In an earlier post, we were leaving Eastpoint, Florida and heading west to Arizona. On this trip we stayed at a variety of places from State Parks, to Harvest Hosts, to near a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Our first stop was a quick, overnight stay at Meaher State Park in Spanish Fort, Alabama. After we set up camp, the thickest fog we have ever seen rolled in. The park is along the Mobile-Tensaw Delta which consists of approximately 20,323 acres of water and is the second largest delta in the contiguous US. You can see by the fog in the photo above how much water is a part of this landscape. This whole area is a giant sponge. This is quite a contrast to what we experience in the Southwest!
Next, we went to Poverty Point World Heritage Site in Delhi, Louisiana. Did you know that there is a UNESCO World Heritage site in Louisiana? I sure didn’t. And, I am thinking that maybe there was something missing from my grammar school history classes! This site consists of a series of large mounds that were mostly built 3,000 years ago. The largest of these mounds is 72 feet tall and was built by hand without the aid of wheeled carts or domesticated animals. No one is certain why the mounds were built. Stones from up to 800 miles away have been found at this site. The mounds are not burial mounds, rather, they are thought to have been residential, trade and ceremonial centers. It is thought that the mounds were built over a 600 year or 25 generation period. There are more questions than answers about how this place came to be. It sure shattered my notion about the American Indians being solely hunters and gatherers. It sure is great when you visit a place that alters your world view.
While we visited the Heritage Site, we stayed at Poverty Point Reservoir State Park which was a great base of operation with good sized sites and lots of walks. We had the whole section of the campground to ourselves.
We were there on New Years Eve and were regaled with hours of nearby gun shots. That must be a local tradition. And, Larry got to see spectacular fireworks which, of course, I missed since they were past my bed time!
And, no trip to Louisiana would be complete without checking out some good pepper sauces. We had a fun trip to Panola Pepper in Lake Providence. Larry stocked up while I saved my mad money for our next stop.
We headed west from Louisiana into Texas. Our route took us north of Dallas/Fort Worth on Highway 380. We plan on avoiding that path next time. The traffic was intense, taking us an hour to go just a few miles.
We thought maybe our navigation system was leading us astray as we headed towards an Alpaca farm while we were in the midst of densely arranged suburban houses. Then, out of nowhere, we reached the end of suburbia and arrived at Tx-Ture Farm, our Harvest Host site for the night . I was very excited to check out the Alpaca yarn and lavender products and I was not disappointed. We had a quiet night, I added to my yarn stash and got to meet our hostess who really is a modern day hard working farmer and crafts person extraordinaire!
The next day, we continued west, driving the whole day in the state of Texas. They are right! It is a big state. We parked for the night at another Harvest Host site, Oswald Vineyard in Brownfield, Texas. This vineyard was founded in 2008 by John and Dina-Marie Oswald and 7 of their 10 children. They left the corporate world and put all of their savings into this farm. It was an impressive site and a real testament to something that a lot of people think has ended, the American work ethic. We gladly bought a bottle of wine and a loaf of bread in exchange for getting 30 amp hookup. That was a good call since it got down to 17 degrees that night!
It would be an understatement to say that I was excited to go to our next stop, Three Rivers Petroglyph Campground. This is managed by the Bureau of Land Management and is a real gem. It has my two loves – remote location and petroglyphs. Oh, and #3 – Larry! Even though we had been there before, it was still a treat. Plus, we were able to explore parts of the park we hadn’t seen before.
But, on our way to New Mexico from Texas on 380 we almost ran out of gas! It’s a very remote neck of the woods. Our gas station app, Gas Buddy, indicated that there was a gas station on the way. Alas, it was closed. After some quick calculations, we realized that we didn’t have enough gas to get to the next station so we turned around and back tracked forty miles. The truck was running on fumes by the time we got to that station! Lesson learned. Get gas when you can when you are in remote locations!
We love New Mexico and always enjoy staying at Rock Hound State Park in Deming. You have guessed it. It is remote and has lots of nice hiking trails. This photo is from the website.
Unlike the last time we were at Rock Hound State Park there were no more first come, first serve sites at any of the New Mexico State Parks. They are all reservation only. This is a big disappointment for us. We can now longer just plan a day ahead and go whichever way the wind blows. We aren’t sure if this is a game changer for us or whether we will get used to this new ‘normal’. Time will tell.
There is an amazing museum in Deming called Deming Luna Mimbres Museum. This remarkable place has collections of about everything you can imagine including many American Indian Artifacts. If you are ever in the area, I suggest you stop by. The building is an old armory built in 1916 just two months after Poncho Villa raided nearby Columbus, NM. While it was being built, soldiers slept in the building while the US was recruiting soldiers to defend the border.
So, this ends this episode of Streamin-in-Shiny. It was a fun adventure of many miles. We were looking forward to staying put for a bit in Sierra Vista with our friends and gracious hosts, John and Marcia.