Leaving Grand Isle we decided to take as many back roads as possible. This way we get to see how the people in this area live, work and play. One thing I have noticed about living where the weather is warm most of the time most of the people do not plant shrubs or flowers in their yards. When you see a yard with flowers you seem to perk up. I always loved flowers in my yard and it is one thing I do miss about not having a stick house.
Our stop for the next week was at Kemper Williams Park in Patterson, La. The park offers full hookups on 40 sites, also a rally site with partial hookups, dump station, pavilion, laundry bathhouse, tennis, nature trail, civic center, museum, golf and ball fields. It proved to be a very convienent area to go to Walmart for groceries and shopping.
We went to the Wedell Williams Aviation and Cypress Sawmill Museum while here. We have been to loads of Aviation museums but this one was about race planes so it proved to be very interesting. We watched a really good movie and then looked at many different style race planes. The Cypress sawmill museum was very imformative. It documents the history of the cypress lumber industry in this part of La.
We took a ride to Franklin where they have beautiful antebellum homes and old fashioned street lights. It was just so interesting driving around and admiring all the details of these beautiful homes. We then drove down a state road which turned into dirt and soon the dirt was flying everywhere. It was hanging off our mirrors, caked to our tires and running boards and our poor truck was a sad sight. What a job it was cleaning that mess – Tim and I worked together doing it for about 2 hours. When done the truck was super clean and looked brand new. We did enjoy the ride and laughed a great deal.
Cajun Jack’s Swamp Tour was a wonderful way to spend Saturday. We were on a boat with about 20 people and went into the Atchafalaya Basin and got a history lesson about the cajun people in the swamp. It lasted two hours and we got to see an alligator, hawk and bald eagle. It really surprises me how they don’t get lost cuz it goes every which way. We also experienced a ride thru the locks which is pretty cool. We have watched the locks operate before but never experienced it on a boat.
After a week in Patterson we headed Northeast to Lake Fausse Pointe State Park which lies in St Martin and Iberia Parishes and surrounded by the swamp. This became one of our favorite stops – great hiking trails and great bike riding. The park offers 50 sites, water and electric, dump station, cabins, 6000 acres, playground, boat launch, canoe rentals, splash park, pavilions, showers, nature center, laundry, conference center, and an Interpretive Center. Our site was on the canal so we had a little deck right on the water. Most people used this for fishing so during the weekend we let a guy and his 2 sons fish off it. They were delighted. Really great park and lots of people on weekends. It is really located far from everything though so we took a ride just one day and really did not find to much interesting outside of the park.
While here we took many bike rides and did many hikes. We got to see armadillos, alligators, birds, hawks and an owl. The owl flew right over my head in the middle of the day which was just spectacular. One of the trails was 1.6 miles long and the other 3.3 miles long. We really enjoyed our stay here and spent most days outside enjoying the beautiful weather.
On Saint Patrick’s Day we hooked up, stopped at the dump station and took the back roads until we hit I-10 and then I-12 east. We checked into Jellystone Park Camp Resort in Robert for a week. This is a coast to coast park so we stayed here for free while others pay about $395 for a week stay. Good deal. Its a nice campground with 450 sites, full hookups, some pullthrus, cabins, pool, pond, fishing, game room, mini golf, canoes, playground, basketball, baseball, adult clubhouse and snack bar.
After checking in we went to Berryland Campers to get a new latch for the screen door and then we looked at a few new campers. We did find one that we really likes but over $100,000 and our truck would have to be upgraded also so we will keep ours lol. It was set up with the living room in the upstairs with slides – really nice.
After 4 weeks of cooking at home we went to Olive Garden for a really good meal. Tim had Chicken and Shrimp Carbonai, I had Garlic Rosemary Chicken and then lots of salad with a glass of merlot wine. Tim even ordered a piece of white chocolate raspberry cheesecake to take home with him.
Stopped at Best Buy and we both bought a Kindle. The books are much cheaper from Amazon and you can read it anywhere. Still have my nook so will just switch depending on the book I want to read. I have bought so many books and have not read them all.
While here we went to Walmart and did some grocery shopping. I really do not like that store that much but must admit the prices are wonderful.
Tim found a bike trail during his research so off we went to find it. It is called the Tammany Trace Rail Trail in Abita Springs. Te trail was and old railroad spur and was bought by the local government to create a 31 mile long paved trail. No pets are allowed and they even have rangers whom patrol the trail and help in anyway that you need. You do cross many busy streets but most of the cars will stop and let you proceed. The first day we did a total of 9 miles and so enjoyed it. I still do not feel really confident riding on busy streets so this was wonderful.
This week we spent a great deal of time reading and enjoying the sunshine outside. We walked the campground a few times also – with all this exercise I have not lost a pound. Yikes will any of this weight ever come off again?
Another day we did the bike trail again and stopped at the Abita Springs Trailhead Museum. It is a quaint folk art museum and two really friendly ladies were working and explained alot of the area to us. That day we rode 8.8 miles and again enjoyed the ride.
We found a really cool place one day and decided to stop and see what it was. We went on a safari at the Global Wildlife Center. The property covers over 900 acre preserve and has over 4000 animals that wander freely. We were loaded onto a safari wagon for an hour and half to get up close with all these animals. We saw giraffes, zebras, camels, elands, bison, and deer. You can buy feed and then feed them as they come up and look for food. The zebra is the only animal they tell you not to let eat out of your hands as they bite. I had no interest in feeding but we enjoyed watching the two children in our wagon feed all the animals. What a great experience for them. All in all a great day.
After a week we headed farther east into Florida for a week stay at the Blue Angel Naval Recreation Area in Pensacola. Stayed tuned for our adventures while there.