After a last stroll through Thorn Thicket and many sad goodbyes, we took off on April 21 and moseyed our way up to the Seguin Elks Lodge where we had the entire place to ourselves. We didn’t take the cats out that night; it was late in the afternoon and we wanted them to get reacquainted with traveling before we started letting them loose.
We made our way through Lockhart the next day and stopped to have lunch at the famous Original Black’s Barbecue. They have been operating continuously for 84 years. If you are anywhere near this part of Texas it is definitely worth a stop. And be hungry. As you wait in line to dish out your sides and order the meat the wall is lined with all kinds of celebrity and family photos through the years with the Black family including Lyndon Johnson, Dale Earnhart, George W. Bush and Matthew McConaughey.
We got potato salad, beans, green beans, creamed corn, brisket, spare ribs, beef ribs and sausage. And some more brisket. It was expensive and heavy but we knew there was way more than one meal each there. We ate it for the next three days! Delicious!
We found an Elks in Huntsville for our next night’s stay. No charge, free drink. They were having a big event in the morning so we positioned ourselves for a quick getaway. We got up early (for us) the next morning so we could get outta there before their Bloody Mary breakfast began.
When I went to empty the trash it was all wet. I told Jim, “We have a problem.” The pipe connected to the sink had broken loose. Of course we had just done the dishes and the cabinet and everything under the sink was soaked and the bay below was wet. Jim took the pipe apart and cleaned up the under-sink area while I tackled the bay. We only lost a roll of paper towels. After a trip to Home Depot and a quick repair we were on our way. So much for getting an early start. Having a handy husband: priceless.
We scoped out a Walmart in Alexandria, Louisiana for our next night’s stop and had an uneventful evening. Carmella really wanted to go out but we planned to stay at the Elks in Natchez for a couple nights and according to Google Earth it had an ideal place for them to go out. One more night, kitties!
This part of the Deep South has lots of (mostly Baptist) churches, cemeteries, crawfish shops, mobile homes, cypress trees, home health agencies, hospices, smoke shops, liquor stores, dialysis clinics, tattoo parlors, body shops, magnolia trees, and even prison gangs working the highways. The two lane highways are perfectly suited to the bus’ slower pace and we enjoyed the ride.
It was only about 70 miles to Natchez and we were looking forward to a short day and another whole day off to explore. Although they readjusted well, traveling makes the cats tired; they needed a rest too. While I drove, Jim called the number in our Elks book and it had been disconnected. Uh oh. That happened once before when we pulled into an Elks Lodge to find a For Sale sign and Lodge closed. As it turned out, we got to stay anyway. Jim found a state park and an RV park nearby but we decided to try the Elks anyway.
Sure enough, when we arrived, a For Sale sign adorned the front lot. We called the realtor and he called somebody in the Elks to get the OK to stay. We didn’t hear back for a while but found out a good spot to park if we got the go-ahead. Tucked in by the building, very inconspicuous in a quiet residential neighborhood. Mimosa trees smelling sweet.
When we didn’t hear back from the realtor, Jim called the Mississippi State Elks office and they said we could stay for a couple nights! Not only do we have this lovely quiet place to ourselves, there is no charge, not even a discounted Elks charge! Kitties have been out exploring, ukulele is being played. It’s Happy Hour. Life is good.
We are BIG BIG Lucky!