Oaklawn Park, Hot Springs, AR, Apr 14-16, 2005

Louisiana Downs, Bossier City, LA, Apr 17, 2005

"New" Evangeline Downs, Opelousas, LA, Apr 19-23, 2005 (Track #130)

1st fireplug in Bossier City

Road trip! Another one, I mean.

From the Arkansas Derby to New Orleans, and everything of importance (to the racing chump) in between. Plus a bonus search for Bigfoot the Monster Truck.

Mostly pictures. With commentary.

Oaklawn Park

It's a rite of Spring, McChump #2 at Oaklawn for some racing weekend or another. And what the hey I had the time, so I flew on down to Little Rock and there he was, in the flesh to pick me up. For a lot of people the Arkansas Derby might be an end in and of itself, but for us the two days in Hot Springs were just the start of a major road trip.

It was an okay Arkansas Derby, I guess. Afleet Alex won the thing, but he was expected to do so.

Louisiana Downs

And immediately the next day we were on our way, headed south, first stop Louisiana Downs.

Louisiana Downs wasn't actually running at this particular time of year, probably because it was not nearly beastly hot enough yet. McChump wanted to stop in for a little of that smokin' hot Mermaid-theme slot machine action, and I wanted to see what Harrah's had done to the place. They'd done a lot, as it turned out. You could hardly even recognise the old fortress from out front, with the new casino facade and entry way and so on. Casino on ground floor was nice enough, I guess. Very nice new & clean simulcast area on 2nd floor of the grandstand, much nicer than I remembered from before.

But we didn't tarry long.

New Evangeline Downs, and Lafayette's Festival Internaional de Louisiane

Evangeline Downs racing programOkay, I'll admit it, we had some motivations other than New Evangeline for driving to Lafayette, namely
a) The big Festival International and all that groovy music and tasty food, and
b) Some local schlub at BWW downtown Lafayette probably had his name at the top of the rankings in NTN trivia and the mighty Goombah aka McChump #2 can't be having that in a 750 mile radius of his home. So we slid into town.

But while driving there, and while in town, we kept hearing commercials for local promotional appearances by Bigfoot the Monster Truck, and I thought "Hey, it might be cool to see Bigfoot the Monster Truck as long as Bigfoot is kind enough to be making local appearances! And maybe you will never be here again!" so I convinced McChump #2 to drive over to one of the places in Lafayette Bigfoot was supposed to appear. But we missed Bigfoot that day. Dammit.

Luckily, the radio said Bigfoot was supposed to also appear the next day up in Eunice, so I imposed on McChump #2 to drive on up there, even though he wasn't real happy about it. Convinced him with tales of Johnson's Grocery and yummy boudin, plus maybe music bars in Eunice and Mamou. So up there we went.

The boudin was great, as always. But by the time we got to downtown Eunice there was no Bigfoot to be observed. We drove around a little in that 3 block square downtown but still no Bigfoot. Finally we parked and went into the small Cajun Music Hall of Fame there in the little downtown, and poked around for awhile, like we were really interested. Then when we were ready to leave, I happened to casually ask the nice lady working there, offhand, disinterestedly, as if an afterthought, about Bigfoot.

She was so sweet and so apologetic, like it was her fault or something. "Oooooooh. It lef'"