Just Wandering Around Looking for Letterboxes

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 Road Junkies 0 Comments

To Big Bend and Back, Day 6  

SHREVEPORT, Louisiana— After yesterday's poignant visit to the Vicksburg Military Park, today's meander across northern Louisiana seemed rather prosaic.  Leaving Vicksburg this morning, we drove through light to moderate rain along I-20, turning north at US-425 near Rayville.  In the little village of Mer Rouge (French for Red Sea), we searched for two letterboxes but both had disappeared.

Mer Rouge, Louisiana

Not much was happening in Mer Rouge, so we moved on to Bastrop, the county seat, where we also came up empty handed in our letterbox hunt.  We did learn that the town was founded by and named for Baron de Bastrop (born Felipe Enrique Neri), a Dutch embezzler who falsely claimed to be a nobleman.  I'm sure he had his reasons.

Back we went toward I-20 and the city of West Monroe, which is located across the Ouachita River from the much larger city of Monroe.  But West Monroe promised a letterbox, and it delivered, on the Wildflower Trail in Kiroli Park.  The box was hidden at the end of a bouncy suspension footbridge over a ravine.


Our second and last box of the day was in a cemetery near Calhoun, LA.  Unfortunately, the box had been waterlogged and its logbook had returned to pulp and was in need of some rehabilitation.  We had brought the box to the car to stamp in, so I walked back to the cargo area to retrieve our letterboxing first aid kit.  To access the tailgate without having to straddle the puddle we parked over, I asked Ken to back the car up a bit.


And he did.  Except I forgot that I had set the muddy letterbox on the ground near the tire.  Oops!  Then the letterbox needed a little more first aid, and we replaced not only the logbook but also the container.  My bad!

B.B. King's Bluesville channel on XM radio entertained us much of this afternoon.  On his Front Porch show, Bill Wax was playing a variety of versions of "Baby, What You Want Me to Do," written and originally recorded by Jimmy Reed in 1959.  From Elvis to Jimi Hendrix, Lou Rawls to Theodis Ealey, fourteen different recordings of the song were featured on today's program.  In closing the show, Wax promised to play 14 additional versions next week!

Bill signed off just as we were arriving in Shreveport, our destination for the day.  It was too late to search for any letterboxes here, but we'll be on that task tomorrow before we leave for Texarkana.

DAILY STATS:
  • Started in Vicksburg, MS; ended in Shreveport, LA
  • Weather:  Rain, overcast     59° to 46°
  • Miles driven: 234          (Trip total:  1,063)
  • States: 2 (MS, LA)          (Trip total:  5)
  • Letterboxes found:  2         (Trip total:  16)
  • Large cornfields:  634
  • New farm equipment at dealers:  821
  • Letterboxes smashed by cars:  1
  • Boring blogposts today:  1