Wednesday, November 22, 2017

White Oak Lake State Park, Arkansas; Piney Point Campground, Wright Patman Corps of Engineer Park; Caddo Lake State Park; Buckhorn Creek Campground, Lake of the Pines Corps of Engineer, Rayburn Campground, Sam Rayburn Reservoir Corps of Engineer,Texas

From Merrisach Lake COE, we continue south on Route 165 to Dumas. Then north on Route 65 to Gould and west on Route 114 to Rison, south on Route 79 to Camden, and then north on Route 24 to White Oak lake State Park

This is a small , but quite beautiful little gem in Southwestern Arkansas.

 The sites are well separated . We spent a good bit of our time watching Blue Herons and White Herons on the shore.
Route 24 then brings us north to Route 30 , through Texarkana and into Texas.  Here we make a stop at a familiar Corps of Engineer campground on Wright Patman Lake.

We had spent quite a few miles on back roads in Arkansas.  Now, in Texas, we head down a different highway. Usually, we spend a lot of time on Route 59 out of Texarkana. This time we branch off of Route 59 to Route 43 south to Caddo Lake State Park in Karnack, Texas.
At the park office Jan and I pick up a new Texas State Parks Pass.  In Texas you pay an entrance fee for each state park per day. So, if you are staying for 3 days at a Texas campground, you must also pay the entrance fee for 3 days.  For $70  you have free entrance to all Texas State parks for a full year. You also receive 1/2 off of the second night of a camping stay for up to four stays.
They had some displays , including this stuffed beaver.

We've seen shelf mushrooms on dead trees, but this is a first for white mushrooms.
A number of campers rented canoes from here.  They can paddle out from this Saw Mill Pond and into the Big Cypress Bayou.

The Bald Cypress trees have lost their summer foliage , but there is still the look of a southern bayou.
Along the side of the fishing pier we found this spider.
There were good signs along the trails in the park. 
The canoeists look a bit small paddling through the Bald Cypress.
Caddo Lake is part of the Big Cypress Bayou Watershed that covers 6,000 square miles in Texas and Louisiana
Another campground with very good separation between sites.

Back on Route 43 , a ribbon of road.
Along the backroads in Arkansas and Texas. Huge rolls of cotton, ready for pickup and delivery to many parts of the world.

Not far from Caddo Lake is Buckhorn Creek COE campground on Lake O' The Pines in Jefferson, Texas .
Jan and I are lucky to find this great spot that freed up after a cancellation.  In this part of Texas, the schools have a full week vacation for Thanksgiving.

Besides the wonderful campground--a new favorite-- we also discovered the town of Jefferson.  
This was an old riverboat town that saw traffic from New Orleans , St. Louis, and more via the Mississippi River and the Red River.

There is a feel of New Orleans in the storefronts and wrought iron.

A proud addition along the street is Jay Gould's Railroad Car.
This car was built in 1888 for Jay Gould , who was a financier and owner of the Union Pacific, Texas Pacific, Missouri Pacific, and the International and Great Northern Railroads.
The long car has two observation rooms, four staterooms, two baths, butlers pantry, a kitchen, a dining room, and an office.
Tours are available.
A couple next door had recommended the Austin Cafe for lunch, but , unfortunately, that was closed the day we were in town.  But we did find Auntie Skinner's Riverboat Club.
Lots of neon lighting and a painted tin ceiling, we had a great lunch. Started with Shrimp Jammers-stuffed with cream cheese, cheddar, and jalapenos. After , we had Fried Catfish dinner and Fried Catfish Po-Boy.

The mural on the outside wall of Auntie Skinner's.

Lady Blue was quite happy!

Perfect spot for sunsets too.

And this is our spot for Thanksgiving at Rayburn COE, in Broaddus, Texas

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