Cajun Cub Quest
By Darrell Ratliff
Great Louisiana Cub Quest began Monday morning, January 20th. We left
home about 8:30 Monday morning, trailer in tow, in anticipation of reaching
Louisiana by Tuesday afternoon. Temperatures were in the mid 40's and
it was slightly overcast. Good traveling weather.
We stopped in Elizabethtown Ky. for lunch. Janet's family is from there
and she had called one of her brothers who was meeting us at Cracker
Barrel for lunch. We enjoyed a nice lunch with brother Bill and two
of our nieces.
We got back on the road about 2 p.m. and traveled to Memphis TN. by
Monday evening. It had been a long day of driving so we decided that
when we stopped for fuel, we'd stay the night. (first mistake)
Tuesday morning, we pulled out into Memphis rush hour traffic and road
construction. The temperatures were still in the mid 40's. After about
an hour of nerve-wracking close calls later, we managed to leave Memphis
behind us. Including the idiot who nearly loaded his car onto my trailer
while he was weaving in and out of traffic.
As we headed into Mississippi, the temperatures had risen to the upper
50's. The drive through Ol' Miss was straight & uneventful. However,
once we crossed into Louisiana, we found about 15 miles of the roughest
interstate highway imaginable.
We arrived at our friend Dave's place about 3:30 p.m. (eastern time).
The sun was shining and it was about 70 degrees. We spent a quiet evening
at Dave's place, enjoying his beautiful home and hospitality.
Wednesday morning, the sun was shining and it was in the low 60's. We
headed across the scenic Louisiana by-ways following the directions
Merlin gave us for our 35 mile trip. He was right, the road was so crooked,
I nearly broke my own tail-lights out.
We arrived at Merlin's mid-morning. Being a southern gentleman, Merlin
invited us in to chat for a while and have coffee. We enjoyed Merlin's
company, and like most cub owner's I've met, it seemed like I had known
Merlin all my life.
I knew I wouldn't have room for all 3 tractors and the equipment I had
purchased, so I decided to load up the parts tractor and some of the
implements and take them back to Dave's, then come back for the rest.
We winched the parts cub onto the trailer and loaded the grader blade
on the trailer and the mower deck in the truck bed. Headed back to Dave's
and told Merlin we'd be back in a couple of hours. Merlin recommended
a nice local restaurant for Louisiana home cookin', so as we passed
through Ponchatoula on our way back from unloading the first load, we
stopped for lunch. It was great, as I knew it would be. However, there
was not one possum entrée on the menu!
We arrived back at Merlin's about 2 p.m., loaded the remaining 2 tractors,
parts and implements with no incidents. I added a nice single-gang disk
and a set of hillers to the collection for an additional $100. We thanked
Merlin for his hospitality and cubs and headed back to Dave's. It was
dark when we got back and boy was I tired.
Dave, who is an excellent chef, prepared a home-made chicken and sausage
gumbo for us for supper (dinner if you're city-folk).
We got up Thursday morning to mid 20 degree temperatures. Packed our
bags into the truck and prepared to head north. Dave, who has a farm
in Illinois, volunteered to bring the parts cub and remaining equipment
when he comes up in the spring. (Did I mention how great a guy Dave
is?) He also has a 154 Lo Boy in the shed with a 5 foot deck on it he
wants to sell me at a real good price.
Other than the same miserable 15 miles of rough interstate just south
of the Miss. - Louisiana state line, Thursday's drive was uneventful.
We stopped again in Memphis, only this time, we didn't stop until we
had passed through the city.
When we got up Friday morning, it was 9 degrees! We had decided to make
it a leisurely drive and stop in Elizabethtown Ky. again, so Janet called
another of her brothers and we had accommodations for the night. We
spent the night with her brother Don & his wife Brenda.
Saturday morning, we got up, went to Golden Corral for the breakfast
buffet and headed north. We arrived home about 2 p.m. Saturday, tired,
but we really enjoyed the trip and meeting Merlin.
The Cajun cubs are nestled safely in the barn and I'm anticipating the
arrival of the remainder of my goodies!
By the way, the Cajun cubs were named Lee-Ray and Maurice (pronounced
Mo-reese). The Northern translation of those names is Larry and Moe,
I think they'll get along quite well with Curly. Don't you?