Saturday, May 26, 2012

Take a Trip to Coushatta Down Louisiana Backroads

It's Memorial Day weekend so that means a trip to Ed Lester Farms for the first veggie haul of the season at our house.

Steve and I pulled the windows out of the Jeep today and headed south, down La. Highway 1, to Coushatta.

 If you've ever read this blog before you know that Steve and I always go places on the back roads and shun the interstate whenever possible.  Highway 1 isn't exactly a back road but it's less traveled ever since I49 opened.  The Haynesville Shale has brought a lot more traffic to Highway 1 in the past few years but not before lots of little towns and communities dried up.

Both Highway 1 and I49 go south out of Shreveport but it's a little hard to tell from this map:

At any rate, we headed south and in about 45 minutes we were at Ed Lester Farms on the Red River in Coushatta.

It's a little early and they aren't fully stocked just yet, but we loaded up with enough to last up for a couple of weeks until their full spread comes in.

I got some fresh pinto beans (which Steve had to shell when we got home):

I got some Armistead sweet onions and a new variety called Cajun Spice; we're told that's "a hot onion."

We stocked up on fresh yellow squash:

And Steve filled two brown paper bags with new potatoes and sweet corn:

Of course, you can always just sit among the caladiums and catch the breeze off the river while you listen to the jazz or big band swing coming from the speakers:

This is what is coming:

We'll be back in a couple of weeks to fill the freezer!

We paid for our veggies, climbed in the Jeep and crossed the river into town:

It was lunch time and that means Bailey's hamburgers:

It's hard to explain how great these hamburgers are.  Steve says when he eats one he can feel his arteries clogging up.  They're the messiest, juiciest hamburgers I've ever seen.  They're just good old homemade burgers.  We discovered this place by watching one day to see where the locals go.  They go to Bailey's when it's lunchtime; the place is an institution.

You just walk up to the window, place your order, and hang out until it's ready.  You can sit at the picnic table and eat or in your car, or you can take it with you.  They've got burgers, chili dogs, hot dogs, that sort of thing.  Bring cash - they don't take debit or credit cards.

After our fine meal we drove through Coushatta (pop. about 2,300) headed toward Nichols store.  We passed Shakey Rays and I gave a little thought to going inside; maybe next time:

Nichols has everything from Wranglers and white rubber oyster boots to high end home decor - (heavy on the fleur de lis motif); you can get candles, baby clothes, ammo, toys, toothpaste...just your typical dry goods store.

Steve especially enjoyed what we called the Redneck section.  On that aisle you can get a fish mailbox:

Shotgun shell salt and pepper shakers:

Decor for your man cave:

Or for your bathroom:

How about a rope lamp:

And for the budding hunter in training you can get this nifty set with windup animals that he can shoot with a rubber dart gun.  I think Steve really wanted this.  I could just see little white tailed deer marching across his desk at work while he shoots them down with his dart gun.

Steve was a little disappointed that he is too big to ride "Sandy":

I bought an oil lamp and some cherry sour balls and Steve bought a couple of t-shirts and we headed north.

Instead of our usual return route up U.S. Highway 71 we turned off onto La. Highway 515 which runs a little closer to the river and through the community of East Point.  It's a pretty little drive through swampy areas:

and pastures:

Did you know if you stop the car and say "Hey Cows!" they'll stop eating and look right at you?

RIGHT at you:

We crossed a bayou:

Soon we hooked back up to Hwy. 71 which led us right to the Red River Lock and Dam No. 5 and since we were right there, we turned off to see how high the river is.

We visited with a park ranger that was there for a bit and we watched the egrets fly over the water:

We found a walking stick:

and I made a one minute video of the water.  I love the sound of the water coming through the spillway:

Finally we climbed back in the Jeep and headed home.  The hay bales reminded me of Iowa, where Steve is from:

Now we're settled in for the evening watching baseball (Rangers then the Cubs) and I'm cooking fresh pinto beans, sweet corn, squash and cornbread.  If I'd only gone inside Shakey Rays I could be fixing turtle meat, too.  Oh well, hindsight.  (I've never actually had turtle meat.)

Another successful day trip!

The SIGIS Take a Trip Series:
Take a Trip to the 2012 Defenders of Liberty Air Show at BAFB
Take a Springtime Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden, LA
Take a Trip to Logansport, Louisiana
Take a Trip to the Lock and Dam on Red River
Take a Trip to the 2012 Barkus and Meoux Parade
Take a Christmas Shopping Trip to Second Hand Rose in Minden
Take a Trip to Grand Cane's Fifth Annual Pioneer Trade Day
Take a Trip to the 2011 Highland Jazz & Blues Festival
Take an Autumn Trip to Jefferson, Texas
Take a Fall Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden
Take a Trip to the 8th Air Force Museum at Barksdale Air Force Base
Take a Summertime Trip to Grand Cane
Take a Trip to Desoto Parish
Take a Summer Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden
Take a Trip to Natchitoches and Melrose Plantation 
Take a Trip to Ed Lester Farms and a Random Antique Stop
Take a Trip to the Norton Art Gallery and the Masters of Cuban Art Exhibit
Take a Trip to Natchitoches to See the Christmas Lights
Take a Trip to Natchitoches and Oakland Plantation


Jayhawk said...

My wife, who grew up in LA and San Diego, still does not understand the term "sweet corn." I have explained it to her a dozen or more times, and she still does not, I suspect, believe that corn is actually grown that is not the kind that is... Oh, good lord. Anyway, she still snorts every time I use the term, and after all these years, I still use it.

sheryl said...

sounds like a fun day!

AmPowerBlog said...

That's an awesome post!

Have a great weekend.