February 12, 2004

Louisiana – Mandeville and Lafayette

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 2:30 pm by diandy2004

Fontainebleu SP in Mandeville, LA is beautiful.  It sits on Lake Ponchartrain, but on the northern side (opposite New Orleans).  It has lots of trees, wildlife, and water.  It was the perfect spot for Nikki’s eternal resting place.  Just don’t tell the Park Rangers – I don’t think they’d approve.  I bought a beautiful wooden box with magnolias hand-painted on it by a local artist and we buried him under some big oaks near the lake.  I think he would’ve liked this spot.

Nikki's Place

Nikki's Place

Here are some shots from around the park:

Andy on the Trail

Andy on the Trail

Fontainebleu State Park

Fontainebleu State Park

This tree was one of several in the “alley of the oaks”.  I was amazed how the branches reached down to the ground like the fingers of an upturned palm.  If you look closely, you’ll see Andy standing by the trunk (he’s in orange).

The Largest Oak

The Largest Oak

On the drive to Lafayette, LA on I-10 we had to drive over the 17.5 mile Bain Bridge – a long, low bridge that takes you over the bayou.    We had hoped to do some outdoorsy stuff, but it rained the whole time we were there.  We almost went kayaking anyway, but the Vermillion River was so polluted that Andy renamed it “Vermin River”.  Let’s just say you could smell it before you saw it.  We did get to enjoy ourselves at an indoor rock-climbing facility, though.  You learn quickly how weak you are when you try this sport!

We visited St Johns Cathedral and saw a 500-year old oak tree that has a 210 foot span.  It is suspected that one branch weighs 72 tons.  And then we visited Jean Lafitte cultural Center (a National Historic Park) that teaches you about the Atchafalaya Swamp and the Acadian people.

Just for the record:  Louisiana has the worst roads we have yet to drive on (and note that we are in California now).  They are concrete, so the segments cause that constant thumping, but they are also filled with potholes and patches to make them worse.

Some more of our RVing “Firsts” – getting an oil change for the RV, getting the propane tank filled.

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