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Friday, June 3, 2011

DAY 137: HUNTINGTON - ZAVALLA - ANGELINA RIVER, TEXAS

HUNTINGTON, TEXAS is a suburb about 3 miles South of LUFKIN, TEXAS. We finally found a RV Park in HUNTINGTON which was acceptable - not all are maintained properly. SPIA is dwarfed, but tho small, has all the efficiencies of her bigger Sisters. Her A/C was especially nice to have. For the first time, it ran ALL night - as it did not cool off -, and I hope that was not a mistake...cannot imagine suffering through a night of heavy aired hot moistness again...but I know the A/C will be rare as RV Parks now cost nearly as much as a motel ($25.00 is average).

Although daylight - just barely at 4:30 am when I started walking BELLINGHAM Time -, the forest is thick and dark. The Sun rising between the Pine Trees did offer spectacular lighting .

Happened upon a Log Storage Yard. Here, the Log Truck is being "weighed IN", as they are paid by the pound. A growing number of such trucks are passing me by all day long...sometimes 3 or 4 trucks one after the other.

Unloading is with a "grapple" system. The grapple grabs hold of a bunch of logs - all Pine Trees - lifts them off the Semi Truck and deposits them on a pile behind the crane.


HUNTINGTON had a "Sonic" Fast Food Place - drive-in only...no sit down service; and this Donut Shop, in addition to a "closed" DQ.

I stopped in at a "beauty Shop", where I met Nita Melton, who - after Me walking 4 hours rinsed out my hair - and gave me a #4 Hair Cut. Nita said she had cut much more distasteful hair than mine...she was just being nice. But, after all, we had a pleasant conversation and she refused my $$ when came time to go. Apologize for no Photograph...my error...maybe down the road.
Thank you, Nita.

Nita and her partner told me of the "Meat Market" which served food. I followed their instructions, found it, and do they ever serve food. I was served a full chicken breast (3) lunch with whipped potato and corn bread for $3.50. Was without a doubt, the finest chicken breast I have ever eaten.


Looking for the "Meat Market", I asked a lady which way was "down town"...she looked around, shrugged, and said "this is it". We were standing at an intersection of Hwy 69 with not much beyond another 300 feet in any direction - including, by the way, the Meat Market.

Taken the liberty to include photographs of a few Churches. There are many in every small village. Out in the countryside, there are many more to choose from.

Some Churches are elegant; some are simple places, such as an old garage with a sign out front.

Have many photographs of homes. Most interesting is the large "set-back" from the roadways. Nearly never is a home placed directly along the street as I am more accustomed.

Here is a much better view of the "Culvert" one finds all over this part of Texas. Because of the heavy water flows during downpours, these under-road pipes have become part of the architecture of roads and home-fronts. Home owners nearly always keep them as clean and neat as any portion of their property...which, by the way, is quite nicely maintained.

HUNTINGTON, TEXAS is small, but lays claim to a man of large historic power...Mr. Sam Rayburn. A local lake is Sam Rayburn Lake...one of the largest in this part of the USA.

Texas Hwy 69, heading South out of HUNTINGTON for the small village of ZAVALLA, TEXAS. We will pick up Texas Highway 63 at ZAVALLA, and follow it East into Louisiana...now very close by.

Click Click this photograph. It is actually an old ranch "for sale". I show it to emphasize the amount of IVY growing down here. Nearly all vegetation - except tall Pine Trees - is covered with Ivy Vines...even growing up telephone poles.

This Memorial is dedicated by a local resident to ALL American Service People who ever served in our Armed Forces. Quite a nice gesture and I went out of my way to walk over, read all the inscriptions and reflect...Thank You

This is the Village of SAVALLA. This is Texas Highway 63. I parked SPIA in SAVALA for a few hours while I walked East on Hwy 63 for 8 miles. Later, drove SPIA out the 8 miles, parked again - very difficult to find a suitable parking spot - and walked another 8 miles.

Nearly all of this part of Texas is a National Forest - the ANGELINA NATIONAL FOREST. It is all Pine Forest. In some places, the trees are so dense that nothing grows at the base of the trees. The land is rolling hills...somewhat steep and about 1/2 mile long up and down.

ANGELINA NATIONAL FOREST along Hwy 63 is a quiet place, but vehicles still drive on the Berm. One 18-wheeler, having to slow a bit behind SPIA - I always drive at 45 mph - became so angry that he passed SPIA on a blind curve with double center lane stripe...as he drew even with my driver seat, he let out a loud constant Air Horn Blast and swerved into SPIA, trying to knock us off the road.

I DO NOT have a lot of respect for drivers in this part of Texas.

Home set-back and culvert arrangement.

Another Church.

Now, here is something quite interesting: BEE HIVES.

East stack of Bee Hives has 12 Hives. I counted over 100 stacks (they were mounted on wooden Pallets). I walked to within 10 feet of the nearest hives; the bees came out to look me over, swarming around, but did not land or attack me...just interested to see what I was. Took some close-up photographs, but they did not come out well...lighting was set wrong on the camera.

Ranch House set-back...landscaping is ALWAYS very appealing and neatly cut and trimmed.

ANGELINA NATIONAL FOREST Pine Trees. Note how clean the forest is. Even fallen trees are neatly laid out. Someone / something / is doing a nice job here.

Some Pine Tree Groves are tightly together, limiting light from reaching the ground. Together with fallen Pine Needles and Pine Cones, not much grows on the Forest Floor. The "Tanin" or "Pitch" or "blood" of the Pine Tree is so corrosive - it will burn like a torch -, that it kills other plants trying to get a foot-hold.

BURN BAN signs are posted on the Highways. It is over 100 F. on the roadway. The humidity is very high, which helps keep combustion down.

Fallen Pine Trees.

Please say HELLO to Bob. Bob, together with his delightful wife, Lisa, are owners of the RV Park where SPIA, SAM & ME stayed last evening. 30 years ago, Bob and Lisa purchased land along the ANGELINA RIVER, an outlet river of the Sam Rayburn Lake. Included in the purchase was a "swamp". All was densely wooded and tangled with IVY vines. A N D,

The entire land was a mass - according to Bob - of critters: Rattle Snakes, Moccasin, Copperhead, and Coral Snakes...not to mention the Angelina River to be home to lots of Alligators.

Today, Bob and LIsa's home is a paradise. The swamp and river shore have been cleared of all growth. The snakes only come around once in a while - usually at night, and the Gaters have moved down stream a bit.

The Angelina River is a sportsman destination, with large & small mouth Bass, and Catfish up to and beyond 60 pounds.

Bob & LIsa have a "night club", complete with on-tap beers, comfy stools, and 4 "watch dogs", each of whom has his/her own bed and pillow. They watch, bark, and "rest"...not much else for a dog in this climate to do.

The "Swamp" as it looks today. This photograph is from SPIA's front Bumper, looking West.

Highway 63 Bridge over the Angelina River. The lawn is the result of 30 years of hard labor by Bob and Lisa along the river bank. The occasional Alligator still comes swimming by to see how things are going.

View of the Angelina River and Boat Dock looking from the "Night Club" - me with a draft in my hand. I visited with Bob and Lisa till well after dark...and never did I have an empty beer glass in front of me...and they refused my $$. RV Space - full hookup - was $20.00.

Traveling through the South...take the side road Hwy 63 to the Angelina River. Bob and Lisa will be there with a full draft ... big Cats and Bass just a few feet away.

DAILY REPORT: Walked one 16 mile and two 8-mile jaunts = 32 miles.

SEE YOUR IMPACT.ORG: Credit 32 miles @ $0.02 = $0.64 for the day.

In the morning - gosh it is already 5 am local time...daylight in one hour...I will leave SPIA watching over the Swamp while I take a hike East on Hwy 63 toward the Town of JASPER, TEXAS. We will then be only 40 miles from the Louisiana Border.