Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sam Houston Jones State Park, Louisiana

We awoke to a little early morning fog at sunrise which yielded up some pretty fine photos – again with the Canon s90 at hand. They should be at the end of the Tickfaw album, just preceding this post.

Morty put another free day in the bank with one more consecutive driving day of 170 miles. We were just able to stay in Louisiana with its low prices at the westernmost state park known as Sam Houston Jones. This park is just North of Lake Charles. The prices here are the same as before, but we noticed a new schedule of transaction charges: $3 for walk-in; $5 for using the web site, and $9 for using ReserveAmerica. No wonder I’ve been leery of using the third party site. Can you imagine my reaction if I were charged an extra $9 for making my $8 site rental. Ouch!

Fortunately, reservations are hardly necessary, the park is only about 15% full tonight, though some late arrivals are inevitable. I am getting to like our noon arrivals more and more. The routine of driving for three hours before lunch is working well for us, because first, we can stop for a McDonalds breakfast, when we arrive, we have a larger selection of sites, then we have lunch in the park followed by bike-borne explorations. Then we are soon tired and ready for appetizers and dinner, an early bedding, and ready for an early start all over again -- maybe too Spartan for most, but a good routine for us. Mentioning McDonalds, we are obliged to report that some are doing away with the $0.50 senior coffee because of the expanded breakfast $1 value menu -- we win, we lose this time all in the same place.

As we drove, the skies clouded over, looking quite wintry by Ohio standards, but the temperatures climbed into the 70’s. Today’s wildlife list is fairly short: deer, ibis and duck. We are in Calcasieu Parish on the Calcasieu River, and again, most of the heat-loving critters are on sabbatical. A quartet of yearling deer came up to Morty just as were about to unpack the bikes. Lynne remarked that they looked very thin, so I spread out a little birdseed on the picnic bench, and one came over and licked most of it up. A second had less courage and could only manage a bite while the last two looked on in disgust -- quite a demonstration of peer pressure.

Tomorrow we enter Lone Star where the weather will dictate how far south our path takes us. Tonight I’m struggling with a marginal cell phone connection, so there’s no telling when we’ll get this post up.

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