Friday- February 8, 2019
We moved from Beaumont to Nachitoches Louisiana. Our previous journey through the South kept us near the coast. This time we wanted to see something new away from the coast. There is no direct route between the two cities. Our route starts as interstate, transitions to US highway, then the Louisiana highway, then to cowpath it seemed. By far the worst roads were the Louisiana secondary country roads- narrow, rutted little roads.
That said, after miles and miles of narrow, rough roads we hit the straw that broke the camel’s back- so to speak. Transitioning from dry to very wet and rainy weather I see this mud slick ahead that was created by trucks entering the highway from a very soupy dirt road. It looks four inches deep and there’s no way around it. When we pull into Grand Ecore RV Park our white Subaru is caked with reddish mud and the whole bottom half of the motorhome doesn’t look much better. Oh well, they were clean just a few hours ago…………
The scenery also changed as we drove north. The predominant live oak trees became four varieties of pine- loblolly, long and short leaf and slash. The forests were very thick with pines. Every once in a while there would be a break in the trees for a ranch or a harvest of trees- or a bayou.
For sixty miles of miserable road past Leesville we crossed not one notable place of inhabitation until we reach Provencal, a village of just over 700 folks. This place is more affluent with nicely kept homes and ranches. Remarkably the road makes a drastic improvement- no more potholes, with wide shoulders and smooth pavement. These folks must have some pull with the state and county fathers.
Towns we drove through are Vidor (10,000 souls) Deweyville (1000 souls), . Crossing into Louisiana- Dequincy (3000 souls), DeRidder LA has a sizable population of 11,000 souls, then Leesville (6600 souls). Leesville is home to the US Army installation of Fort Polk. The fort’s population often outnumbers the civilian population in Leesville.
Not long after we leave Provencal we hook a right from highway 117 to highway 6 and head into Natchidoches and the Grand Ecore RV Park for four nights.
So here’s the bet. What is the proper pronunciation of Nachitoches? Some say Natch-a-toe-sis, others Nacho-toe-cheez and God knows whatever. If your not from here you’d probably never guess. So here goes according to the locals- the proper pronunciation is- wait for it- Nak-A- Tish! And that’s the truth! Told ‘ya you couldn’t do it!