Saturday February 15, 2014 Sleep Inn Bastrop, Texas 6 PM CST
I forgot to mention several things about yesterday in Louisiana. First of all, as we were getting into the car to leave the motel the fellow in the car next to us asked where in Vermont we were from. He then said that his great grandparents and other relatives were from Addison County and from Enosburg—last name Watkins. Bill said my folks come from that part of the State, too. They had a good laugh deciding they were probably related. Bill said Vermont is just like West Virginia except for the accent—everyone is related. I said that’s why Bill married me, from New York, to bring in new genes into the gene pool. We all had a good laugh. He’s from Idaho and said he wasn’t too upset being in La at the moment.
Another thing I wanted to mention, if you didn’t recognize them, the pools with the little caps on their surfaces are crayfish pools and the covered boat on one of them has a device in the back which was turning and lifting crayfish out of the pool. Crawdads are also raised in the rice paddies.
Lastly, most of the original people and many of the present inhabitants of the marshlands along the Gulf are Acadians or their descendents, rather than Creoles. The Creoles were sugar planters and became quite affluent and influent –eventually, they pretty much forced the Acadians into the marshes, where they raise cattle. This is something the Acadians have always done and the ranger at the Evangeline site mentioned that beef is a money crop and Acadian cuisine does not use it. That is true—seafood, pork sausages,chicken but no beef in traditional Acadian culinary history. You don’t eat what you can sell.
Also the couple who owned the deceased cat were living in a small decrepit trailer on Holly Beach—he is a commercial fisherman and they are obviously not affluent. He said that all the new stilted houses we saw all around him are owned by week-enders==their vacation homes and all were built with FEMA money, none of which he qualified for. One guy had his home replaced by FEMA after Ike and then when Rita hit got enough FEMA funds that he built a second house that he uses as a rental property. Nothing has changed in La since the Kingfisher!
So, today—well, basically we drove along back roads north and then westward in East Texas. I had done my nails last night in a color that I thought was sunny and Southwestern in spirit. Then, I dug out my sandals and. though feet are ugly things, my tootsies are happier in something open and cool and light. I really hate sneakers—uglier than feet, heavy and hot. At first we were in the Piney Woods of the East Texas slice—passed a stand with wonderful tangerines, strawberries, jerky etc but Bill wouldn’t stop—what I’d give for a delicious tangerine—don’t think I’ve had a really good one in years. Clementines just don’t cut it for me. Then in Beaumont I saw a Market Basket supermarket and thought maybe I could find the ham that my NM friend, Gloria, hoped I could find but he said, no, it isn’t the same chain—sure looked like it. Soon, we did stop at a gas station and he used the men’s room after filling the tank so I guess he had an excuse for not stopping.
Eventually, we came across a lady selling local honey, which I don’t need. But she had jerky and a myriad selection of jams and jellies. I debated about a fig jam but decided on elderberry and we got some beef jerky –one hot and one peppered. The hot was unbearable for me but the peppered one was okay-so we continued down the road chawing in jerky and drinking cold water. I got a kick out of the trailer PO in Cut and Shoot, Tx—which has its own zip code!
Conroe is a huge sprawl primarily along a large lake which is hidden by the MacMansions and businesses and marinas that clog it. Montgomery is a relief, small as it is. We had moved out of the piney woods and out on a flatish plain with many herds of cattle. Lots of brahmin and brahmin mixed cows and bulls. The Brahmin which come from India are able to handle draught and heat better than most of the other breeds in this country. They are good beef but are better as breeding stock to improve the heat and draught tolerance in other breeds. At Bernham we headed toward Austin on Texas 21. We will not be going into Austin but will explore the hill country which is about the only part of Texas we haven’t wandered on Farm Roads. Arrived in Bastrop around 3, checked in and got situated. l emailed back and forth with Gloria and did some research on the Saba River Pecan Specialty Company in San Saba. The Farm store there is on our itinerary tomorrow, I think. Have already made reservations for our room, because if the weather holds, sun and 72, we’ll be hitting farm roads for sure. Pizza Hut delivery tonight
Will let you know how it goes, tomorrow night, if we get in early enough. Good night for now. KandB