April 12th to May 2nd

We were up early and departed St Bernard State Park before 8 am.  Our drive was interesting but nothing unusual.  We arrived at Chicot State Park in Villa Platte, Louisiana around 1 pm.  This is a huge park with over 6400 acres and many rolling hills which I found very different as most of the state is flat.  The park has over 300 campsites with water/electric, dump station, tables, showers, and campfire rings.  They have a huge lake which has fishing and boating and seems to be the most popular thing in the park.  They also have swimming pools, cabins, loads of hiking trails, and great bird watching.  The park is also home to Louisiana State Arboretum which has 600 acres with swamps and bald cypress trees plus a brand new nature building.  Our stay here was enjoyable but we did no sightseeing, just walking each day and reading.  We even had a campfire one night in the rain – we sat under the awning and watched the fire burn.  The first two nights we were in a loop with no one else but us camping.  That sure made it very dark but you could hear every bird and every animal in the woods.  Such a peaceful setting.   We spent three nights and were ready to hit the road again. 

Our camper still is not fixed so we headed to Shreveport, La and found a camping place that will order the parts for us.  We will be sitting here for two weeks waiting so hopefully we can find things to do.

Our campground is at the Barksdale Air Force Base located in Bossier City.  This base is home to the B52 bombers and has been a base since 1933.  They have loads of land so we have spent lots of time walking and running on the trails.  My goal is to run a 5K for my 65th birthday next year.  Can I do it?  As they say if you want something bad enough you can.  I gave up smoking after 40 years so I guess I can.  I have never had a goal for physical activity before so this could turn into something great.  I will keep you posted.

This weekend will be Barksdale Air Force Base air show which everyone is invited to.  Air shows are a huge success and it gives the military a chance to show the people in the community what the military is all about and what is actually on a base.   As we say on base those planes keep this wonderful country free.  God bless the military and all they do for us.

Well I am back to finish this blog – the air show was a huge success.  Tim and I avoided the crowd and stayed on the back side of the airfield – I love to see the planes fly.  As usual they were great.

We have met a lot of nice people while here and realize how much military families do to be together as a family.  Because of this economy and unable to sell their homes they are living in their travel trailers and home schooling their children.  When we were in the service 95% of the people moved with their families to the new location and got into housing or bought a home because it was easy to sell.  One family had 8 children and they slept in a tent and travel trailer to stay together.  I hope and pray they can sell their home soon.

After our 2 week stay they finally took us in on a Friday morning and fixed our landing gear on the camper.  It cost us over $2500 so I hope we will be happy with it for years to come.  Because it was a Friday we decided to leave on Sunday morning so we extended for a few more days.  While the camper was being fixed we took a ride around and walked thru a mall.  We had hoped to do the river walk but it was pouring so we decided against that.  We did do a nice lunch at Olive Garden which we enjoyed.  We got an appetizer and salad and enjoyed that greatly.

While at Barksdale we did a lot of walking and tried to run a little.  It will take a long time before I will be up to speed to run but I will continue to plug along.  We did a 4 mile walk one day but usually did 3 miles.  Time to move on – stay tuned.