Friday, November 21, 2014

From Louisiana to Eastern Texas

This issue is starting from Kincaid Lake National Forest Campground in the Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana.

A number of our pictures are from the back window of Lady Blue, so I thought we would add one out the side window.  This is the big plus for Lady Blue , wrap around ,large thermal pane windows to allow one to fully enjoy sites like this one.

Lady Blue is 24 feet long and sometimes that allows us to fit in small sites with little room to spare.  But then we have sites like this one at Kincaid.  We could have invited 2 or 3 more campers!
This would have been great for some good outdoor time, but most of our stay here was in heavy rain.

But------refer to the first picture above.  Not too bad.

Jan and I were glad to be taking a more northern route through Louisiana.  Mostly through central Louisiana,  it gave us a very different view of the state than our first trip along the southern Route 10.

From Kincaid, we followed Route 28 to Route 111 to Route 191 and South Toledo Bend State Park.  If you look at the state maps, you will see that Toledo Bend Reservoir is a long, narrow body of water separating Louisiana and Texas.

As you can see, there are many branches and a lot of shoreline.

One nice thing about camping in the winter is that you will have a good choice of campsites on weekdays.   There were less than a handful of us there, but it is way out of the way from main roads and large cities.

There is some confusion on rates at Louisiana state parks.  It used to be that they would accept the senior pass for half price.  But now, they will only accept it from certain reciprocal states.  And, you guessed it, Texas is not one of them.

So, our cost was $23 per night instead of $11.50.  Still not bad for state parks.

There were some well built bridges, rest rooms, cabins, and other buildings in South Toledo Bend.

If you are wondering about Jan being all dressed up in heavy coat and gloves, this was our version of that first cold snap.  The night temperatures were down to the mid 20's and daytime was stretching to the low 40's.

Luckily, that is way below normal for this time of year here.

Jan is enjoying a great view from the Visitors Center.

Inside, there are some nice displays.  Among other things, you learn that Toledo Bend is 15 miles wide, 65 miles long, and covers 185,000 acres.

Even more impressive, is over 1200 miles of shoreline.  That is the result of all those branches you see in that map above.

Sometimes, we dare to not follow the red roads and trust the GPS.

This time, we followed Route 191 south to Route 692 west into Texas and then Route 63 to Jasper.

Jasper is a fairly large town.  But, what is unusual , is that we had no traffic along the way until we were about 2 miles from the center of town.  Still hard to get used to that.  North of town is the south end of the Sam Rayburn Reservoir.

There are a number of Corps of Engineer Campgrounds on Sam Rayburn and we decide to try at least a few of them.  The first is Twin Dikes park. This is very close to Jasper, but it is still very quiet for this week.

For any of you who are interested in campground hosting, these campgrounds go to strictly volunteer work for October to March. That means a free site and utilities for 20 hours of work. No pay.
For seniors this might not be the best bargain, but it depends on what you are looking for.  The work is very light in the winter.  And though , as a senior, you would only pay $13 times 7 nights or $91 for the week, you could only stay for two weeks at a time in most corps parks. For some RVers, it is still a reasonable job. You can keep busy, but still have a great place to stay for the winter--for free.

It is a very short ride of about 15 miles from Twin Dikes Park up to Mill Creek Campground.

Only a few of us here as well.  But that means we have a huge yard on the shoreline.

As at Twin Dikes, the volunteers here are quite helpful and very friendly.

Sam Rayburn is just a little west of the Louisiana border.  It is a smaller body of water, but it has a big reputation.  This link to information about the reservoir will give you some general information. Sam Rayburn info  If you scroll down on that link, you will see a map of Sam Rayburn and some pictures.
This hawk was concentrating on the local small animals and never moved.  Thought the sign he was sitting on was appropriate.

 Another thing about Sam Rayburn is that is the host for the Sealy Outdoor Big Bass Splash.

The picture to the left is of a Robert Nunley who won for his 9.81 lb bass.

The following link will take you to the page from this year's tournament, held in April. April 2014 Big Bass Splash
 As you can see, there were over 5,000 participants, and thousands of spectators.  People from 39 states and six foreign countries vying for over one million dollars in prizes.  Robert Nunley, above, was listed as follows:
 Nunley was awarded the Sportsmans Package Grand Prize worth $250,000 consisting of a 2014 Coachman Motor Home, Ram Truck, Triton 21 TRX powered by Mercury, equipped with Power Pole, Hydrowave, Tournament Saver Pro plus a check for $40,000.  
But , you might like best that the tournament raises a lot of money for charities like the Ronald MacDonald House and others.

Some other fishermen might like to see this chart from Texas Parks and Wildlife.  This is for Sam Rayburn record fish.  Note the record for Largemouth Bass.!!
Rod & Reel
SpeciesWeightLengthDateAnglerBait or Lure
Bass, Hybrid Striped11.5827.25Apr 6, 2005John OliveCarolina rig 
Bass, Largemouth16.8028.75May 31, 1997Tommy Sheltonchartre/white 3/4 bulldog 
Bass, Spotted5.5027.25Feb 14, 1987Curt E. Smith 
Bass, White4.7522.50Jul 17, 2010Marc Shawminnow 
Bass, Yellow1.7814.88Dec 13, 2012Brandon Domanguejigging Spoon 
Bluegill0.7110.25Jun 14, 2007Tyler Hutchisonworm and bobber 
Bowfin10.1329.00Oct 23, 1995Lewis Byers 
Buffalo, Bigmouth58.7540.75Jan 29, 1994Allen Chesney 
Buffalo, Smallmouth81.0044.00May 19, 2001Dwayne Pavlock 
Bullhead, Black1.4615.13Feb 17, 2007Randall Bradfieldnight crawler 
Carp, Common27.0036.50Apr 18, 2004Jim Welbornbread 
Catfish, Blue53.000.00Mar 6, 2006Michael McDonaldlive waterdog 
Catfish, Channel6.6924.50May 26, 2001Willie Richardson 
Catfish, Flathead74.0945.00Apr 18, 2010Mikal Sampsonzoom centipede 
Crappie, Black2.1517.00May 1, 2007Ricky Ethridge1/8 oz. jig 
Crappie, White2.9417.00Mar 28, 1995Paul Burleson 
Drum, Freshwater6.2021.00Mar 24, 2007Randall Bradfieldcrawfish 
Gar, Alligator192.0093.00Apr 21, 2007Ariel DreweryFlat Shad Rattle Trap 
Pickerel, Redfin0.5513.75Apr 6, 2009Douglas Wrightcrankbait 
Sunfish, Hybrid0.528.25Jun 1, 2014Lucy Rayworm 
Sunfish, Redbreast0.579.38Apr 10, 2005Randall Bradfieldlive shad 
Sunfish, Redear0.609.50Mar 5, 2006Randall Bradfieldnight crawler 

1 comment:

  1. Nice tour of the area. We'll keep it in mind for future travels. Thank goodness that cold snap moved on.... at least for now.