Scenic Drive Across Northern Louisiana

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As I sped across northern Louisiana on Interstate 20, I quickly decided that I was getting bored with the highway.  It would have been easy to continue on to Monroe, then head north towards Arkansas, but I decided instead to cut a more unlikely path across the rural communities of northern Louisiana.  And thanks to some billboards advertising antique stores in Delhi, my detour began there.

Downtown Delhi is centered around a set of railroad tracks, with old brick storefronts running along both sides.  I did find a couple of antique stores (a couple more were closed)…

… but the best thing about my stop here was the funky old signs…

… and old buildings.  I had plenty to photograph.

Delhi, Louisiana is the birthplace of country music star Tim McGraw.

Here’s a dash-cam, time-lapse video of the drive from Vicksburg to Delhi:

Across Northern Louisiana
Routes 17, 134, 165, 2, 15, 558

My route across northern Louisiana didn’t really make much sense, which you can probably tell, just judging by the number of different highways I had to take.  It certainly wasn’t the quickest route, but it gave me the opportunity to see some countryside that most people would miss.  Aside from having to check the map repeatedly to stay on course, it was an easy and relaxing drive.

Epps

The community of Epps marked the spot where I turned from Route 17 onto Route 134 — the rural road which would carry me much of the way across the state.  There isn’t much here — that cafe is closed…

… and these rusty buildings and silos were also silent.

Oak Ridge

Route 134 briefly meets up with US 425 for the drive through tiny Oak Ridge.  “Downtown” has a couple of old gas pumps…

… and a building with an unexplained silo-like tower, covered in kudzu.

Little Bayou Boeuf

What came next was quite a surprise.  Route 134 cuts across a beautiful swamp known as Little Bayou Boeuf.

A few miles past the bayou, Route 134 comes to an end at US 165.  Take the federal highway north for about two miles, to Louisiana Route 2 at Sterlington.

Here’s a time-lapse, dash-cam video of the drive from Delhi to Sterlington:

Sterlington

Sterlington’s most notable landmark is probably this mural of a crawfish on an old building near the Ouachita River.

An old, rusty drawbridge carries Route 2 across the Ouachita into Union Parish. (Arkansas Route 7 will cross the Ouachita River 3 more times before Hot Springs.)  There’s a new bridge for Route 2 that was still under construction when I passed through in 2009 — by the time you get to Sterlington, you might need to turn off the main road to see this old bridge, and the big crawfish.

Farmerville

After Sterlington, there’s only one more sizable town before the Arkansas state line, but I didn’t bother to stop in Farmerville.  I still had a long way to go to get to Hot Springs before nightfall.   You’ll have to settle for video of Farmerville in this time-lapse:

At Farmerville, take Route 15 north to Route 558, which turns into Route 7 at the Arkansas state line. Route 7 is the center of my scenic drive through Arkansas during the next two days.

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