Shreveport, Louisiana 3/2/17 – 3/9/17

Shreveport, Louisiana:  Population =  199,311 (Metro area = 441,000), elevation = 144 feet, average January low temp = 36.2º (35 days below freezing), Average July high temp = 93.4º (91 days over 90º), percent sunny days = 63, annual snowfall = 1.4”, annual rainfall = 51.38”

Our plan for the Spring is to gradually work our way back North so that we can spend some quality Summer time in Minnesota.  From Houston our road took us to Shreveport.  It will probably be a while before we see Louisiana again so we want to savor some more good Cajun food.  As it turned out, we hit the jackpot on our first day there.  There are only three breweries in Shreveport and the closest one was Great Raft Brewing.  Loved the barrel-aged Old Mad Joy, a dark lager that weighs in at 10% ABV.  We also loved that the next day was Crawfish Boil day, a fundraiser for the YWCA.  Nuthin sez Cajun like a mess of mudbugs!

A single serving of three pounds of crawfish

After our Mexican adventure, we were due for a few new clothing items.  Shreveport has a nice big, sprawling shopping area on the North side of the river.  Looming over the lesser shops, we found a Bass Pro Shop.  If you have never seen one of these, they are worth a look even if you are not shopping.  They are outfitters for sportsmen; hunters, campers, and fishermen.  The store is huge and decorated with taxidermy displays of game animals, a room sized aquarium of large fish, and various odds and ends of rural-looking stuff.

Guess that is a hunter’s cabin?

The Louisiana State Exhibit Museum in Shreveport is a big round building with a wealth of historical displays.  The dioramas are incredibly detailed and reflect centuries of Louisiana history.  There are also many Civil War artifacts and documents.  My favorite display was the 1921 Bour Davis Touring Car that was built in Shreveport.

Rice farming
Picking cotton, old school
At the farmer’s market

The big draw to Shreveport are the casinos.  I am not really a gambler and I hate the stink of cigarettes, so we did not visit any casinos.  We did visit the R.W. Norton Art Museum.  They have a nice collection of bronze sculptures and oil paintings by Fredrick Remington and many other artists, Civil War firearms collections, WWII enlistment posters, and lots of other interesting items.  Sorry, no photos allowed.  We also visited the “Once In A Millennium Moon” mural downtown.  This is 14 stories tall and covers two sides of the building.

From Shreveport, we traveled on to Little Rock, Arkansas.  This was going to be just a two day stopover on the way to Memphis.  The plan was to see the state capitol and Little Rock has a beauty.  It is based on the building in Washington DC.

State Capitol at Little Rock, AR
The rotunda is simple but elegant
The grand marble staircase to the Senate
The Capitol contains the state Treasury vault. We are inside it, holding $400,000 in cash. OK, I’ll distract them, you stuff some into your purse.

Little Rock is also home to the Clinton Presidential Library.  Exploring the Library is like stepping back in time, to the events of those days.  Looking back, we are reminded of all of the great things Clinton and his Congress did for us back then.

Clinton’s oval office

Gifts to the president

Little Rock surprised us.  There is a lot more to see and do, to eat and drink, than we thought there would be.  Maybe next time around.

Next up: Memphis

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footloosefogeys

We are two recent retirees who decided to sell the house, pull up stakes, and explore North America. We are both being tourists and looking for the right blend of people, place, and geography that makes for the perfect place to retire.

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