Our next stop was Austin, Texas, a 7.5 hour drive from Hot Springs, so we decided to break the drive up into two days and head through Shreveport, Louisiana which added another hour to the drive. We wanted some Louisiana food and neither of us had been to Shreveport. Then on to Tyler State Park in Texas to stay the night.
Hurricane Zeta was just touching down in New Orleans to the south so we were driving in hard rain but we missed the brunt of it that far north. Our goal for the day was lunch in Shreveport. Katy had found a well rated joint called Marilynn’s Place built in a converter petrol station.
We stayed in a state park that night listening to the rain and acorns thump boisterously on the metal roof and watched shows on the TV.
I didn’t know what to expect from Shreveport and the drive into town was through a rougher neighborhood, but this place had a decidedly hipster feel to it. Which made more sense as we were leaving and drove through the surrounding upscale residential neighborhood it was outside of.
We pretty much had the place to ourselves as we watched the rain pound down through the open bay doors of the dining room. We couldn’t really decide what to get so we got a little of everything. I went for a po-boy of my design with fried catfish and shrimp with debris, an order of bodin balls, and an iced tea. Katy went for a combo, which is supposed to be two smaller servings of your choice (she chose chicken and andouille jambalaya and crawfish etoufée) but the portions were enormous. And a bananas foster for desert which turned out to be vanilla ice cream and some banana slices floating in a soup bowl of like maple syrup.
Danny’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Q
The next morning we skirted Dallas via Athens and stopped for lunch in a random BBQ joint there called Danny’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Q that we found online. The brick building had only a worn printed sign attached to a pole outside. The interior was delightfully Texan with a cafeteria style service and gruff Wilford Brimley type cutting the meat. A very utilitarian kind of place. I was excited to see deviled eggs and lots of pickled fixin’s available and a cooler full of cream pies to temp me.
The cotton fields
Starting on the outskirts of Kentucky through Arkansas and all the way into Texas we began to see these enormous dark fields dotted with bright white. I’d driven through the south many times but I had never driven through cotton fields in bloom. They were both beautiful and ominous. It wasn’t until Texas that I finally found a good spot to pull over and take some photos.