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fwd: diary of our trip 3/25/05

updated sun 3 apr 05


Eleanora Eden on sat 2 apr 05

>Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005 07:29:51 -0500
>March 25, 2005 Friday
>Grand Isle State Park, LA
>This park is a great find. Full-service camper space 50' from the
>beach is $6 with Fred's geezer card. Pleasant time biking,
>especially out onto the pier on a funky boardwalk. Guys fishing
>with heavy gear and multiple lines for big fishies.
>Since we had had such a glorious time driving Hwy 82 through
>southernmost Louisiana, we decided to go into Houston through
>Galveston to look around since we had a bit of extra time. Bad
>decision. The minute we got into Texas it was small petroleum
>industrial, incomprehensively huge petroleum industrial, trashy
>ex-tourist, or trashy current tourist.
>Also had the only trouble with police I've ever had since traveling
>around to do fairs this 10 years or so. There was a ferry onto
>Galveston and the state trooper decided he had to see what was in
>our trailer. I was so worried that he was going to require us to
>open the bins. Fred had a hard time opening the sliding door of the
>trailer and nailed himself on the door in the rush. Welcome to
>Texas. Thought it would be a piece of cake to start out at 6am and
>get into Houston by 8. Well we made it by 9 but it was brutal.
>The fair went fine in Houston, I've done better and also a lot worse
>in Florida. Sold lots of jewelry. I had applied in clay and
>jewelry and they acted on my clay application but left the other one
>hanging. I wrote and told them I wanted to bring my jewelry and
>they never responded so I brought it. Comes to registration and
>they hand me a sign for "Clay and Jewelry". Would have been nice if
>they had told me. Nice camping for boothholders that was quite
>under-utilized. Very nice. With bikes we were 2 minutes from our
>After the fair it was off to find the bluebonnets, took 290 to
>Brenham. Spent the night off a little road under the live oaks.
>Drove a loop around Independence, thereabouts. Really glad we went
>up into the hill country. Wouldn't have had anything pretty to
>remember about Texas if we hadn't. Flat turned to rolling and we
>enjoyed it a lot. Roadsides full of bluebonnets and paintbrush. A
>bit early for the season but good enough.
>Coming back into Louisiana we stopped at Rutherford Beach outside of
>Oak Grove to camp on the beach. We had nosed in there on the way
>and had seen several campers on the beach road. Also got to see
>several flocks of roseate spoonbills taking off and circling in the
>swampgrass on the way to the beach. It was wonderful going to sleep
>listening to the surf and waking up to the sunrise over the beach.
>Pretty nice. A luminous dark sheen on the beach I was wondering was
>some kind of oil mess.
>Went to Avery Island on Wednesday for our field trip. Biked all
>through the Jungle Gardens and admired the salesmanship of the
>Tobasco plant. Bought Tabasco pajama bottoms for Emily, potholders,
>t-shirt. Couldn't resist.
>Since we were signed up for a swamp cruise in Houma the next morning
>we just pulled into the parking area and called it a night. Next
>morning starting about 5:30 the pickups with boats were pulling up
>to the boat ramp, about one every 15 minutes. We had wondered why
>the huge parking lot roped off in about 25' x 100' sections. By 8am
>it was more than half-full with trucks and boat trailers. Nobody
>seemed to mind us at all.
>We missed Big Al's Seafood in Houma. Have to do that next time around.
>I wondered if it was just us but by 9:45 a good 20 people were
>milling around waiting for the trip to start. It was tame but fun,
>Cajun Man put on a good show. He has trained a bunch of alligators
>to come to meet his boat by feeding then chicken pieces. Said
>"they're on the payroll". Amazingly, he also had a bald eagle on
>the payroll! He said he had been training a youngster to take food
>from him when this eagle swooped down to take the chicken fat left
>floating in the water. So now he has them both in his show and
>tell. I don't know how many people actually get to see a bald
>eagle, but we did yesterday, and got a picture of her swooping down
>to bag her goodie.
>Left Houma behind and traveled down here to Grand Isle. Just wanted
>to see what was at the end of the road and thought the park might be
>a good one. Good decision. Fred was out with his snorkeling stuff
>while I've been catching this up. He is happy, got to use his gear.
>Now on the road past New Orleans toward Biloxi, MI, for the George
>Ohr museum tomorrow. Then to Pensacola on Sunday for orientation at
>Peter King's. Workshop starts Monday morning bright and early.