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Published: February 20th 2016
We did pretty good on being on the road by 7am. 7:15 close enough. Patti set up with her maps and quick stop at donut shop.
First stop anytime I head east on 20 is Duke's Truck Stop between Terrell & Canton. Love this place. They rate at the top of the bathroom scale. Plus there is lots to look at or eat or whatever you need to do. They also have a nice sized fenced in dog run for those traveling with pets.
They do not currently have a website but here is exact local: I-20 Exit 523 / TX64 / Wills Point-Canton, west on TX64/Corky Boyd Avenue.
Onward down 20. It was very gloomy out and I have to natural light or very bright light; if not my depression issues go out of whack real quick.
A quick stop in Bossier City at one of the casinos was in order. Decided Louisiana Downs would work as it's right off 20 easy on and off. It's the one at the horse racing track. If you gamble it's a Total Rewards property. They have free drinks and lots of older reel slot
games. Not too many of the new stuff and it's not very large at all. The restroom was mid level about a 7. Not the normal sparkly clean & fresh that casinos have. Yes we use casinos for rest stops often. About a half hour break. https://www.caesars.com/harrahs-louisiana-downs
Moving along. Time for a lunch stop. Exited main exit in West Monroe, LA looking for something yummy and a top off on fuel. We accidentally came across the Duck Dynasty Warehouse - it's a warehouse. We didn't stop in but their very expensive coach was out in the parking lot. If your into it I believe you can do a tour. But I have heard many folks that have just run into one of them around town. http://duckcommander.com/visit-west-monroe-louisiana
We opted to eat at Popeyes because I always eat at Popeyes first thing in Louisiana. We have them in Texas but they taste better in Louisiana.
Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge is just north of Monroe. Watch the signs ... GPS will get you there but it looks like you are going middle of no where ... because you are. I wanted
to go here to photograph as I had read it's kind of swampy spookey in the winter. And it was. We had a very easy walk out on to the boardwalk over the bayou then into the woods round trip about a mile but there are many more trails. There is also a visitor center for more info. One of the trails is a "work out" trail with activities through out. I saw a few folks intensely birding so maybe this is a good place for it. Here is the site & all photos on this blog are from there.
Another good thing about the refuges - they are all no entrance fee. Only for any extras. Here there is a $2 boat launch fee. http://www.fws.gov/northlouisiana/blackbayoulake/
We could only stay about an hour as we had to hit the road.
Started on the back roads & crossed over into Arkansas for a bit. Dave did a bit of entertaining road racing. I again needed a break. Once we went over the Mississippi River into to Mississippi we stopped in Greenville, MS at The Trop Casino. It is right on the river and so cool looking.
There are balconies and walkways on the river. We went in for just a quick stop maybe 30 minutes. There was a lot of what we call sitters. They just sit at machines either not playing or playing very low bets and drinking the free drinks. We didn't like the vibe so moved on. Bathroom mid level.
By the time we got to the Blues Highway - US 61. It was getting dark quick. David is far from a fan of driving two lane unlit highways in the middle of no where! http://www.msbluestrail.org/blues-trail-markers/highway-61-north
We made it to Sams Town to check in about 7:15 no issues with check in. I will say a bit of a gripe. I have over our gambling years been pretty loyal to Boyd Gaming granted I haven't been to Tunica in a few years but still they are all linked. I had emailed after making my reservation that I was coming in for my anniversary and wanted a high floor river view. Not too hard half of the hotel is river view. I did get top floor but a mile from the elevator looking at the
RV Park and a river drainage ditch. I didn't pitch a fit or anything because I wasn't really paying for my room so to speak. But in comparison - the last two anniversary trips were to Biloxi. The Boyd property there is the IP and they really treated me well. Our first year an upgrade to a mini suite with a view of the back bay. The second year two premium rooms with good views. Okay rant over it was a nice clean room.
Dropped our stuff and I changed. I wear some very comfortable road tripping clothes. Quick bite to eat at the sandwich shoppe then played for just a tiny bit.
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