Abita Springs, Louisiana

Day 874

     Abita Springs, Louisiana, was originally a Choctaw Indian village, who settled this area because of the artesian spring, which they named “Ibetap”, meaning “fountain”. That Choctaw word was Anglicized to “Abita”.

     In 1820, the first Louisiana pioneers settled here, seeking the medicinal powers of the springs. In 1853, Joseph St. Auge Bossiere purchased from the United States Government “all said described lands adjoining and situated in Abita Creek, in the Parish of St. Tammany, and being the same on which the Abita Springs are situated”. From there, this small town grew. 

     Tammany Trace is a 31 mile bike/walk path that stretches from Covington to Slidell. The Trace was once a part of the Illinois Central railroad and goes straight through the center of Abita Springs. We hiked a portion of this path.

Perils of Camping

Day 869

     Last night, actually 1:30 this morning, we answered a knock at our door. It was a white women, about 35 years old, who told us her husband locked her out of her RV. She had been outside for a couple of hours, and wanted to come in and have us call an ambulance, as she thought she had hyperthermia. The temperature was 45 degrees. 

     I called 911 and requested the ambulance. The police arrived about 20 minutes later, but their code to the front gate did not work. I gave them my code, and that did not work either. Fortunately, our campsite was a short walk from the front gate, and that is how they arrived. I used one of the those hi-powered flashlights you see on TV, that has a strobe setting, to signal where I was. 

     By this time, the husband was walking around the campground looking for his wife, and evidently spoke with the police. They took the young lady out of the Sphinx. I never did see an ambulance. 

     This brings up the age old question: should we carry a firearm? We had this conversation when we first set out on our adventure. We took a vote. It was a tie, so, naturally, I lost. 

Fontainebleau State Park, Louisiana

Day 862

     Went on a guided bird watch through Fontainebleau State Park, located on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana. This land was originally owned by Jean-Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville, born in New Orleans in 1785.  He named his large holding Fontainebleau, after the forest near Paris, France. The state originally named the park Tchefuncte State Park and Conservation Reservation, after the Tchefuncte River. Who knows why they went back to the Fontainebleau name. 

     They had some 200 year old live Oak Trees:

     Most of the birds we saw were bland:

     The most colorful bird was this moorhen:

     I did see this yellow-head sapien looker. Usually in this marsh area, they are on boardwalks or dirt paths:

     The pelicans were flying in formation:

 

Broncos Training Facility, Centennial, Colorado

Day 855

     Patrick Dennis Bowlen, born February 18, 1944, is the majority owner of the Denver Broncos. The Bowlen Family, including his two brothers, John Bowlen and Bill Bowlen, and sister Marybeth Bowlen, purchased the team from Edgar Kaiser in 1984.

     On March 5, 1990, the Denver Broncos moved into the Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre, their state-of-the-art headquarters, named after Pat Bowlen’s father. 

     The Bronco’s training facility is situated on 13.5 acres in Centennial, Colorado, and also includes an administrative building and three outdoor full-size fields. The indoor field house was built in November, 2013.

     The two-story 90,000 square foot Denver Broncos headquarters, Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre, is now known as the The Pat Bowlen Fieldhouse, naming the entire complex the UCHealth Training Center.

     This premier facility includes the Bronco’s Conditioning Center, which houses the team’s 9,000 square foot weight room and 18,000 square foot indoor conditioning area. Denver has invested more than $45 million in their facility over the past 5 years, including 9.5 million last year.

Aurora, Colorado

Day 854

     Aurora, Colorado, originated in 1890 as the town of Fletcher, taking its name from Denver businessman Donald George Fletcher, born September 29, 1849 in Ontario, Canada, who saw it as a real estate opportunity. He and his partners staked out four square miles on the plains east of Denver, around Colfax Avenue, but the town struggled mightily after the Silver Crash of 1893. At that point Fletcher skipped town, leaving the community with a huge water debt. Inhabitants decided to rename the town Aurora in 1907.

     Colfax Avenue is the main street that runs east–west through the Denver metropolitan area in Colorado. The street was named for politician Schuyler Colfax, born March 23, 1823 in New York City, who co-founded the Republican Party on March 20, 1854. Colfax Avenue has been a transportation and business corridor for the Denver area since 1870. It became Aurora’s Main Street, and continues to be an important thread in the city’s commercial life. 

     If you know what this is, you are really old:

     Who knows where we will end up next.