Organ Pipe National Park

Organ Pipe National Park

About Me

I purchased "Sadie''s House On Wheels "in late 2007 and loved traveling in a motor home so much that I went on the road full time in late 2008. I started writing this blog to help me remember all the wonder places I have been and it allows me to share those places with my family and friends. Summer of 2013 I decided to hang up the keys for a while and moved back into my stick house. After nearly two years, I am on the road again.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Baton Rouge, May 9-10

Heading into Baton Rouge, less than 50 miles from Breaux Bridge we crossed  over the Atchafalya Swamp area, the largest river swamp in North America.  The visitor center for the area was an easy exit  off I-10, so we pulled off.  This was one of those unplanned stops that proved to be interesting and well worth the stop.

The visitor center has a great movie about this major swamp and much to Joel's pleasure had free samples of jambalaya rice and bread pudding because it was National Tourist Day! Because Joel filled up on samples I didn't have to worry about lunch!:) I learned that there are three seasons of the swamp lands: high water, mid water, and low water.  Note, nothing is mentioned about temperature or weather.  It all depends on what is happening up north along the Mississippi River.

We even got to listen to more Cajun music.

Several miles of elevated highway traverse over the swamp. Due to the flooding up north, the swamp was at higher than normal levels.

Our destination was Port Allen, a suburb of Baton Rouge and also known as West Baton Rouge because it is west of Baton Rouge (dah!).  We found the Moose Lodge and discovered it is only open Thursday through Sunday, but had a nice level grassy area so we parked there anyway.  We unhooked the car and headed into Baton Rouge.
We had to drive on this bridge over the Mississippi River to get to Baton Rouge. Our first stop was to find the Baton Rouge Bus Maintenance business Joel had contacted to get his breaks serviced.  It's an interesting place. More on that later.

Next, we headed for downtown Baton Rouge.  Downtown is not a very big area.  I had read about a Main Street Market area so we headed towards main street.  Downtown is  going through redevelopment and is pretty torn up so we gave up on the market area and headed over to the River walk.

The levy along the Mississippi River with the USS KIDD in the back ground. The river was very high.  I was told that in the summer you can walk to the USS KIDD.

There is a War Memorial along the River Front.  The walls of the court yard honor fallen soldiers of Louisiana from the War of 1812 on.  There are several blank walls which will honor the recent casualties of the current conflicts.
Viet Nam era fighter plane
USS KIDD.  Can you imagine walking out to the ship when the river is at normal stage?

After seeking out Happy's Irish Pub and cooling off with a brew and then later pizza at Schlitz and Giggles (yes they do sell Schlitz beer) we headed back to Port Allen and scouted out this little town.  Port Allen used to have a ferry that went across the river but was shut down in the 70's and now there is a nice little park it its place.

The old capital building
The skyline of Baton Rouge from the west side of the river near the old ferry in Port Allen.

The new capital building.

Tuesday morning we headed over to the Baton Rouge Bus Maintenance to get the breaks done.  Joel met with Todd who arrived some time after 10:30.  Apparently he works on the big rigs in the evening, usually charter buses, when they are are not in service.  If you need a bus part or are in need of a fixer upper this is the pace to go. Todd buys old buses and parts them out and when there are no longer any useful parts he sells them for scrap metal.  He said he got rid of about 50 buses in January during the slow time.  He still has over 40 on his property.  I didn't go inside his building, but Joel said the place is full of old engines and parts.

Todd didn't get started until 11:00 so we were there most of the day.  Since Joel wanted to stick around while the work was being done, I got caught up on paperwork and some domestic stuff. 

When the breaks were done we headed out of the city catching Highway 61, which leads to Natchez,MS the start of the Natchez Trace Parkway.  We stopped for the night in St. Francisville about 25 miles from Baton Rouge. 

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