Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Nesting at Nakatosh Campground in Natchitoches, Louisiana

We finally got on the road this morning at 6:30 am.  I set the alarm for a 5 a.m. wake up alarm, but of course, didn't sleep the whole night and tossed and turned.  Don't you just hate that when you know you need to be up at a certain time and then worry that the alarm won't go off or you'll be later?  Uggh.  It made for a long drive for me today.  

I was tired from the get go and then had to deal with rush hour traffic all through San Antonio for about an hour.  Those Texas drivers are quite impolite to say the least.  I thought they were supposed to be a friendly and polite people with the "yes, sir" and "yes, ma'am" but I guess that doesn't apply on the freeway.  Two hours later, I found myself dealing with Houston traffic on I-10 and two toll roads - paying $10.50 just to drive around the outskirts of the city on terrible roads. I hope the money is to pay for rebuilding or repairing the existing road.  When I went through the first toll booth, the width was 9' - just barely big enough for the truck and RV to get through with an inch to spare on each side.  It was really close!  On the second one, I went to the far right lane and got an "generous" extra 2 inches but I made it through faster than the first one.

After that we drove through some very pretty Texas countryside on the back roads - incidentally, much better roads than the freeway and they drove just as fast.  Go figure.

The kids were pretty occupied on the entire drive - I rarely heard a peep out of them.  Scott had a 9 a.m. meeting so I had to drive in silence and he also turned off the speaker for the route guidance voice to give me directions through Houston, so I had to keep looking over to the map on the dash to make sure I was going in the right direction.

We initially drove on I-10 then north on I-69 then east on Highway 103 until we came to beautiful lake and realized it was probably the border of Texas and Louisiana. I later learned it was Toledo Bend Reservoir.  I learned that Toledo Bend Reservoir is the #1 body of water in the US for bass fishing with some impressive records! The bridge was about 6 miles long!  Crazy! It seemed like we drove on it forever to cross over into Louisiana.

(Web Photo)
Photo by John Tolivar
14 Pound Bass! (Web Photo)
Once we crossed the bridge I wanted to get a photo of the kids but there was nowhere to pull over. I see a cute sign by the Louisiana Welcome Center so I pulled off the road.  I was a bit freaked out because a patrolman also pulled off the road across the highway from me, so we quickly took the photo and got on our way.  Louisiana's top speed limit is 55 mph, so I felt like I was going as fast as everyone else instead of poking about...finally.
Hunter decided to wear his flannel PJs all day.
Flannel in Louisiana in August.  Go figure.
From here the road we were on changed to Louisiana Highway 6 and it took us right to Natchitoches, the oldest French colony in Louisiana established in 1714 and the oldest surviving settlement of the Louisiana Purchase!  I 💗 all things French but I also 💗 all things historic!

Nakatosh Campground

As we were driving, we were trying to decide where to stay for the night.  Nothing seemed great except for one RV park 17 miles north of us and I didn't want to drive 35 miles out of my way when we came back here to go to Cane River Creole National Historic Park in the morning.  I told him to find something closer and I picked Nakatosh Campground.  Scott said we wanted Nakatosh Campground #1.  Since I drive, I can't navigate so I rely on him to get that figured out.  There was one one review and it wasn't very good but it had a 3.8 rating out of 5 but I said we should go anyhow.

The two things I was concerned about was the dirt pads due to the storm the previous day, and that you had to go up an embankment to get up the hill to the campground.  The funny thing about that hill is that there is an Chevron station right before we turned on Old Hwy 6 to get to the campground and after we got up the hill and to our site, I saw that I could have gotten to the campground more easily through the Chevron parking lot where the trucks are parked overnight and could have avoided the embankment all together.  That would have saved any bottoming out.  When we leave, I'm going to go through the Chevron parking lot for sure!  The dirt pads had no consequences to the sites from the storm although it is supposed to rain a little tonight (we'll see how well Scott's caulking job holds - cross your fingers). It's quite pretty here with all the trees but we do back up to the Chevron station and the trucks overnighting there but there is bushes to separate us and them.  We chose site #26 because we had 2 large trees on either side for shade.

NOTE:  There is a sign Nakatosh Campground at the Chevron - turn right there and it takes you right to the campground...

Look for this sign and turn here. It's just after the Chevron pumps and before Old Hwy 6.
And this is the good drive. You enter by where the truck is parked.
Nakatosh Campground is located minutes from Creole plantation homes, the Cane River National Heritage area (where we are going tomorrow), museums, historic homes and churches, an alligator park, fish hatchery and recreational outdoor events of many kinds.
Campground #1 Map
Nakatosh Campground have two locations, Campground #1 (where we are) and Campground #2 both with amenities as listed below.

Nakatosh Campground #1Nakatosh Campground #2
  • Pine Forest View
  • Cable Television
  • Public Telephone
  • Complementary Wi-Fi Access
  • BBQ & Picnic Area
  • Laundry and Groceries Available
  • Restaurant Open 24 hours
  • Free RV Dump
  • Restrooms and Showers
  • I-49’s Finest Game Room
  • 25 Tent Sites
  • 41 RV Sites
  • 41 Full Hookups(30/50 Amps)
  • 22 Pull-Thrus(30X60)
  • City Water
  • Lake Front
  • Cable Television
  • Public Telephone
  • Complementary Wi-Fi Access
  • BBQ & Picnic Area
  • Laundry and Groceries Available
  • Free RV Dump
  • Restrooms and Showers
  • 5 Tent Sites
  • 19 RV Sites
  • 14 Full Hookups(30/50 Amps)
  • 5 Pull-Thrus(30X60)
  • City Water
Another thing about Nakatosh Campground is that while they have a beautiful website, they aren't very professional when it comes to answering the phone to make a reservation.  At campground#1 there is no office really -- just a shack large enough for a desk and 4 people to stand around it.  But, the rates are super great!

Rates (they offer a Good Sam Discount of 10%)

Good Sam Club: (Daily)Standard: (Daily)Weekly:Monthly:Tent Site:
Fee: $30.61Fee: $33.15
Fee: $165.75
Fee: $397.80
Fee: $27.08


There are many attractions around Natchitoches worth discovering.  The Natchitoches Parish is home to three fort sites, many Creole plantations homes (4 open daily for tours). Former First Lady Laura Bush names Natchitoches one of only two preserved America communities in Louisiana!

Chow Time

After we arrived, we quickly set up camp and then made a yummy dinner of grilled chicken, broccoli, red potatoes, and fruit of grapes and pineapple.  It was yummy scrumptious and especially nice to arrive to a site early enough to enjoy a home cooked meal.
Scott working his magic on the grill.
Yummy home cooked dinner.
Here are photos of the camp.  My rating would be a 2 out of 10. While the campground is very nice and spacious, the amenities are horrible!
The office is nice on the outside and that's about it.
Laundry room. Quite disgusting.
Washer was out of order.
Garbage and crud on the walls.  Ick!
Ladies bathroom facilities. Not great!
Show was filthy.
Black mold growing on the walls and rug! GROSS!
I wouldn't want to use this potty for anything!
Group center for get-togethers...and large BBQ on the right.

Tomorrow morning we're taking the kids to see the Cane River Creole National Historic Park and do their Junior Ranger program there. I'd sure like a whole day here, but we are on a time schedule.  After that, we're also going to Natchez and Vicksburg, Mississippi but they are only 3 hours away...so we'll see what tomorrow brings...

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