Good night from Gum Springs Campground in Winnfield, Louisiana, where we’re settled in to rest up for tomorrow’s visit to Winnfield Elementary.
It was foggy in the French Quarter when I woke up this morning. I sat in the gazebo and sipped coffee while practicing my voices for the Cookies of Chaos audio book recording I’ll be doing next Monday and Tuesday in San Antonio.
We worked and frittered and failed to not eat rice crispie treats until the mandatory 11am checkout, at which point we drove north for five hours to Winnfield. Our only side adventure was a stop for some apples and milk. That didn’t take long.
When we got to Gum Springs, we had our pick of campsites. It seems we’re the only ones here. Which is strange, because this place is just beautiful. It’s a short walk through fallen leaves to reach the banks of a lake.
We started a fire and counted the minutes until 6pm, when supper would be arriving. Our host Maggie Bryant and Winnfield’s school nurse Kacie Smith brought us a home-cooked meal: green salad, crayfish pie made by Kacie, and a cream cheese pound cake baked by middle school ELA teacher Carrie Rocket, the person who received the email from First Book inviting schools to apply for the Busload of Books tour.
Carrie passed the opportunity along to Maggie, who wrote an essay explaining what a visit from Robbi and me would mean to her school. The rest his history.
The meal was spectacular. The crawfish pie was extraordinary and we ate too much of it. The pound cake otherworldly and we ate too much of that. To atone for our sins, we walked down to the lake and found the bright red moon reflected. Dumbles zoomed in the leafy darkness like a dog possessed. He’s happy to be out of the city.
So are we.
As much fun as we had in New Orleans, we’re much more at home in the crickety woods, the campfire crackling, hearts full from a good stretch of days and thoughts of crawfish pie for breakfast.