The rest of Louisiana blurs through the windows as the 3.0-liter straight-six sings. It's an apropos situation, as Bonnie and Clyde passed through this area while on the run. And it was just south of Gibsland that they were killed. We pull off in the town and stop at the Bonnie & Clyde Ambush Museum, which holds pieces of their life and legacy and their place of death. A video plays the news reports following the ambush and a documentary of how it went down.
The museum is a shocking reminder of reality. We have a tendency to romanticize the pair as desperados who were madly in love and running from the law, lost and free in their own way. The museum tells us that they were simply two 20-year-olds fleeing from a series of murders, who were gunned down on an empty dirt road. The museum has on display a series of documentaries, newspaper excerpts, guns from the scene of the shooting, and photographs of the aftermath. After viewing all of it, the romance disappears. We solemnly -- and slowly -- make our way to Shreveport for dinner.
Yelp heartily recommends Herby-K's, which is located literally on the other side of the tracks and, from the outside, looks like a place where you'd get stabbed. The inside is a pleasant surprise, with cheerful friends and families dining. We find a friendly staff that's eager to take our orders and serve us beers. The most-recommended plate is the Shrimp Buster, a healthy (but not healthy) serving of butterflied shrimp that's fried and served on top of a buttered roll. It comes with fries, or, for a dollar more, homemade onion rings. I apologize to my stomach; this is no fine delicacy, but it's exactly the meal I need.
Day 3: Marshall, TX to Carlsbad, NM
With indigestion lingering, we set only one goal for Texas: Get through it as quickly as possible. So far, we've covered four states in two days, and we are keen to maintain that pace. So with the Valentine 1 cranked to full volume, we blast past Dallas/Ft. Worth, and the scenery begins to blend from green hills to brown plains. Interestingly, the speed limit changes from 70 mph in the day to 65 mph at night; we wonder how many lives are saved by that 5-mph increment. We also wonder why the night speed limit sign is black.