Saturday, July 23, 2022

2021-03-03: Roadtrip! Our First Day of a 4000+ Mile Road Trip from Texas to Louisiana

WOHOO!! Time for another road trip!! After four months in southeast Texas, we laid the groundwork on this project and turned it over to the remaining crews. So where's the next big project? Well the next big project is just across the state back in West Texas. 

But first, I gotta make a quick overnight stop in Florida for my father's funeral. Then we head back up to Maiden Creek, North Carolina for two weeks worth of work putting the finishing touches on a project we started last year. And for an adventure we're gonna take the long way back to Texas. I mean what's the excitement of just driving the quickest interstate highway to your destination right? So a 500 mile roadtrip turns into a 4,000 mile roadtrip!

Day #1 of this road trip and my first goal is just getting out of Texas to get a jump on putting miles in the rear view mirrors. Our first stop was at a virtual geocache and an earthcache (GCCF25, GC7VW68) in Dequincy, Louisiana.

In 1897, the Kansas City Southern (KCS) Railroad laid track through the town of DeQuincy and the first depot was built on this site. In the early 1920's KCS began rebuilding or remodeling many of its stations along the line in Western Louisiana. This building was completely rebuild in 1923 and eventually turned into a museum in the 1970's.

Located trackside of the DeQuincy Railroad Museum is a 1913 Steam Locomotive and a 1947 Pullman passenger car. While we were checking out the outdoor displays, a modern day Kansas City Southern freight train whistled past.

Our first new geocaching county to check off the list was up next for Allen Parish. We stopped in the town of Oakdale and the Calcasieu River Dam (GC81VQW). After taking a few photos I began looking unsuccessfully for the geocache. Previous finders said that it was buried, something they're not supposed to be. It has since been archived.

Still needing a geocache for the county, or Parish as they are called in Louisiana, I made a stop for a quick roadside cache (GC8XN4V) as we continued eastbound.

The next county on the list was Evangeline Parish. Near the town of Bayou Chicot is the Vandenburg Cemetery and my next geocache (GCW780). A well maintained cemetery with over 800 interments here, the oldest dating back to 1818. It's too bad that I don't have more time to look around here.

Did you know there is a difference between a cemetery and a graveyard? I mean everybody, including myself, usually just calls them cemeteries. But traditionally a graveyard is a cemetery that's attached to a church. Just like my next geocache...

The White's Chapel United Methodist Church (GC3730Q) was built in 1894 by Hugh and Lee Evans on land donated by Wilson A. O'Quin Sr. It was named in honor of Rev. Frederick White who organized it in 1870. There are less than 300 interments buried here with the oldest dating back to 1877, a SGT Leon Joseph Campbell.

While it was great to visit an old historic church and graveyard, I wasn't able to find the geocache. And not wanting to get too far behind in miles, I skip the next few geocaches and drive quickly beyond Baton Rouge. Though that also meant skipping a few needed counties too. That just a reason for another road trip!

When normally passing through down I-10 east-west, most people take the I-12 shortcut between Baton Rouge and Slidell. Since I still wanted to get those lower counties, I went south into Ascension Parish and the town of Prairieville. The Prairieville Cemetery (GC35J5A) is scattered with old growth oak trees which makes for a beautiful setting and a little spooky too. The cemetery has over 3000 interments dating back to 1812.

Moving right along, the next geocache is just a quick roadside park and grab at an I-10 exit for a find in St. James Parish (GC50YRT). While here we ran into another geocacher named SWAseekers, who was also on a county caching run in Southern Louisiana.

Next in St. John the Baptist Parish, I met up with SWAseekers once again for a quick parking lot geocache (GC8BC9X).

Since we didn't want to get into New Orleans during the busy evening hours, we decided to call it a day. Plus it was already after 5:00 PM and we were hungry and tired. Tomorrow morning we'll visit New Orleans while it is less crowded. Thanks for riding along and we'll see you again soon!

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