What a difference a day and 285 miles make. When we left the Vicksburg Elks Lodge about 10 a.m. yesterday morning we were wearing sweatshirts to ward off the chill. When we got off the road at 6 p.m. 285 miles west in Lindale, Texas we couldn’t wait to shed them and put on T-shirts!
We took Interstate 20 across the Mississippi River into Louisiana on a long bridge that was level all the way across, so I stayed in the left lane and didn’t snivel at all. What you are seeing in this picture that we took the day before is actually two parallel bridges across the river. The one in the foreground is a railroad bridge and the vehicular bridge is the lighter colored one just behind it.
It was a perfect day for traveling in an RV; blue sky, no wind, and traffic was moderate. We made a quick stop at the Pilot Truck Stop in Rayville for fuel and then kept on trucking… err, RVing across the state, making good time.
We stopped in Gibsland, where we spent a couple of hours visiting with L.J. “Boots” Hinton at the Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Museum. The infamous Depression-era outlaws were killed in an ambush eight miles south of Gibsland on May 23, 1934.
The museum is small but has some interesting exhibits, including Clyde Barrow’s shotgun, which was taken from the car after the bandits’ death. But what made the visit to the museum great for me, as a history buff, was meeting the curator, Boots Hinton, and listening to his unique perspective on the story of that bloody morning. He is the son of Ted Hinton, a Dallas County, Texas deputy sheriff who had been on the outlaws’ trail for months, and was one of the six lawmen who ambushed Bonnie and Clyde that fatal day. Ted Hinton had known both Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow before they began their lives of crime and passed down a certain respect for the outlaws that one might not expect. As Boots told us, “People tend to dehumanize Bonnie and Clyde, but they were just people, with both the good and bad that all of us have inside of us.” Yes, they were killers, but they were also devoted to each other and to their families. Boots told us, “People talk about Romeo and Juliet, but Bonnie and Clyde were a real life love story.”
When we left the museum we drove a few miles south to the ambush site. The posse was hidden on this small hill on the east side of the road and a pockmarked monument to the event stands across the road. Souvenir hunters have chipped away pieces of the monument, vandals have taken potshots at it over the years, and a move is now underway to raise money for a new monument to replace this one.
Back on the highway we continued west, running into a lot of traffic and a very rough stretch of highway passing through Shreveport before crossing into Texas, where the highway immediately smoothed out again. We stopped for the night at Willow Branch RV Park, a small Passport America campground, where $12 got us a 50 amp full hookup pull-through site.
A couple of our readers have asked us to stop by on our way across Texas, but I’m afraid that’s not going to happen. We got word Wednesday that when Terry’s dad went in for his annual checkup as a follow-up to the bladder cancer he had a few years ago, they found a nodule on his lung. He’ll be having a needle biopsy sometime next week and we are going to be traveling fast to get to Arizona to be there for her dad and mom.
Thought For The Day – Foreign aid is defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.