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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


Wednesday Mar 1, 2017 Comfort Inn and Suites Palestine, Texas 945 PM Good evening Trekkies! Well, the weather report from home is that mud season has arrived in our driveway and tonight the rain was coming down in buckets so hard that our daughter thought hail or sleet was hitting the windows. What absolutely insane weather! Here in the Southland the high as we drove today under sunny almost cloudless skies was 82. Had the sunroof open all day and it was heaven. By the time we reached Palestine around 3 or so, the temperature had dropped to a more comfortable 74. Got off to a slow start this morning but weren't in a big rush so it really wasn't important. Route 10 took us all the way from Ville Platte to Leesville, La the home of Fort Polk. We've traveled that route several times before so were quite familiar with the landscape, which as I've already mentioned is prairie. It reminds us a great deal of Ohio and somewhat of Kansas and Nebraska, although there are more trees here than in those two Midwestern states. At Leesville we turn westward toward the Sabine River and into Texas. It always amazes me how quickly terrain can change. Even before crossing into Texas the prairie gives way to pine plantations and scrubby growth. Once across the river I was able to choose roads we had not traveled before. It came as a surprise that there WERE roads we've missed in our Texas travels. I know it is a huge State but I've chosen so many farm roads or county roads in the past trips going and coming, that we are really running out of new Texas territory. I really loved Nogadoches--no shopping malls at all and a true downtown with several blocks of sidewalk lined with stores and shops and offices --not empty storefronts. That's how Glens Falls used to be and Albany and other towns I lived in. I miss those downtowns and real stores. Nothing too much to say about the day that the pictures and historical signs ( we kiddingly call them hysterical signs ) don't tell. This isn't a favorite part of Texas for me, I find it too scrubby, although as in any place, periodically a particularly lovely sight/site appears. We were amused at the sign for Box's Fort to see that though the area described has long since disappeared someone decided to prop a cross against the tree next to the sign. These random religious admonitions are so foreign to us--like the slat of wood nailed to a tree in the middle of nowhere in Tennessee with just the word " repent " written on it. As we pulled into Palestine we found ourselves the caboose in a convoy of school buses. Bill laughed and said no matter where we turn I think we are screwed--every road is going to have a bus turning into it. We were relieved when we came upon the school and the yellow parade turned into its parking lot, ready to ingest the students rather than to disgorge them periodically on the rural roads. Pulled over at the loop road to find a restaurant with our navigation system--Applebee's 0.4 miles down the road, where I had the oriental chicken salad and Bill had the fiesta lime chicken. Back to the car and the navigation system and 2 miles farther down the road to the motel. We were one of the first guests when it opened about four years ago and it is still as lovely as ever. It was also the first Choice hotel that had a blackboard in the lobby welcoming me by name for being one of the Elite guests of that evening. Wasn't on the blackboard tonight--probably because I made the reservation only about an hour before our arrival. Before closing, Ceil, one of our fellow Trekkies, asked me what a courir was. It had not occurred to me that I didn't explain this rural Mardi Gras tradition to you last night in my blog. courir, an irregular -ir French verb, meaning "to run." It is the term used for the rural Mardi Gras practice of horseback riders dressed in costume going from farmhouse to farmhouse requesting a chicken to be used in a community gumbo cooked that evening for all. The housefrau throws the chicken out of the barn and the riders dismount and chase it on foot. Several communities reenact this tradition and Eunice is one of them. That is why the parade was made up of the captain--the first rider-- and his Krewe along with several roosters and chickens gleaned from the countryside. Very different than the gaudy and elaborate floats etc of New Orleans and other cities. I hope that clears that up for those who wondered what the heck I was talking about. Well, we are back in USA Today land and I've watched Major Crimes so am going to bed to read the paper and do my puzzle before heading to sleep. We'll be in Texas a bit longer --this is big place, hombres! Will catch up with you all tomorrow night. KandB

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