After Texas, I headed to South Louisiana. My first stop was to Sulphur, LA. My main reason for stopping here was the Creole Nature Trail (a Road, not a hike!). This drive went through or close to several wildlife refuges and through some interesting towns. Some of these towns were just about destroyed during the last few years by either Hurricane Rita or Ike. Some places have rebuilt, but others have not.
The picture above is where a church stood. You can just make out the foundation and I’m guessing the tall structure is where the steeple was.
Sabine Wildlife refuge was one of my favorite places. They have a couple of trails, but a great 1.5 mile handicapped accessible walkway where I saw many birds, alligators and plant.
I think the above bird is a Tri-colored Heron (also called a Louisiana Heron), but not all pictures have a blue beak like this one. This bird is also in the upper right hand corner on the picture with the alligators.
Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge was another place I enjoyed. They have a wildlife drive that was very interesting.
Above is an Ibis and several Black-necked Stilt.
The alligator above was about 15 feet from my car on the wildlife drive.
I know the above bird is an Ibis, but I’m not sure what type. If anyone knows, let me know.
I left Sulphur, LA and headed toward Plantation Country in South Eastern, LA. I actually stayed at one of the plantations – Poche Plantation. This is not one of the larger plantations, but they do have an RV park behind the house.
Just next to this plantation, is St. Michael’s church and cemetery. I have always enjoyed walking through cemeteries and this one was very interesting. Being in Southern Louisiana, most of the graves are above ground and in addition many of these were old, the oldest one I saw was 1832. Quite a few of the graves were brick and in need of repair such as the ones below.
In addition to the free tour I got at my park (Poche plantation), I toured 2 others and saw quite a few more. My favorite was The Laura. This is not one of the largest or more elegant plantations, but is a Creole plantation. I didn’t know much about the Creole lifestyle and learned quite a bit during this tour.
The Laura has several slave cabins and one of these cabins is where Br’er Rabbit was recorded. I saw recorded rather than written because Br’er Rabbit (not the original name) was actually a West-African Tale that was brought over to America and recorded here. You can learn all kind of things while taking tours!
I also toured Nottoway plantation. I wasn’t as impressed with this one, but I did find it interesting that there were no doors to get to the upper deck/patio.
To get outside you had to go through the windows. It was planned this way, you can see how long the windows are as my tour makes it way back inside.
I thought the room above was clever. The entire room was white. This made it not only elegant, but it was extremely bright. This was very useful before electricity! Also, note the ornamental thing that the chandelier hangs from. (I should ask my mother what it is called, so I don’t have to call it a “thing”. I’m sure she knows) While the ones today are probably made of plaster, this was made of clay, horse hair and other natural materials.
I went to an arts and craft show at Oak Alley plantation. This plantation has been used in many movies. I didn’t notice until later that when I took pictures they were working on the house. Note the person on the ladder at the front door. I did learn at another plantation, the reason for the oaks. They would line oaks between the river and the homes to get a better flow of wind to cool the houses.
Poche Plantation is on River road, so just across the road is the Mississippi river. You can’t see it from the road as there is a levee between the road and the river. But this levee made a great place to walk and ride bikes! Unfortunately this part of the river is a working river. Barges were loaded and unloaded with whatever they were hauling. It was interesting to watch, but took away from what could have been a beautiful spot.
My next stop was a week in Desoto State Park in Alabama. Then back to Georgia for a few weeks. I’ll post more on that later.
(Just a note – I finally got around to writing this blog and now my internet connection is down and I can’t post! Hopefully I will be able to publish it soon).