Week two of our fulltime living has found us heading to NOLA for what was supposed to be our trip to see Mardi Gras but what we found is little festivities, record cold weather and one of us getting a cold. Where I left off last week was that we were heading to NOLA for Mardi Gras, where we knew that it would be different but would make the best of it anyways. So off we headed from Mississippi in the rain and ended up at our campground just has the rain has stopped for a brief moment. We are staying at Bayou Segnette State Park. This is a beautiful park, with level, asphalt sites, some (like our first one) have a deck and the picnic tables are all on concrete slabs. If the weather would have cooperated with us we might have taken our bikes off the back and ridden them, but that has yet to happen. Being that the roads are asphalt we are able to walk around and not get muddy so that is a huge plus. We are after all right on the bayou so trails off the asphalt will have to be eiher boardwalk or plan on getting muddy and soaked. We settled in for our week here and to get some needed chores done. The first priority was that Mike had an appointment to get the truck’s ac fixed, which he was there for a couple hours only to have to bring it back on Monday for an appointment when he could get to it as it was going to take 5 hours to fix. Meanwhile, I started doing our weeks plus worth of laundry. Two laundry rooms, each with two washers and two dryers in it.
One nice warm, semi-dry day we went to Jean Lafitte National Historical Park. Jean Lafitte was a pirate that interrupted his pirating career to fight for the United States in defense of New Orleans in the War of 1812. They have hiking trails but as we are seeing in the southern states most of the trails were either damaged by the summer’s hurricanes or were under water due to the current non-stop rain, however, there was one trail that we could do. The ranger told us no dogs allowed. We left Eris in the truck and headed on this short boardwalk trail, that was basically just decking over the swamp, like maybe a foot above the swamp. That is where we encountered a fairly decent sized alligator. We were happy that Eris remained in the truck. After getting my NP passport stamped we went to the little community of Jean Lafitte. In this little town they had a really nice hiking trail (all boardwalk) and a cute museum. There was a movie in the museum that talked about the people of the area. It was very reasonable and at the time of this writing it was $6.00, and worth every penny.
The next day we dropped Eris off at doggie daycare so we could go to the French Quarter. The weather turned cold and was still gray out. We got a ferry card which is good for 5 days and was $18.00 each. We took off from Algiers Point and got dropped off at Canal Street. Walking distance to everything we wanted to go to. The $36.00 we paid for the passes would have been one day’s parking price in the Quarter so worth the money and parking at Algiers Point is free and unlimited time. It was definately a different vibe than years in the past where we went (we went after Mardi Gras too), buildings weren’t nearly as decorated and the crowds were thin. While there we went to the Louisiana State Museum, another reasonably priced thing to do, at the time of this writing was $7.00. The downstairs display was dedicated to Katrina. It was a great depiction of what happened during Katrina and to see the destruction and the loss and all of the inequities that came out of it was heartbreaking. (FYI Katrina came in as a catagory 2, then increased to a 3 and then a 5, honestly if we were here we wouldn’t have evacuated either for a 2). After seeing that we went upstairs for some fun-that display was all about Mardi Gras, so it was a nice way to end our tour at the Louisiana State Museum.
The following day we took Eris to the Doggie Daycare again. We asked them to cut her nails while they had her and of course they said no problem. Not only did they cut them but they were bored so they painted them purple to get her her ready for Mardi Gras. We highly recommend Shampooch. Reasonable prices and they love their guests we could tell. Since we took her there we headed back over on the ferry, it was a dry day, which came far and few between, still ugly looking but at least it was dry, cold but dry. We headed to Mardi Gras World. Upon arriving at Mardi Gras World we were greeted with King Cake. We learned more of how the floats were made and more history. We had no idea that a good portion of the accessories on the floats, ie the Scooby Doo’s etc. are made out of styrofoam. It was worth the $20.00 we spent on it. (If you go look for groupons). After our great tour we headed back to the French Quarter for lunch and a stop at Cafe Du Monde for some beignets. Again I got to say it was weird to see no bars open and less decorations and less people for what has become Mardi Gras 2021.
Sunday our first nomadic Valentine’s Day was spent driving over the longest continuguas bridge over water in the WORLD-Lake Pontchatrain Causeway. It is nearly 24 miles long over water. Honestly, it was boring. Not much to look at, especially since it was cloudy and gray. However, we did have some fun on the other side, we went to 2 state parks, Fairview-Riverside State Park and Fontainbleau State Parks. Both are beautiful. What I find weird is when hiking, you are clearly in swamp country yet the trees in the woods are all hardwood.
On Monday, Mike left on this frigid morning to get the ac in the truck fixed. Hard to believe that it is so cold and we were ever going to need the ac again. The day started off cold and got colder. While he was sitting in the frigid garage for 5 plus hours waiting on the repairs to be made it was sleeting outside. I was not there to nag him so of course he did not put a hat on his head and now he has a cold. (Side note-we did go and get Covid testing done just to be sure it is just a cold). Honestly we were really ready to leave here after 4 days and if we didn’t have the appointment to get the truck fixed we would have left, but am grateful we did not as the big storm was coming and really bad where we are heading. We attempted to get some insulation for our underbelly for the impending freezing temps and none was to be had. So we just put on our electric heaters and opened our kitchen cabinets and hoped for the best. We did fill our water tanks. While it was freezing out we were toasty inside as the weather deterioated around us. Tuesday (Fat Tuesday) there was nothing happened. Staying off the streets is what was best for everyone. It was super cold, so if there was a year that the parades didn’t happen it was good that it was this year.
Due to the continuing impending doom (the bad upcoming weather) we have changed our plans and asked to stay until Friday, we had to move sites but they are very accommodating, we had to empty our tanks anyway so it was good. As I write this we have another bout of crap coming our way but by Friday it should warm up to the upper 40’s and hopefully we will be free to move about the country and should be in the 70’s by next week. If we have to be stuck someplace at least this is a nice campground to be stuck in and we still have electric and water.
All and all we are trying to make the most of it and are happy to be just together and enjoying this crazy adventure together.
So until next week, take care, stay warm and stay safe…..and we will hopefully come to you from Texas.
Hope and Mike
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