"Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?" - Anne Murray

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cut and Shoot, TX

Now we are really on the road, heading for South Carolina as quickly as we reasonably can. We'll be staying only one night in most places we stop, except for a four day break in the Florida panhandle. I won't bother sharing every place we stop, because not all will be memorable, but we have stayed in two towns that are so rich in local color that I just have to post a bit about them

The first is Cut and Shoot, TX. How's that for a name? The town is in the eastern part of the state, just north of Houston. As usual, we try to skirt around the big cities. I found a little campground called Country Place RV Park, that got tremendous reviews on RV Park Reviews. (I don't think I've mentioned yet how heavily I rely on that excellent website to help me select campgrounds along the way. We haven't been misled by their reader generated reviews yet. I've posted a link to the site in the righthand column of this page, in the Links to Live By section.)

Whoever owns this place must really love it. It's landscaped around several naturally shaped ponds, with tall pine trees and grass. On the ponds there were several kinds of ducks, including these black-bellied whistling ducks.  This is the first time either Rick or I have seen these. They are slender, have an upright standing posture, make a kind of whistling sound when they fly, and males have bright orange beaks. The bird guides say they are not usually this far north in Texas.

In back of the campground there are 20 acres of labyrinthine nature trails mowed out of the piney woods, which are marked clearly enough with numbers that even a child could follow them.  Kona and I walked them several times in our short stay. 

(We've crossed over into a humid, green, and often rainy world, in contrast to the desert we've been traveling in for months. Fog!) 

To top off all this lovely property, they've lighted the front part by the road with Christmas decorations that match any I've ever seen for fun and good cheer. 

They seem to especially like snowmen.

Funny how folks down here in the south, even when it's hot, like to create winter scenes to bring on the holiday spirit.

The next comment-worthy stop we made was Poche's (say "poshay's") Fish-n-Camp in Breaux (say "bro") Bridge, Louisiana.  This place is in the heart of Arcadiana, or Cajun swamp country.  Like the Country Place RV Park, the sites are arranged around several ponds, but these are huge. They look to be some kind of man-made drainage or irrigation ponds that are also now fishing ponds. The area is heavily agricultural with rice, sugar cane and cattle.

Above is our long pull through in a corner of one of the ponds. Below is the office, looking like a swamp shack, only nicer. 

The town of Breaux Bridge has many Cajun eating establishments, and calls itself the "Crawfish capitol of the world." There are also many specialty meat shops selling boudin (a sausage) and cracklins (fried pig skins). Since we were going to be here only one night, I tried to find some experience we could have to really get the flavor of the place. Pont Breaux's seemed to fit the bill.  It serves Cajun food, and has live music and dancing every night.

Now you may notice that the place looks empty. Well, so did we.  First of all, it was pouring rain, and the streets were close to flooded all over town. Then, the singer supposedly called in sick, but everyone in town must have known, because there was really nobody there. Or maybe the rain kept them away. Or maybe no one goes on week nights. We were disappointed, but had a good supper anyway. I had gumbo, Rick had a steak, and they gave us free bread pudding to make up for not having a band.

Tonight we are in Tickfaw State Park, near Springfield, Louisiana, in the middle of a swamp. And it is still raining, so there is water everywhere.  Very nice frog sounds all around our campsite.

We did get out during a break in the rain for a couple of hours this afternoon and walked two boardwalk trails through the cypress swamp.

We had fantasies of seeing alligators, but all we saw were cypress knees...

and swamp monsters!

Thank goodness, we got away with all our toes and fingers to travel another day.

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