Let me tell about the good parts!
Lake Bruin is an ox-bow lake in Louisiana, formed by the Mississippi River's changing path. The ancient bald cypress trees are draped with Spanish moss--spectacular scenery.
The cypress knees testify to the length of time that these trees have been growing and thriving along the margins of this body of water in Tensas Parish. ('Tensas' is pronounced 'Ten-saw,' by the way.)
Aside: also in Tensas Parish: St. Joseph, Louisiana. A number of chamber music participants from Vicksburg (including our daughter, Laura, a violist) join the St. Joe group weekly for practice and preparation for concerts. The surprise, for us, was finding out that it's a 50-mile plus drive one way to this tiny destination; (not even one stop-light.) How does this remote, sparsely-populated spot attract all of these players?
Lake Bruin had *black* squirrels--which we've only seen in parts of Cleveland, Ohio.
Fox squirrels are larger--and gentler-- than the ubiquitous gray squirrels. The park denizens clearly feel they have nothing to fear. I gathered about 2 lbs. of pecans--the squirrels couldn't get them all! Small but delicious.
Huge swaths of the grounds were awash in bright pink, (and notice that the trees were all still wearing their leaves, not yet changing color.)
Clouds of ephemera-- tiny swarming insects-- formed golden, mirage-like mists in the air. (Does anyone else recall the Emerson essay from American literature?)
The pink effect is from the thousands of oxalis plants growing along with the grass.
Our trip was planned primarily because it meant we could once again see Laura in concert-- after her six-year hiatus from the viola while she completed graduate work. Better yet, the trip meant that the following week we could celebrate her birthday with her in person. Here she is on the big day-- looking quite a bit happier than she did 30 years before when she first met us.
She and her father were able to enjoy two Saturday afternoons of college football. Instead of phoning back and forth as they usually do, they could carry on in person. We had a lovely time visiting her.
Other parts of our trip......should this be an occasion for 'Don't ask; don't tell' ? It was pretty rough. We are deciding it might be best to follow through with our vague plan to sell the RV when Don reaches age 70. (Anyone interested? It's been given the best of care, stored under cover, and has low miles.....)