Rain fell from the sky in sheets as I drove down the highway. I’ve driven through some heavy rain before but this was absolutely epic. I held on to Appa’s steering wheel as another gust of wind rocked the motorhome.
“Wow, this is some storm!” I said, my eyes glued to the road.
Daniel and I were on our way to Austin, Texas. We looked forward to milder temperatures and some Texas-style barbeque. But first we planned to drive to Shreveport in the northwest corner of Louisiana.
Daniel glanced down at his phone. “My mom just texted. Hurricane Zeta is supposed to make landfall in New Orleans today. This could be related”.
Uh oh. That wasn’t good. We had just left Hot Springs National Park earlier that day in order to avoid a cold snap. I hadn’t anticipated also having to avoid a hurricane.
Cajun and Creole Lunch at Marilynn’s Place
Thankfully it wasn’t a long drive and we made it to Shreveport without incident. Marilynn’s Place is a Creole and Cajun joint with a hipster vibe inside a converted gas station. The building’s garage doors were all opened to promote air flow and everyone wore masks. I felt immediately comfortable there.
I parked Appa and we watched the torrential downpour from inside the restaurant. We nervously checked the news as we ate. It was 2:00 pm on October 28 and Hurricane Zeta had just made landfall near New Orleans. It was a Category 2 storm.
The weather forecast was encouraging, however. The storm was headed east and we were headed west. By the time we finished lunch, the rain had slowed to a trickle.
It’s been a long time since I had decent Cajun food and I wasn’t disappointed. Daniel and I had chicken and andouille jambalaya, crawfish etoufée, and a giant poboy with fried shrimp and catfish along with bananas foster for desert. Yum!
Camping at Tyler State Park
After finishing our lunch, we headed east. Before long, Appa crossed the state line into Texas. It was a long drive to Austin so we stopped off at Tyler State Park to spend the night. The campground was fairly deserted given the crazy weather that we’d experienced earlier in the day.
Before breaking camp the next day, I walked over to the lake. It was a lovely morning. I brought my camera and shot some photos as I strolled along the lake’s edge.
Texas-style Barbeque at Danny’s
Now that we were in Texas, Daniel and I could finally indulge our craving for some Texas-style barbeque. According to the map, we would be in the town of Athens around lunch time. So I picked a BBQ joint at random.
The restaurant turned out to be Danny’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Q. We both ordered the brisket with some sides and pie. Yum!
Later that day, we saw some cotton fields along the side of the highway. Now that’s something that you don’t see every day. We stopped at a church parking lot to take some photos.
Where are we now?
Dates: October 28-29, 2020
Great American Road Trip Status: Days 115 & 116
Total Trip Mileage: 8669.3
Day 115 Starting Location: Gulpha Gorge Campground – Hot Springs, AR
Day 115 Ending Location: Tyler State Park – Tyler, TX
Day 115 Miles Traveled: 272.3
Day 116 Starting Location: Tyler State Park – Tyler, TX
Day 116 Ending Location: Austin, TX
Day 116 Miles Traveled: 243.9
For more details on our Great America (Socially Distanced) Road Trip, see my previous posts:
- Days 113 & 114: Welcome to Hot Springs, America’s First National Park
- Day 112: Touring Graceland during the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Days 110-111: Hiking in Mammoth Cave National Park
- Days 106-109: A Quick Visit to Huntington, West Virginia
- Days 104 & 105: Urban Camping in Jersey City