Easing Along

Shreveport…Sherman Gets “Louisiana Lucky”

Harrah’s Horseshoe Hotel and Casino – Bossier City, LA


To date Sherman, our Cruise America RV, has taken us through Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada. Our overnight stops have been wonderful, and the desert southwest is overwhelmingly beautiful…certainly a unique experience for a country boy from the Tennessee mountains.

By the time everyone reads this, Sherman will be California bound. We have had a blessed experience on this march to the Pacific coast, but finding the time (and the Wi-Fi connection) to upload an article has been a challenge. Nevertheless, we have stored a motorhome full of adventures and photographs to share and will be uploading all of them as soon as possible. At this moment however, we have a good Wi-Fi connection and I want to share a fun story as well as a surprise during our second night on the road.  

We were heading to Barksdale Air Force Base where we had planned to spend the night in the RV camp.  This camp does not take reservations so we called ahead to see if any spaces were available. The camp hostess told us that she would do her best to “work us in”.  We were not encouraged. On top of that, it was getting late and my experience with the procedures involved with hooking up the utilities for Sherman was in the novice stage at best. I did not want to continue my “on the job training” after nightfall.  Of even greater concern was the fact that we were only slightly ahead of an advancing storm and it was misting rain…time for Plan B.

We knew that the Harrah’s Horseshoe Casino in nearby Bossier City had a hotel attached. We are members of the Harrah’s Rewards Program, having joined on one of our visits to their resort in Cherokee, NC.  Helen (adorable wife) called the hotel and asked if there were rooms available and, if so, what were the room rates.  The reservation clerk asked for her rewards card number, then checked on the availability.  She came back with an unexpected surprise when she politely told us that the hotel would be happy to comp our rooms for the night. Helen’s jaw dropped twice before she gathered herself long enough to ask “what’s the catch?”

“No catch”, she replied in a lovely Louisiana accent as thick as gumbo, “but you will have to pay the room tax of $17.01”. We were high-fiving each other while steering Sherman through the storm.  Our space at the RV Camp would have cost $18.00, so were were now ahead by $0.99! I suppose that even a blind squirrel can find an acorn every now and then…

Helen in our hotel suite

The suite assigned to us was HUGE! After a lovely dinner in the hotel, we ventured into the casino to see if we could extend our good fortune.  When it comes to casino gambling, I can say with absolute certainty that we are not high rollers.  We’re not even low rollers. We’re more like slow rollers. Others might agree, especially if they saw how long it takes me to open my wallet and pull out a single to feed it ever so slowly into the penny slot machine. By the end of an evening in any casino I’ve ever visited, my results are usually around twenty dollars above or below the break even point. I did win $500 in a casino in Connecticut on our road trip up the east coast, but that was an exception. One this evening Horseshoe Casino received a tiny return on its investment in Sherman and crew but we had a lot of fun.

Casino floor

After a restful night, we arose the next morning and had a lovely Cajun breakfast in the hotel.  With everything loaded back into Sherman, we made our way to Corsicana,Texas. Finding a port in a storm had been a lucky break for us, and as the saying goes, I’d rather be lucky than good. 

We’ll have more to share as we continue on Sherman’s march to the sea.  Please come back.  For now, we’re just Easin’ Along.

5 thoughts on “Shreveport…Sherman Gets “Louisiana Lucky”

  1. Reggie Edmonds

    My wife and I have considered a trip such as you are experiencing. Never considered the Mobile Home. Could you share the approximate cost of renting the van?

    Reggie Edmonds

    1. jobruner01 Post author

      Reggie, Generally speaking, a compact van like Sherman rents for around $75 a day (plus mileage), but I think it varies by region of the country. They’re rented mostly for short trips. I was looking to rent one when I found the “hot deal” tab on the Cruise America website which offered a rate of $29 per day and no mileage for anyone willing to drive a new van from Chicago to Los Angeles and deliver it to a dealer. I had to be willing pick it up on a specific date and deliver it about three weeks later. Obviously this was a “spur of the moment” trip, but that’s what makes retirement fun. We made it from Chicago to our home in Tennessee, and now have traveled across the southwest to California. We’ll spend a few days here then fly home (on airline points). I would recommend renting an RV to anybody considering a purchase…it’s not for everyone. Nevertheless, we have thoroughly loved our experience and will do it again. I will share a lot of this adventure in future articles, so please come back…and thanks for asking!

  2. Guy Hawkins

    I’m glad to hear about the RV “deal” you found, Joe. Wonder how often opportunities like that come up?? Couple of my old GTE/Verizon colleagues now work delivering/transferring rental cars from one location to another, nationwide. They tell me the pay is not attractive, but the travel opportunity is the payoff. Next time I see one of them, I’ll ask if they know of similar gigs with RV’s.

    Re your “mana from Heaven” at the casino, we had a similar experience many years ago, Joe, as we were returning from a drive to British Columbia in 1991. We decided to cut across a central route from CA to TX, and Mary recalled that a niece had mentioned to her about free accommodations in Las Vegas for TX residents. We made a phone call, and confirmed that in that month, they were indeed offering free rooms (up to three nights) for anyone presenting proof of TX residency.

    Through casual inquiries I ascertained that promotions like that happened frequently, and that generally the facilities make up for the lost room revenues through increased gambling proceeds. Nothing can make you feel richer (and luckier) than staying in a hotel ‘rent-free’!

  3. Jack Tapscott

    I am happy to see you are enjoying retirement !
    The secret to life is to always have dreams of what you want to do in your heart.

    1. jobruner01 Post author

      This was a great trip and I would definitely do it again. Saw a lot of your kind of jewelry in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. No match for yours tho’.