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STOP #241

There were exactly zero state border crossings on our travels today. Heck, about the only thing we did cross was from the north side of Interstate 20 to the south side.

We arrived here at Lake Bistineau State Park, a National Geographic recommended park, for the next seven nights. We received a phone call from the park last week informing us that there will be Trick-or-Treating in the park on Saturday night, October 30th. Since we'll be here for Halloween we purchased two big $10 bags of candy at Walmart before our arrival.

The 7 cabins here at the park are all sold out for Saturday and half of the 56 campsites will be occupied. Additionally there will be an entire Boy Scout Troop camped in the nearby group site, so we should have plenty of visitors to relieve us of our treats. Hopefully we aren't on the receiving end of any tricks.

The park has already hung ghostly looking decorations in many of the trees in the campground.

Our site comes with a huge 30x10 foot wooden deck, a picnic table, grill and fire pit.
What it doesn't have is the lakeside view we were expecting!

TUESDAY - Today we have a couple of errands to run.

First up is to head to the local Post Office here in Doyline, LA to pick up our General Delivery Mail I had forwarded. I already know there is a $415 check in the mail from Goodyear Tires. It is my refund from the purchase of my 6-year old brand new tires I made back in August. I'll be glad to get that deposited into the bank and bring an end to the whole ordeal.

Next up is a trip into the large town of Shreveport, LA to locate the UPS Store near the airport. We need to ship out Tricia's two Nikon Coolpix cameras to the repair facility in New York state.

Her first Nikon camera, the Coolpix 900, which we purchased before we even hit the road back in 2018, quit working while we were headed into Texas in February of 2020. Instead of looking into getting it repaired, we purchased a new and improved Nikon camera, the Coolpix 1000, later in August of 2020.

After a very short fall from the couch cushion to the floor of THE POD that camera too has stopped working. For the last two months the only functioning cameras we have are our cellphones. While they do an excellant job of caputuring normal eveyday photos we need something better.

This time we decided to invest nearly $100 to insure and ship both cameras to the national Nikon Service and Repair Facility in Plainview, NY before purchasing another new one. Hopefully we'll hear from them in the next couple of weeks to figure out how to proceed from here.

If it makes sense to get both cameras repaired and shipped back to us maybe Tricia and I can start a little friendly photo competition between ourselves. It would only serve to make us both better photographers and the end result will be better pictures for you to view on this blog. Maybe we'll even ask you all to pick your favorite between two submitted photos, one from each of us, to see who wins!

WEDNESDAY - When I booked this campsite ten months ago I chose one of their Premium Campsites over the Standard Campsites offered. The Premium Campsites are $5 a night more and include a wooden deck and a supposed lakeside view.

There are no longer any lakeside views in this entire campground, only the wooden decks remain. Since back in 2012 the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has been annually drawing down the water levels in Lake Bistineau. This is done in an effort to control the invasive aquatic plant known as Giant Salvinia. By controling the invasive plant it also helps in fisheries production by improving aquatic habitat and reducing the amount of organic matter on the lake bottom.

Lake Bistineau is still a sizable lake, it's just that the shoreline doesn't come anywhere near the campground anymore, as evidenced by the two following photos.

The "fishing pier" at the edge of our campsite.

The "boat ramp and dock" that used to provide access to the lake.

FRIDAY - Today, after a day of having never left the campsite, we are going out to lunch at Swamp Daddy's in nearby Haughton, LA.

Y'all didn't think I'd pass through the state of "Lose-ee-ann-a" without gittin' me some authentic "N'awlins style" food did you?

We arrived early, right after they opened at 11AM, and were among the first customers of the day. By the time we finished eating our meal the place was starting to fill with customers. It helps that it's one of the few restaurants within a ten mile radius of the campground.

Most of the items on the menu seemed to center around their Crawfish Étouffée, so I ordered the Voodoo Tater. A Giant Baked Potato baked with sea salt and butter, then topped with the Crawfish Étouffée and Popcorn Shrimp.

Tricia went another route and ordered the Kickin' Chicken Plate, a half pound grilled chicken breast with Cajun Spices, fried jalapeno slices, and a jalapeno sour dough bun that comes with all the usual toppings and an order of french fries.

Both plates were empty when we were finished! (Phil's code for delicious!! -T)

After such a large early lunch I probably won't be looking for much to eat when dinner time comes around.

I know, there's a can of Progresso Soup in our pantry and if I remember right it's of the Chicken and Sausage Gumbo variety.

That should make for a simple meal to finish off my Louisianna Food Day, don't you think?

SATURDAY - As mentioned earlier in this post, tonight from 4PM-7PM is the Trick-Or-Treat night in the park. We have already made arrrangements with the park volunteer in the check-in office to take ALL of our leftover candy from this evening.

Neither one of us needs any more sweets in our diet!

We set up our table and chairs along with our neighbors in their driveway. They too are fultime RVers and travel in a Winnebago Van, which also tows a small cargo trailer that houses their motorcycle, bicycles and I'm sure a few other necessities. We figured we could pass the time between Trick-or-Treaters with conversations about our travels.

Promptly at 4:00PM we started seeing the first of the Trick-or-Treaters makng their way around the campground loop. Ages varied from costumed infants in strollers to a few young 20-somethings not wearing costumes at all. For about an hour they were coming pretty frequently and then around 5:10PM the unthinkable happened, both our neighbors and us ran out of candy.

Fortunately only a few more Trick-or-Treaters came by because the park was serving up free hotdogs and soda on the other end of the campground. A local Boy Scout Troop was providing the labor of grilling and passing out food, while the youngsters were watching a Halloween Scooby-Doo movie on a portable and inflatable movie screen.

We walked over with our neighbors to check everything out and received a hotdog and soda for our efforts. There was going to be a second movie later but none of us elected to hang around, it was starting to get cold! (Only for a Florida boy. It got into the upper sixties. Oi! He just didn't want to watch the cartoon movie - Scooby Doo!! But it was a nice evening all the same. -T)

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