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Posts Tagged ‘butterfly capital’

“He who can take no great interest in what is small will take false interest in what is great.” — John Ruskin

I snapped this picture of a mural painted by a local artist while waiting at a stop light.

Travels With Maggie

 I sat behind the wheel of my car for 430 miles yesterday, yet time seemed to fly by and I was never bored. Like Alice, there was a whole new world out there for me to see, and contemplate.

Stephens, the small town just down the road from Camden, Arkansas, where the day’s journey began, still had their downtown Christmas tree lights up. I suspect it was because the lights took away the town’s drabness and not because some city worker was lazy.

I was welcomed to Emerson, a bit farther down the road, with a huge sign noting that the town is home of the Purple Hull Pea Festival and the World Championship Tiller Race. In case you’re interested this year’s event will be held June 24-25.

With Arkansas in the rear-view mirror, a Haynesville billboard let me know this town was the Butterfly Capital of Louisiana. While stopped at a red light, I snapped a picture out my RV window of a mural painted on the side of a gift shop. It was one of several murals I saw while passing through the town.

My wheels rumbled gruffly on quaint red brick roads through downtown areas of both Minden, Louisiana, and Nacogdoges, Texas. Even on a long drive, I prefer traveling the smaller highways that take you through the middle of towns along the route. Freeways put me to sleep while backroads keep my brain occupied and alert.

It's not every day that one gets to see a bison mom nursing her calf through their windshield, so I'm glad that I also enjoy the less dramatic glimpses of the world around us. The photo was taken in Custer State Park, South Dakota. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I wanted to stop and explore more, but I also wanted to get to my destination before dark. My rush to get there reminded me of Disney’s version of Lewis Carroll White Rabbit muttering: “I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date! No time to say goodbye, hello! I’m late! I’m late! I’m late!”

My only stop, except for gas, was at a Texas roadside park where my dog, Maggie, and I took a too short walk to stretch our legs.

Given Houston’s traffic, which I was going to drive through on Highway 59 during the commuter hour, I figured I’d just make it to my son’s home in Lake Jackson by dark. But amazingly – I say this as one who’s spent three hours getting through Houston more than once – it didn’t take long at all.

I reached Lake Jackson in plenty of time to share dinner with my son and his family.

I don’t recommend long-distance driving, preferring instead much shorter drives with plenty of time to get out of my RV and explore. But, as Garth Brooks says, “Happiness isn’t getting what you want, it is wanting what you’ve got.”

And what I had yesterday was one fantastic day on the road.

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