We started the morning huddled in our blankets talking about where we’ve been and where we are heading, getting in a little quiet time before the hustle and bustle of a travel day. I cooked up some oatmeal and ate it while relaxing on the patio table waiting for the sun to make an appearance. PJ walked the dogs and spent some time visiting with a family from New Orleans camped with their kids at the end of our lane. The girls wanted to pet the dogs and the adults were engaging and eager to share their state.
We took our time breaking things down and storing the gear away. One of my favorite items that I came across and purchased for the trip has to be our Skeeter Beaters. We’ve been getting lots of mileage out of our little magnetic screens that cover the cab windows allowing us to keep the windows open without fear of attack from voracious insects.
We drove the long way through Bay St. Louis past the gulf front mansions and fishing piers. Even though it is Veterans Day, there are very few people out and about. A special thanks to all you veterans out there.
Made our way to the interstate and began the long slog along the 10 west into Baton Rouge. Our timing wasn’t the best as we rolled through the city in Friday afternoon traffic. There was an accident in the eastbound lanes and everyone going west had to slow way down to get a good gawk in.
Crossed the mighty Mississippi River for the second time this trip. The first time was up in St. Louis when we headed east. The expanse of the river is amazing and so too the size of the ships that ply its waters. Large commercial complexes bellowing smoke along the shore added an industrial feel and chemical aroma to the river along the I-10 corridor.
Entering the Atchafalaya Basin, the highway was built on 18 miles of elevated concrete bridge riding over the Atchafalaya River and the expansive swamplands that surround it. Beautiful scenery on both sides. Sitting among the still waters are big trees covered in vines, waters covered with green algae, stumps and branches poking up from the bayou and open channels of river curving through the wetlands like a watery road.
We exited near Butte LaRose to check out Frenchman’s campground. The trailers were stacked to closely together and it appeared to be inhabited by mostly long term residents. We drove on past and stocked up on some foodstuffs at the the little Doucet’s Grocery on the corner by the boat launch. Two Cajun grannies were manning the outpost, one behind the counter the other in a rocker sipping out of a beer in a coozy. Scruffy looking taxidermied animals decorated the top of the end caps to help sharpen your desire to purchase a larger bag of chips to go with your salsa. There was a mangy looking coyote (do people really stuff coyotes?) and a bobcat looking thing with a dead animal in its mouth. A few fishermen came in, all speaking French with the shopkeeper. Everyone was open and friendly and pointed us up to Dick’s camping on the river. We drove up to Dick’s but it was right on the roadside across from some shotgun shacks. The river was dotted with old tires, trash and a shopping cart. We googled up a spot off of the next ramp up and headed into Breaux Bridge proper.
We usually like to be parked up well before dark, but tonight we got to enjoy a bayou sunset while driving along on the Atchafalaya Swamp Bridge. Awesome sunset, even if I couldn’t see the cars in front of me with the sun glaring directly into my eyes. Speaking of eyes, I have a follow up appt. on Monday in Beaumont to check the progress of the vitreous detachment that occurred back in Savannah.
It was dark when we pulled into the Pioneer RV park, a nice little spot except for the fact that it sits right next to the highway. There are a few places in town I want to check out and we should be able to do it by bicycle from here. Big wide sites butting up against a stand of trees. There is also another grove between us and the road that kind of helps ameliorate the noise. Set things up then wandered around checking the lay of the land. A dog run, a book exchange, clean big showers and internet that really works. I don’t ask for much.