We left the Houston area through gray skies and rain and made our way across Trinity Bay and up into some of the beautiful “lake area” of Texas to the “Big Thicket National Preserve.” Big Thicket is just that. A huge area that is densely covered with all manner of species – both plant and animal. The Ice Age caused the conglomeration of diversity to stop in this place, and now it all resides together in this very unique corner of Texas. The lesson of the Big Thicket is perhaps a message for all of us today: diversity can live together in harmony. Whether that is diversity of species, diversity of thought, or diversity of national, ethnic, or religious belief, the Big Thicket teaches us harmony is possible. And it exists beautifully in this national preserve in Texas.
We drove from Big Thicket on Texas Farm to Market roads across beautiful scenic homesteads until we crossed into Louisiana. Around the state line we found a Dairy Queen, and thinking there would not be another choice for miles and miles, (we were right!) we stopped for a quick bite and planned to move right along. The drama in the Dairy Queen is worthy of a chapter in “Traveling these United States.” It gives a whole new meaning to “fast food.” We waited and waited and waited and in that time, several patrons came in and then left, and two other patrons returned to the counter to complain that their sandwiches had not been made correctly. One woman had the hamburger, or the buns, in her hands and opened it in front of the clerk. “There’s no meat here! I ordered the 3 pattie burger!” The clerk simply laughed and then said, “Well, I’ll have to charge you for 3 patties.” I thought to myself, so, did you charge her for just the bun and the condiments when you rung it up the first time? But, I kept my thoughts to myself. An hour and twenty minutes after we had stopped, we were back on the road!!!
But, the back roads of Louisiana are beautiful and lush with foliage of every kind, green and thriving. Meadows are deep emerald and the sky a beautiful azure blue. We had driven out of the rain, and the clouds were puffy and brilliantly white.
We found our hotel in Natchitoches, (which is pronounced Nack- tish) and began to settle in for the evening. After some research on places for dinner, we learned that most of the establishments are closed on Sunday. But, MacDonald’s, across the parking lot from the hotel, was open. So, electing not to get back in the car, we decided that two hamburgers in a day wouldn’t kill us. At least the place was clean, however, service is not something that seems to be a high priority in the South, er, at least here in Louisiana.
And Still waiting in line, but finally making it to the counter.
We drove 300 miles today and finished listening to “The Wright Brothers” read by the author, David McCullough.