January 14-23, 2019
For our second visit to New Orleans we stayed at Bayou Segnette State Park. This is a very nice park in Westwego, which is south of New Orleans. They honor the NPS Senior Pass so our camping fees were half price. The park is right on the highway that takes you over the bridge and into New Orleans. In fact, it was 20 minutes from our campsite to the parking garage at the World War II Museum. Turn right out of the campground, go until you cross the bridge, get off at the second exit and you are THERE. Even John didn’t get lost. John has a full post on the museum that should show right after this one. When we weren’t at the museum, we were exploring the world around us.
The evil government shutdown was in effect so our planned trip to Barataria Preserve was limited. This is another section of the Jean Lafitte National Park. We were able to hike their trails and read the interpretive signs there but the visitor center was closed so we could only stand sadly outside and gaze through the windows at all the things we wanted to experience. Ah well, perhaps another time. Several of the trails are boardwalks and are ADA accessible. One has a cell phone tour so we were at least able to learn more about the park from that. We did have to limit our visits since there were no facilities open (aka bathrooms). Swamps are neat… especially when it is too cold for mosquitoes and gators… and poisonous snakes. We saw a HUGE Nutria in one of the canals and lots of birds and squirrels.
Flotant – Liquid Land. Huge expanses of what looked like solid grass plains are actually little islands of floating peat mats. Wind and waves can break them apart and move them around. You MIGHT be able to walk on them or you MIGHT fall right through. They said hundreds of acres of the flotant in the Barataria Preserve was folded up like an accordion by Hurricane Katrina. Many of their trees were also topped so the swamp is changing as more sunlight reaches the lower regions.
We roamed all the trails that we could but we never saw any sign of pirates or privateers. The days of smugglers traversing these bayous and lakes seem to be over but the legend of Jean Lafitte lives on. None of the trails were too long so even if you only have part of a day, you can still get out and enjoy the preserve. If you have a kayak, it is even better. They have several places for you to launch and get right back into the preserve to explore.
Our second visit to New Orleans was low key. Our main focus was the museum. We spent time in camp and caught up a bit on our blog. We also bought a couple of nice bins to store our gear inside the car since we ditched our car top carrier and tossed it into storage when we were in Maryland. It made us too tall to get into the WWll Museum garage so it had to go. Every now and again we’ll reconfigure things to better suit our awesome wandering lifestyle.