October 30, 1999
By 4:30 PM, I had made it to the Louisiana state line and stopped in Bernice at a tourist information center. It was staffed by an older lady who immediately tried to plan an entire week's worth of activities for me in northern Louisiana (pronounced "Loooooosiana" by the locals). I politely told her that I was only planning to spend the next morning in Louisiana as I had plans back in Arkansas for the remainder of the weekend. She gave me a pamphlet for the Bienville Parish which showed where Driskill Mountain is along with the nearby Bonnie & Clyde death location. The pamphlet even showed a Bonnie & Clyde museum in Gibsland.
By 5:00 PM, I arrived in Ruston and decided it would be best to find a hotel and see Louisiana's highpoint in the morning when I could be assured daylight. I don't want to be rushed. Ruston looked like one major traffic jam. The first hotel I checked at had only a couple of rooms available at $60/night. I said, "no thanks" and proceeded to find a more economy hotel. The next couple of hotels I checked were filled. I asked what the occasion was and was told that it was Grambling State University's homecoming weekend. Grambling State University is about 5 miles to the west. I was told that the place really gets crazy when Grambling State and Louisiana Tech (located in Ruston) have home football games the same weekend. I rushed back to the $60/night hotel and gladly accepted one of their last remaining rooms.
After checking into the hotel, I walked around looking for a place for supper. I finally settled on Captain D's Seafood and had the shrimp and crawfish meal. By this time it had become evident that a local high school football game was the main attraction in town this evening, causing most of the activity. After eating, I went back to the hotel and watched television.
The next morning (Saturday), I checked out of the hotel around 8:00 AM and headed south towards Driskill Mountain. In driving through the Bienville Parish, I realized that every small community had a small, one-room church. It was therefore fitting that the start of the short hike to Driskill Mountain is at the one-roomed Mount Zion Presbyterian Church. By the men's and women's outhouses at each end of the parking lot, it was evident that the church was without plumbing.
I began my hike up the dirt road to the west of the cemetery, past the radio tower, and to the fork in the road. I correctly took the left fork that led downhill past a closed iron gate. At the next fork, there was a sign pointing the way to Driskill Mountain. The path to Louisiana's summit continued on this easy to follow dirt road. The only obstacles were huge spider webs across the trail that I simply ducked under, not disturbing the large spider sitting on it. The last bit of trail was steep uphill.
The summit is simply a mound of rocks with a register in a metal box. There is a small sign that pronounces this Driskill Mountain with an elevation of 535 feet. This state highpoint is basically in the middle of the woods with no view of anything. I took some pictures and then walked back to the car and ate a moon pie. My 9th highpoint is now achieved.
I then drove over near Sailes and found the marker of the Bonnie & Clyde's death site. I was looking forward to the Bonnie & Clyde Museum in Gibsland, but it was closed and gave the appearance that it had been closed for quite awhile.