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:

 

New Orleans, Louisiana

Day 813

     Today, Thanksgiving day, we went to downtown New Orleans, where Barbara volunteered to help feed the homeless. 

     We were under the I-90 freeway.

       It was not the best of neighborhoods. 

     She feed about 100 people.

     There were about 30 volunteers serving food with her. 

         We then had a delicious, deep fried Louisiana style turkey dinner at her niece’s house. Don’t worry, I don’t publish photo’s of my dinner plate (how tacky). 

 

Iowa, Louisiana

Day 608

     We are in Iowa, not the State, Iowa Louisiana. The town of “Iowa” is actually pronounced with the long A sound at the end, opposed to the pronunciation of the state of Iowa. 

     The town was established in the mid 1800’s as settlers from the State of Iowa came here by advertisements placed in local newspapers by Seaman A. Knapp, who wanted to attract farmers to the area to employ a method he had developed for farming. They named this town for their State (how original).

     Sometimes we look out of our back window and we see babbling brooks, lazy rivers, or vast vistas. And sometimes we see this:

Technical Stuff:

Ponchatoula, La to Iowa, La: 164.5 miles

3 hours 14 minutes

11.2 MPG

Diesel: $2.59