filled up with trailers and pickups.  It was OK to have some human noise, at least for a little while.  So far at the parks I’ve stayed, it’s been really quiet.

I still haven’t hooked up my water, I deep pushing it to the next site.  I guess there’s that fear that when I hook it up it wont work or worse yet, blow a line somewhere and water, water everywhere.  It does help when the bathrooms at the parks are in decent condition and the one’s at this park were no exception.  I was able to shower and other stuff without that never fails someone wanting to use the toilet or shower when you’re using it.  LEAVE ME ALONE, DAMMIT.  You should be able to tell, I don’t like when that happens.

Went into Ville Platte and while it’s rundown and well past its prime, it still retains some interesting architecture, mainly in the homes.  You get outside the city (pop. 7500) and the homes are really, really nice.  Most are set back from the road with a large well-groomed lawn around them devoid of any trees.  Almost all are made of brick, long and low to the ground with large sweeping roofs. In Ville Platte itself, the homes were for the most part old, small, and in need of a sprucing up.  the side streets were narrow and dark with trees and poverty.  The area is approx. 60% black and 40% white and you can tell pretty easily where the white folks live and where the black folks live.  Having said that, what I did see were people (black & white) interacting with and seemingly getting along with one another.  It seemed more normal to me here than it does back in Minnesota.  I liked the people around here, seemed friendly in a genuine way.

Coming back to the campsite was a bit interesting.  It was getting dark and talk about a long four miles.  Wasn’t sure where I was going (I didn’t know where I was going under  ideal conditions), and the trees were so thick that they created an almost fence like effect, and add to that the fast fading light.  About this time a thought came to me; man, you are a city boy aren’t you?  OK, I manned up and put my fears aside (at least for the next mile) and finally (Whoop Whoop!!) there was the campsite.  Nice way to end the day.

What, no photos again?

10/26/18 Ashdown AR.-Ville Platte, LA


After two days of rainy, misty weather, the sky’s cleared and this vagabond was once again on the road.  Today’s destination; Chicot State Park, outside Ville Platte, LA.

The weather up to this point has been (overall) solid.  Yea it was a little cool in Iowa and Northwestern Arkansas (NWA), but warmed up nicely (low 70s) on the drive into Louisiana.  The drive itself was pretty uneventful, the land becoming very flat but with lots and lots of trees.  I again mixed my road selection with some state highways, along with some interstate.  The interstate was actually OK, this part of Louisiana is so heavily forested and so quiet (traffic wise) that the freeway had almost the same intimacy that I get taking the other roads.  I did observe (I like that word) that unlike truck stops/gas stations along other interstates around the country where you’ll see the station with all its lights and signs right at the top of the exits, in Louisiana, you don’t see that.  You go up on the ramp and then turn left or right and they’ll be just down the road 1000.’  It kind of makes it feel like there are no stations along the interstate and with the truck getting blah mileage, I did have a few moments of anxiety, but I was able to adapt and survived.

I arrive at what I thought was the park around 3:30 in the afternoon. I had dutifully listened to my copilot (google) as she ended up bringing me to the edge of the park but miles away from the entrance.  It seems google hasn’t gotten to this place yet.  OK now what, I started on back to the main road (a two-mile narrow two lane road) while deciding on how to get to the park entrance.  I really don’t like it when you get on a bumpy, bouncy road with the trailer.  It feels like its going to come loose from the hitch.  Thankfully, I had remembered seeing a sign for the park not far from where goggle had instructed me to turn, so I went back, found it and followed it and subsequent other signs directing me to the park.  After about another 20 minutes,   I made it to the main entrance and checked in.  YEA, Happy Ending.

The campsite was four miles from the entrance and wow, talk about being in the sticks, but it was nice.  Found my site, backed in, unhooked, set up and kicked back. I was ready to hang out in Chioct State Park and the surrounding area for the next four days.DSC_0083 (2).JPGDSC_0084 (2).JPG

Did you know that Chicot State Park is the largest State Park in Louisiana.