March 23, 2016
We say goodbye to Maplewood but not before one last train charges past in all its cacophony of horns, speed, and blur.
We travel north to Hot Springs, Arkansas to my favorite resting places of all, a National Park.
Apparently Garmin does not know about Interstate 49 because she has us traveling on Highway 71 which runs parallel to the highway. Jeff starts getting upset with Garmin and I remind him that he likes to take the back roads. Besides, today is a shorter day’s journey. As we leave the Shreveport area we see farmland covered in water.
The picture below shows a flooded entryway to a house sitting beyond the waters.
Meanwhile, the cows are happy and the grass is spring green.
We drive past mini oil wells…
and arrive in Arkansas.
As we approach Hot Springs NP, I come across a familiar sight from Cincinnati.
We arrive at Gulpha Gorge Campground.
MARCH 22, 2016
We decide to head east to Shreveport, Louisiana before traveling north to Hot Springs, Arkansas. Interstate 20 takes us through bright spring green stretches that remind us of Ohio.
We have no place to stay tonight. As we approach Shreveport I look for an affordable RV Park with laundry facilities. I find 4 places along our route. We opt for the Maplewood RV Park in Bossier City north of Shreveport.
As we approach Shreveport, there remain signs of the recent flooding.
Shreveport and its sister city, Bossier, are separated by the Red River, which is swollen from all the recent rains.
Maplewood has a space for us, and it’s a pull-thru as opposed to a back-in. Bonus!
We do laundry and get rid of our garbage from last night. We had to pack it up and take it with us because we couldn’t find a dumpster yesterday and there was no one around to ask, just dogs.
We see a B-52 jet flying overhead, and then another. The Barkdale AFB is nearby.
And then we hear the unmistakable harsh blast announcing a train’s arrival, loud, piercing, soooo close! The tracks are almost right behind our bedroom window. All night long…
The Short Scoop on Shreveport:
- Shreveport was established in 1836 to create a town at the intersection of the Red River and the Texas Trail.
- The Texas Trail was the inland route to the Republic of Texas.
- But first a 180-mile-long log jam, the Great Raft, had to be cleared so that the river could be navigable again.
- Henry Miller Shreve, using a specially modified riverboat, the Heliopolis, removed the natural-made log jam.
- In 1860 the population consisted of 2,200 free people and 1,300 slaves.
- The Civil War continued in this area for several weeks because the news had not reached here yet that General Robert E. Lee had surrended!
- Shreveport hosted the radio program, Louisiana Hayride, where Elvis Presley made his debut.