A few happenings all coincided in such a way that I was inspired to plan a road trip for the Spring of 2021. Well, not so much ‘plan’ as take one– most of the planning happened along the way, in real time. The job I’d been working wrapped up in mid-March, and I was so fortunate as to have not found one to immediately take its place (while having managed to build up some savings in its course). Furthermore, mere days after the job ended I found myself in line at a CVS to receive my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19.
By the time I received my second shot three weeks later, I’d decided on the loose plan of tripping along storied Route 66, that bygone byway that had been a point of intrigue for me for some years. A trek along a largely abandoned (but presumably picturesque) highway seemed an appropriate way to spend my “vaccication,” as I’d heard it termed– I was comfortable enough to emerge back into the wide world, but preferred to do so in a way that still allowed for plenty of distance.
Upon consulting the map I determined Tulsa, Oklahoma to be the most logical place to hop on Route 66. And a logical midpoint of that 10 hour journey turned out to be Caddo Lake State Park, in northeast Texas, just across the Louisiana border. (In fact, the gloomy, scenic cypress swamp made this Louisiana resident feel quite at home.)
Right near the park was a town I felt compelled to check out on account of its noteworthy, wishy-washy name of “Uncertain.” It didn’t disappoint– it boasted an Uncertain Flea Market and, better yet, a Church of Uncertain (appropriately non-denominational). There was also a River Bend Restaurant, where masks were optional and dogs were allowed on the deck– provided the owner carry the dog through the restaurant TO the deck.
I special requested foil for my redfish leftovers, with visions of heating them up in a ‘hobo bag’ over a campfire for dinner. I asked a nearby resident of the park where I could stop for supplies (read: beer) (but also firewood!). He directed me to the Run In, and then I set up camp at the Mill Pond site. The sun was on its way down and I got a time lapse on the lake, then went to get a fire started to wind down the night. Except I’d never actually built a fire before and wasn’t exactly a “natural,” so let’s just say I ate my leftovers cold.
I also was too lazy to blow up my air mattress, which was a mistake I never made again. Wasn’t the best night of sleep I had on the trip, but honestly even when I got the fire lit and mattress blown up I didn’t sleep great. But that’s okay! I didn’t take the trip to sleep!