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Independence Bowl Diary: Day 1

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.'s only a bit after 10 p.m. and I'm registering the Day 1 diary of the Independence Bowl trip. The reason for this is two fold:

  1. After a 7 hour drive and having to drive an hour or so tomorrow to the game, we decided to cash in early and get some rest. And...
  2. There's virtually nothing to do in Ruston, LA.

Crossing the Mississippi River...gotta love the cameraphone

We're staying in Ruston because of the ridiculous price gouging going on in Shreveport. We found hotels for $90-$150 a night in Shreveport described as "smelling of urine and vomit" on a variety of sites including Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline, etc. Anyway, Ruston, a not-so-bustling-town of 20,655 is a pretty quiet place where we were able to score a clean, semi-respectable hotel room with high speed internet access for $59.99. Things are especially quiet since Louisiana Tech is on Christmas vacation.

We drove around LaTech's campus for a while hoping to find some bars and/or somewhere to eat, but it was pretty dead around there. Oddly enough, I'll have to return to Ruston at some point for my Ultimate Football Project. Hopefully things will be hopping a bit more then (whenever it is) with school in session. We did pass by Joe Aillet Stadium though so I got to scout out a place I'll be visiting in the future.

It's my friend Jason's birthday today (the person who is on the trip with me) so we were out looking for somewhere to celebrate. We asked the desk staff at the hotel where to go for a good bite to eat and a drink. His suggestion? Chili's. This cracked me up, because when looking at the Wikipedia page for Ruston, Chili's was listed as a source of increased nightlife in Ruston. Wow.

After saying that Chili's wasn't quite our style, the staff suggested Rabb's Steakhouse, a local place. It was pretty good. I was hoping it would be owned by Raab Himself and was disappointed to find out it wasn't when we pulled up and the name was spelled differently. Regardless of who the proprietor was, the Blue Moon and the chicken kabob hit the spot.

He did NOT own the restaurant

CDs we listened to on the way out: Rob Zombie: American Made Music to Strip By - Phish: A Picture of Nectar - Leo Kottke & Mike Gordon: Clone - David Cross: It's Not Funny - Dave Matthews Band: Live at Red Rocks and Medeski Martin & Wood: End of the World Party (Just in Case)

On the drive out, we ran into Ross Wilson of Two A Days fame (and, of course, John Parker Wilson's brother) at a rest stop. We saw tons of Bama fans on the road and also a few Auburn fans en route to the Cotton Bowl at a rest stop in Louisiana.

Anyway, we have about an hour drive into Shreveport tomorrow and are really looking forward to the $25 parking fee at the stadium.

Roll Tide and hopefully there will be some happy posting tomorrow night!