1/7/19 – Finally a little time to write, maybe. I’m now at the Women’s Rubber Tramp Rendezvous (WRTR), on BLM land near Quartzsite, AZ. I want to share the trip getting here first, then we’ll talk about the WRTR. So back up a bit and have patience.
12/18 – left my friends Mary and Alda in Pascagoula, MS after a delightful visit with them, catching up and getting reaquainted. On the way out I stopped in Biloxi to have breakfast with a woman I’d met on the WRTR group. Delicious breakfast and great to meet up with another Rubbertramper. Then I was on my way. I’d decided to go along the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain instead of through New Orleans since I’ve been there several times, and I prefer to avoid cities and take the back roads. Stopped at Fountainbleau State Park with beach on the lake, near Mandeville, LA. You could see the New Orleans skyline and the bridge, and a wonderful sunset including the clouds bring on the next system from the Gulf. Lots of huge live oaks with Spanish moss. It’s an historical site, an old cotton plantation and mill, with ruins of the mill and evidence of slave quarters. The State Park was developed by the CCC and there’s a very interesting old bathhouse build for beach goers, large tiled room with lots of changing rooms and toilet stalls. Kinda reminded me of the bathhouse at the old park pool where I grew up. Lots of hurricane damage still, and damage from wild hogs. The ranger said it was particularly bad in the fall because the acorns have dropped, and we know how much pigs like acorns!! I was only there one night but it was a short drive and I got there in plenty of time to do a little walking around and see everything. It was also very wet, like everywhere else I’ve been, and calling for rain the next day, so I was glad to be moving on.
12/19 – Got packed and out just before the rain. Drove to Lafayette, which Alda told me was the heart of Cajun/Acadian culture in LA. Camped at Acadiana City Park, definitely tell this is the swamps, sweet little campground, next to a bayou, low part in the flood zone. Swamp. After setting up, briefly went into town to the Acadian Cultural Center, a National Park Historical Site. It was too late to spend a lot of time there so basically just got information for tomorrow.
12/20 – Went back to the Cultural Center. Lots of very informative displays and really interesting, far too much to take in at one visit. Next to it is Vermillionville, a recreated Cajun village. Included is a restaurant with excellent Cajun food so I got lunch there – Crawfish etouffee. Delish!!! Went back and spent more time at the Cultural Center. Will come back here tomorrow.
12/21 – Today’s plan got a little discombobulated. I have a small chip in the windshield and had been trying to get a repair since insurance pays for it – kinda hard to arrange when you’re on the road. Got someone to meet me in the parking lot of the Vermillian village. So I packed it all up and went in, met him, got the repair and then toured the village til mid afternoon. An absolutely beautiful sunny day for a stroll in an historical village. Really interesting, homes and other buildings either moved here from other locations or recreated here. Lots of historical and cultural info of all cultures who’ve lived in these bayous, Native Americans, Cajuns and settlers. Artisans were in some of the buildings or outside – weaving, cloth and baskets, cooking, making soap, woodworking, etc. One woman was finger weaving, she was a native American and really knew her history. Loved talking to her. I have so many interesting pictures at this site, but I’ve promised not to post as many. One last one tho, in the little farmyard was a donkey, Zoe sister. I love those donkeys.
Once again had lunch at the restaurant – wonderful seafood gumbo, enough for 2 meals. Then I hit the road again, going a pretty short distance, crossing over into TX Gulf Coast. Went to Sea Rim State Park at the easternmost point of TX, had to drive through Port Arthur where there are huge ugly oil refineries, but once I got on the coast it was really nice. Nothing but dunes between campsite and Gulf, wide open, no trees, another beautiful day, no rain, and on the beach!!! Nothing here but the undeveloped beach, I love public lands where the beaches are saved from development. Long walks on the beach, very few people here. Dunes are lower and wider than NC, more gradual incline, long wide beach at low tide. The sand is darker, in my opinion not as pretty but beautifully undeveloped, not a beach house to be seen. Beautiful simultaneous Full Moon rising & sunset, and sunrise & moonset. HAPPY SOLSTICE!!
I’m gonna stop now because there’s a meeting here. Will continue when I have next chance.
Hope all of you are having a great New Year. Adventure on, Happy Trails.
From Xena and Lynn