Northern Louisiana and Southern Arkansas

Visited February 23 – March 2, 2017

On our way to Texas, we spent a quiet week in Homer, Louisiana–which is easy to do because Homer is remote and quiet.  Our cell phone service, and the WiFi offered at the RV park, was very limited, so we more disconnected than we had been in months.  We couldn’t do online projects we had hoped to accomplish.  But we were on lovely Lake Claiborne in a great neighborhood for walking, so we really enjoyed our walks, relaxing by the water, and playing our new favorite game, Mexican train dominoes. 🙂

Homer is close to the border with Arkansas so we could check another state off our list!  We took a day to explore a couple of state parks not far over the border, Logoly and White Oak, and did some hiking at each one.  These exploring days are fun because they are loose on structure and high on recreation value. 🙂  We head out with a couple destinations in mind, take snacks and a picnic lunch, and just see where the roads take us.  Sometimes I can persuade Tom to ditch the GPS and let me navigate, but he is very, very attached to his GPS. 😉

Another day we drove south in Louisiana to Natchitoches.  Do you know how to pronounce that?!  I wasn’t even close–it’s “Nack-a-tish”–crazy, right?!  It’s the oldest town in the state, established in 1714.  We stopped for lunch at the Cane River Bar and Grill and sat out on the covered deck overlooking the Cane River, which is actually a lake, but linear and meandering.  There are a lot of great restaurants to choose from, but the neon Yuengling sign caught our attention!  As it turned out, those were our last Yuenglings to enjoy because we were heading west into the “No Yuengling Zone” for the rest of the year. 🙁

After lunch, we strolled along the historic waterfront and business district where Spring had sprung a month early and it seemed like the camellias, azaleas, redbuds, dogwoods and wisteria were all blooming at once!  We walked several blocks further, past several stately homes now converted to bed & breakfast inns, to Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Historic Site, part of the state park system.  The fort is a reconstruction based on historical records and you get a great dose of colonial history from the reenactors’ first person interpretation.  We asked for suggestions of other state parks to explore on our way home and were directed to Mansfield State Historic Site where the Civil War Battle of Mansfield took place.  They say the Confederate victory there, and others nearby, may have prolonged the war by several months.  The battlefield and cannons are well preserved and a small museum houses great displays, artifacts, and an overview film.  Our favorite part of these park visits, though, is chatting with the park staff; their knowledge and passion add so much to our visit!  We took a different route home, as is our custom, so our exploring day covered a loop of new territory for us. 🙂  More new territory ahead in Texas!

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