Wednesday, March 28, 2007


ARKansas LouisianA TEXas - that is the Ark La Tex region. Kinda' swampy, kinda' piney, very green and rolling. We stayed at a beautiful, lakeside Corps of Engineers park on Lake O' The Pines in the Texas portion of the region, using it as a base to visit two state parks before we moved on to Hot Springs, AR.

This photo was taken at Caddo Lake State Park, right up against the Texas-Louisiana border. Caddo Lake seems more like a series of bayous, narrow passages through 350 year old cypress trees. We took a guided pontoon boat ride here, winding through passageways marked by numbered signs. Getting lost in the maze is called "spending the night in the Caddo Motel" and even our guide admitted to being unexpectedly out overnight once.

We didn't see any alligators, as it was still too cold for them (though it was in the upper 70's). What we DID see were the striking spring blossoms. A short loop hike revealed dozens of blooming dogwood trees, a beautiful counterpoint to the green, green, green of the forest. Most striking, though, were the wisteria vines, at the height of their bloom season. They climbed way up to the very treetops, smothering their scaffold in foot long cones of purple blossoms. And the scent...!

The entire area was an eyeopener for us. Because it takes two days to drive through the arid lands of West Texas, I tend to think of Texas as open and rangy. Not east Texas - it is green, rolling, carpeted with lush pastures and heavy forests.

On Monday, it was a half day drive up to Hot Springs, Arkansas, where we set ourselves up as the only rig in the RV parking area at the newish Elks Lodge. We went straight to Hot Springs National Park for a hike, planning to earn a dinner of BBQ'ed ribs (we had researched several recommended rib joints on the web).

To our mighty disappointment, all the rib joints in Hot Springs CLOSE on Monday! If you know us, you know we had a back-up plan: shrimp and catfish at the Cajun Boiler.

Dinner was delicious and plentiful, but we could not pass up the opportunity to try a regional speciality: Peanut Butter Pie. I have since looked up the recipe on the internet; standard ingredients are peanut butter, cream cheese, cool whip, and powdered sugar. It is as decadent and yummy as it sounds. It does not pay to resist a regional speciality.

1 comment:

  1. Yum! Greg wants to try peanut butter pie!