We have reached our winter destination. It took us 6 days to cover the 1,372.9 miles. This is the 6th time we have stayed at Reunion Lake. We will winter here until tax day and then move on to our next destination. Barbara’s brother, nieces and nephews live in the area, plus other RV’ers we have camped with in the past are here at the park. Since we will be here for Mardi Gras, we will go to New Orleans for the parades.
Chattahoochee, Florida to Ponchatoula, La: 355.7 miles
6 hours 32 minutes
Traveling around this part of Louisiana, we came across a vendor selling shrimp right off the boat, so we stopped to buy.
Barbara beat the pelican to the front of the line, with a crane coming up to be third. Yogi Bear told us to wait for him.
With spring finally arriving, Barbara heard azaleas were in bloom down by Bayou Lacombe. So, off we went.
Richard Webster Leche was born May 17, 1898 in New Orleans. He was a dirty, rotten politician who ultimately became Louisiana’s 44th Governor. Corruption was to become the major feature of his administration. Shortly after becoming Governor, he claimed “When I took the oath of office, I didn’t take any vow of poverty.” He served from 1936 until 1939, when he resigned as a result of criminal charges. Convicted on charges of misuse of federal funds, Leche was the first Louisiana chief executive to be imprisoned, but not the last.
The estate and gardens we visited today were purchased by Leche in 1946 upon his release from prison. The land and buildings were acquired by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in 1998 and opened to the public. Governor Leche’s house was not very impressive:
The gardens were nice, with the azaleas in bloom.
Hiked down to the Bayou, no frogs on the lily pads.
Spring is here.
John Preble’s Mystery House is a fun roadside attraction in Abita Springs, Louisiana.
John Preble was born 1948 in New Orleans Louisiana. Preble had received traditional training as a painter, and had gained recognition in the art world for his portraits of Créole Indians, but he chose to focus on work outside of the mainstream.
Being a collector of oddities for many years, he opened up this museum in 2000, after he received financial security as a painter. Barbara heard that one of his main attractions was a 36 ft. alligator.
The UCM Museum, pronounced “you-see-em”, is a family-operated roadside attraction located in an old 1950’s car service station in Abita. He is not afraid to ask the tuff questions:
Originally called the UCM Museum till its name change in 2007 because the word “Museum” didn’t actually describe what he was exhibiting.
You are really old if you remember this:
We did come across that 36 ft. alligator:
Barbara wasn’t really sure if she wanted to be recognized with me:
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.
John Hampden Randolph was born to a wealthy Virginia family in Nottoway County, Virginia on March 24, 1813.
Nottoway Plantation, named after the County in which he was born, is located in White Castle, Louisiana, about 76 miles west of New Orleans. The plantation mansion was built by John Randolph in 1859 for his wife and 11 children, and is the largest antebellum plantation house in the South with 53,000 square feet of living space.
Nottoway has over an acre of floor space spread out over three floors, with a total of 64 rooms, 165 doors and 200 windows, most of which can also double as doors.
Before the union troops took over, it was a sugarcane plantation.
After the war, President Andrew Jackson issued a proclamation (now called an executive order) that required wealthy southern supporters to travel to Washington and personally apologize to the President for supporting the confederacy and ask for a pardon, which Randolph did on February 14, 1867.