We traveled from Galveston, TX to Lake Charles, LA on March 9, 2019.
Sam Houston Jones State Park
Sam Houston Jones State Park’s campground was crowded and sites are pretty close together. However, it was still a nice place to stay while we explored the area. We met the Patterson’s from Alberta. They have been traveling the U.S. for the past five months and will be heading north again pretty soon, as they have to return to Canada by the end of six months. They are in the small trailer with tent extension seen below.
Creole Nature Trail
I apparently forgot to take pictures during the two days we explored the Creole Nature Trail. The trail is a scenic byway road that takes you through a number of remote, small towns and marsh/wetland areas, culminating in a string of beaches along the Gulf of Mexico. We downloaded the Creole Nature Trail App and listened to the audio descriptions of the various stops along the way. We decided to break the 180 mile trip up into two legs, following the eastern leg on one day and the western leg on another. We also chose to eat seafood at Steamboat Bill’s in Lake Charles, but I didn’t take pictures of that either!
On March 13 we moved to the New Orleans area, where we spent eight days exploring the region using Bayou Segnette State Park as our home base.
Bayou Segnette State Park
This is a small, urban state park which is surrounded by the westbank community of Westwego, just across the Mississippi from New Orleans. It had the campground and a HUGE picnic area with what looked to be over a hundred picnic tables. There’s a wave pool and canal boat launch as well. The campground was fairly busy, but the other picnic area and pools only open during the summer.
While in the New Orleans area, we chose to purchase a Sightseeing Pass to cover the admission to multiple tourist attractions. One that we chose to see was Houmas House.
World War II Museum
I did not take very many pictures at the National World War II museum, but it offers a very large and complete look at the war. We were not able to see everything. They do offer a second day pass for a good price, but we didn’t take that option.
I learned that Bob Hope did this show on August 12, 1944 from Puvuvu, where the troops were training for the Peleliu engagement. It is quite possible that my uncle was in one of these camera shots!
Jean Lafitte Swamp Tour
We did a swamp tour in the Barataria Preserve portion of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. Jean Lafitte NHP is actually broken up into six different areas across southern Louisiana. In addition to this swamp tour, we also visited the main visitor center in the French Quarter of New Orleans and the Chalmette Battlefield as part of the riverboat cruise (see below). One thing I liked about the swamp tour is that, being in National Park boundaries, there was an emphasis on ecological preservation and no feeding of the alligators, as we’ve heard some tours on private areas do.
Creole Queen Paddlewheeler
Another excursion with our Sightseeing Pass was this river boat. We sailed downriver for about 30 minutes and then disembarked at the Chalmette Battlefield, where the Battle of New Orleans took place at the end of the War of 1812. I didn’t take any pictures there, though.
We wandered around the French Quarter and saw (heard) 3 different jazz ensembles. I tried uploading a video, but it didn’t work.
On March 21 we left New Orleans and drove to the coastal regions of Mississippi.
As soon as I posted our church attendance site on Facebook, I had several people ask if it’s where Mississippi Squirrel Revival took place. I had never heard of it. Enjoy!
Shepard State Park
We stayed in Shepard State Park for four nights. I REALLY liked this campsite and the park had a surprising number of activities available (of which I only participated in one).
In Biloxi, we visited the last home of Jefferson Davis, the first and only president of the Confederacy. Biloxi and this property were severely damaged during hurricane Katrina in 2005. They are still trying to rebuild and restore what was lost.