Louisiana – Driskill Mountain

We woke up on the morning of 3/2/07 to a balmy temperature of somewhere around 32 degrees F. Their was frost on the the ol’ pumpkin (literally frost on the truck and trailer) but me and Spanky were feeling pretty cozy in our trusty trailer. I fired up the camp stove to heat up some water for hot steamin cup of joe. Ah, now that’s living! Sitting outside with your dog, watching the sun rise, and drinking hot coffee.

Let me just back up to last night, if I may. We checked into a KOA campground in Shreveport, LA late in the afternoon, did some food shopping, and got our gear set up. By the way, a lot of KOA campgrounds have wireless internet these days – most advantageous for keeping in touch with the world. Back to the story…….Spanky and I were just getting ready to char up a couple of steaks (ribeyes!!!!). We got the meat on the grill, the aroma of sizzling steak is in the air, my mouth waters just thinking of it.

I see a guy walking towards us in the darkness. As he gets closer, I notice that he’s holding a spatula with a burger on it??? It was actually a fresh grilled bacon cheeseburger with onions on it! He was doing the neighborly thing (we, after all, were new arrivals to the campground) and bringing us a “welcome to camp” burger. Pretty nice of him, wouldn’t you say? Turns out his name is Rolo. I think good ‘ol Rolo had a few drinks in him. He had a touch of a stagger goin on. Rolo was from somewhere in east Texas, he had been at the campground living in his RV for about 6 months, working on an oil refinery construction project.

Rolo, me, and Spanky shot the breeze for a while – you know the usual chit chat about currency rate fluctuations, quantum mechanics, and the history and plight of various native amazon tribes. All kidding aside, Rolo was a really nice guy – sounds like he works hard and deserves to have a few drinks now and then. Spanky was delighted with the cheeseburger and scarfed it up in record time.

Back to today. Spanky and I headed out of Shreveport at around 9 a.m. for Louisiana’s highpoint. It was more or less an 80 mile drive east to Driskill Mountain. We headed east on I – 20 on a beautiful blue sky morning. The countryside consisted of rolling hills covered with a mix of pine and hardwood forest broken up by small lakes, a few streams and rivers, nice stuff!

Got off the interstate at the tiny town of Arcadia – a blast from the past made up of little brick shops sitting on a short stretch of “main street.” If you look for em, you can find these little time capsules all over America. It really seems as though time just stopped in these tiny burgs. Every once in a while, I’ll stop and find a local or two just to make a little conversation with – I get some really interesting stuff from these talks.

Spanky and me had printed out the directions for the drive to Driskill Mountain. Looked easy enough according to the directions. We drove about 20 mile through rolling hills and pine forest, very sparsely populated – only a couple of farms and a smattering of houses along the way. We get just a couple of miles from the mountain and started running into a little trouble. There is supposed to be a final “road” to turn onto but we just can’t find it! So……we are driving back and forth looking for the “road”, I go to turn around again in front of a little old church (the only sign of human habitation for miles around), and lo and behold, I spy a sign for Driskill Mountain Trail behind the church! Cool! We would have found it eventually with GPS but this was a lot easier.

Can you believe it? We actually have to hike on a trail! Not like Florida where we just drove right up to the summit. What kind of bullshit is this? Me and Spanks got out of the truck, made sure we had all our stuff, and off we went. Spanky is lovin it. He’d dart up the trail maybe 50 ft in front of me, turn around and run back behind me, turn around and do it over. Every once in a while he’ll take a quick shot off into the woods to sniff at something he perceives to be suspicious. Anyway, it was a nice approx 1 mile hike, up hill, through the woods to the top of Driskill Mountain. I need to mention that Driskill Mountain is on private property. The owners are nice enough to allow hikers the right of way to the top.

Spanky was the first one to make the summit. In typical Spanky style, he proceeded to run around in circles and pee on a lot of trees. Driskill Mountain, Louisiana tops out at 535 ft. Not huge but more than 50% higher than our first summit in Florida. The top of Driskill is a pretty patch of Louisiana woodlands. It’s not high enough for any breathtaking views but it is a quiet piece of back woods that Spanky and I thoroughly enjoyed.

We ran into a farmer and his son at the top. All the rain over the last few days had made his fields so soggy that he had to wait a few days before he could plant his corn. So, he and his son decided to go on a short road trip. It was obvious these guys loved dogs. They became fast friends with Spanky. We traded a little dog talk – they have four dogs, two outdoor and two indoor. “Indoor dogs belong to the wife.” All their dogs are strays that showed up on their farm, they started feeding them, and the dogs stayed. Nice folks! That’s part of deal, meeting cool people along the way.

Since this is our second summit, we’re getting into a sort of summit routine. I broke out the collapsible water bowl so Spanky could take care of his hydration needs. Next came out the camera for the summit pics and the GPS to verify our whereabouts. It was a beautiful blue sky day and we just kinda sat around for a while taking it all in.

Having successfully completed our second conquest, we descended down the western face of Driskill Mountain back to our expedition support vehicles. Spanky was actually a little tuckered out from all the running and laid down under the truck. We hung around for a little picture taking and relaxation and took off for our next destination, Little Rock, Arkansas.

Spanky Reaches the Summit

Spanky In Front of the Cairn Marking the Summit

Me and Spanky Basking In Our Glory

The View From the Top of Louisiana

Spanky Resting After His Summit Ordeal



To view all the Driskill Mountain pics go to http://picasaweb.google.com/rkrevald/DriskillMountainLousiana

2 comments:

Ken said...

What a life! What I would give to hit the road at meet interesting people and places like you guys are doing. And what great luck running into fascinating people like Rolo and the farmers. I hope you had your trusty side arm with you. So we’re all wondering, are you marking your territory next to the Spankster? Have fun!

Randy Charles Morin said...

Left an excerpt and link on the campground review site.

http://www.vacationrace.com/campgrounds.aspx/ShreveportBossierKOA

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