St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 6: Rainy night, sunny quiet day

Day 6: It was a quiet morning after an all night rain. I was awakened at about 1:00 AM to the crash of the empty ice chest being toppled from the picnic table. Checking out the window, a raccoon was looking for something to eat. Nothing here so he moseyed on up the trail to the next camper. Lake Chicot State park has over 100 improved campsites (paved lot, wood deck, water, electricity and sewer). There are about 6 people in the campsites this week. Next to us is a group of carpenters staying in a big towed RV driving to work each day and coming home late to sleep. They are from Florida.
“We had snow in Florida two times this winter. First time I ever saw it,” said a young man in his early 20s. They move from job to job staying as a group in the park. They have two large work trailers with pickups and another truck to haul the RV.
It had stopped raining when we got up and the clouds were parting. It was 40 degrees to start the day, but the forecast said 50 for the afternoon. We decided to try a local restaurant, the Fat Pig, for breakfast in Ville Platte, seven miles away.
“Tire’s low” said Margo checking the right rear tire that has been patched two times now, “it lasted two days, so it must be a slow leak.” Yesterday when we found we had to order a new tire, we bought a cigarette lighter air compressor that promises to fill the tire in 3 minutes. We opened the box, plugged it in and in about 3 minutes the tire was full again.
“Let’s go to town and see what happens” I said. So we drove in and parked at The Fat Pig. It opened to the cash register and had two rooms, on to each side. We moved to the left where there were people sitting at tables. Nothing fancy, but promising that it would be a local restaurant. I picked ham, grits, a biscuit, and scrambled eggs. Margo had a biscuit, scrambled eggs, bacon and hash browns. We also had coffee. We had to ask for ice water.
The waitress was a friendly older lady who, other than her top front teeth all missing, was neat in appearance. The service was quick. However the food was disappointing.
The hash browns were a McDonald’s style frozen pattie dunked in the fryer. The ham was just sliced sandwich ham. The grits were clumpy. The biscuits were likely not from scratch. Coffee was adequate, but not good. The bacon was curled and tasted OK. The price for the two of us was $13 including a $2 tip as the waitress was friendly and stopped by and visited. Certainly not worth a repeat—might as well do McDonalds.
We stopped at the Sears and Roebuck House (house bought from the catalog 90 years ago) that had a tourist shop and home made Cajun seasonings. We bought several varieties of “Slap Ya Mama” ($2.59) for 8 oz can. The lady in charge was probably in her 70s. She told us about the local flowers (magnolia in the yard blooming without leaves) and said that the cold winter had frozen most of the annuals that they usually have all winter long in the yard. We visited quite a while and gave her a bottle of WI maple syrup as a souvenir of up north. She didn’t know what it was, so Margo explained how it is made.
The tire was already getting lower, so we headed back to the park. I put in some more tire sealant, aired it up again and took a short drive to let the sealant work. We expect a call tomorrow at about 11:00 if the tire we ordered has arrived. Then we will feel like looking around a little more. At the camper, Margo caught up on her email. I did a little walking practice – slow and award—feels like the knee might buckle. I put on the brace and that made it even harder to walk.
The Leader newspaper showed up on the Internet in the afternoon. The last few weeks it shows up incomplete for the first day and then they get it fixed. This time about 10 pages were missing. Read through it all. My column on using correct grammar came through with only a few unintentional errors.
Had grapes and a sandwich for lunch and baked potatoes for supper. Both of us are reading books we picked up at the library yesterday.