Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Atchafalaya Welcome Center - two wings up.

We start looking for nesting sites by 4PM, and yesterday that landed us at Atchafalaya Welcome Center,  exit 121 off I-10, if you're taking notes.  We parked in the truck lot and went over to ask permission to stay overnight.  Louisiana policy is that parking is limited to two hours, and Louisiana policy is to ignore that policy.  The staff treated us like we were walking in to register at the Walduck-Astoria.  They encouraged us to come park in their RV-only section (oo-la-la!) away from the noisy turnover of the big rigs.  Free wi-fi, coffee in the morning, 24 hour restrooms, and an all-night security guard.

If you don't want to stay the night, stop in anyway, especially if you're traveling with children.  There are some nicely-done displays, a Country Bear Jamboree gone Cajun, and a short movie in a theater.  BONUS FOR PARENTS:  there is nothing to buy!  Your backseat bandits can't even hit you up for a candy bar here.

My name is not Louisiana Coffee.  

No, you cannot have me.
Jennings, LA, on the other hand, seemed downright RV-unfriendly.  We just wanted a quick stop, and the Walmart had one of those unwelcoming steel low-clearance warnings.  Yes, I see there's a low clearance because you put it there.  That's not very Walmartish, and so we blame Jennings.  RV parks often put pressure on local politicians, and then legislation is passed forbidding parking anywhere besides a privately-owned campground.  So, when you see Exit 64 beckoning you to the Jennings Walmart Superstore, clench a little tighter and drive on by.  

We've made it to Orange, Texas, my ancestral stomping, hunting, and coffee grounds.  I have dozens of cousins in these parts, and possibly one or two may want to meet me.  Literal, all around.  The ones who want to see us will have us, the ones who don't will have their piety.  Everyone wins!  No one leaves empty-handed!  This is also the stop where I leave my father's ashes behind.  He wouldn't let me do anything for him while he was alive, and this is about all I can think to do for him now.


We might want to stay a few days, and would love to find some green boondocking site, but we're coming up empty.  Thirty to 45 minute radius from Orange would be wonderful.  Does anyone have a secret spot they'd share, just this once?

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Wanderoke said...

Wonderful that you are moving forward with your father's ashes.

Judy and Emma said...

Don't you just love that 18 miles bridge?

Orange, TX? Now you're getting into my neck of the marsh.

Rubye Jack said...

Looks like you're close to Janis Joplin's old stomping grounds. Good karma for your Dad.

If you decide to head north you're welcome to come by these here parts up in SE Oklahoma.

Carolyn said...

Cuuuuuute kitty... ;) I call the dolphins by saying .... here kitty kitty... doesn't work very well... Kelli called them that way and they came... harumph

Well? a bit more south and you're in Port A country too... I'll be leaving here Monday or sooner. Have to go through Houston... a twelve day affair.

Be fun to meet up with you two again! I've got to be 'home' the 22nd. I'd like to take a different route but the weather is supposed to be wet next week... and cold. Otherwise, I'd go to Austin.

Carolyn said...

oh and look into disabling anonymous posting... I've been getting spam ... anyone else?

I know you like the one page comments and no word verification so maybe you can avoid the spam by disabling anonymous comments?

Levonne said...

Wish I could help you on a boondocking site. Life sounds good for you two.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Thanks, Ish. I'm moving forward with them, and then I'll move forward without them.

Judy, if there was an 18 mile bridge, I probably passed out and missed it. Was that over Lake Ponchartrain? Lake Charles was a little gross, too, but not 18 miles. It may be that we make it right into your marsh - not decided yet. I do want to slip down the coast, though, so we'll surprise you with a sack of seed or something.

Thanks, RJ! That would be fun. And, I've learned something new about Janis today.

Carolyn, we'll definitely meet up again. Do you mean you're getting spam from me? Or, in general? I get lots of spam, but it never (so far) hits the blog. It gets stopped by the spam trap. I hear of other people getting badly spammed, too, so I don't know why it catches mine.

Thanks, Levonne. It is good!

Carolyn said...

Yes, Roxanne... from Good Luck Duck... several... give me your email address and I'll forward one of them to you.

You have my address, right? off WGS?

If you're not aware... you really need to see this... weird

TexCyn said...

Oh I'm glad you found that place! I wanted to suggest it to you, but I've been so busy lately that the computer was off for a few days! And when it was on, I still could not play...the 18 mile bridge is above the welcome center! The Breaux bridge & if you go the wrong way...well too bad baby, you can't turn around till you get to the other side. Here's a link to a video I did of the welcome center.
I've a story about it, but the story is too long.

Bob said...

"Orange" you glad you're not pious?
There's an after dinner joke in there somewhere. It's still early here.

Donna K said...

When I saw the title to your post all I could think of was "Gesundheit"...

Would that PIEty be lemon, no sugar?? BAH, humbug!!

The Good Luck Duck said...

Cyn, I think I watched that video months ago, but forgot what the place was called. You mentioned mosquitoes, and sure enough, the biggest sucker I had ever seen took a draw there.

Pie jokes! Delicious! Thanks, Bob and Donna. And, yes, it would have to be sour enough to purse one's pie-ous lips.

Barbara and Ron said...

Don't you just love that name Atchafalaya? I'd like to live there just so I could say it.

bhikkhu john said...

Hey there! I did a ten-week internship at a U.S. Wildlife Refuge just south of Jennings, LA. Jennings never left us with a good feeling. I used to shop at that Walmart for food.

Lots of alligators there too.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Barbara, I've been saying it in my head since we left, because I want to remember how to pronounce it. It sounds like something I want for dinner.

John, I remember you talking about your internship in Louisiana, and now I have a locale to go with the stories. Which refuge was it? It looks like there are some sandy beaches down there, which surprised me. What were your duties there?

bhikkhu john said...


I was at Lacassine NWR in Lake Arthur. Much of my duties revolved around waterfowl, shorebirds, and hunter bag checks. It was an education and an experience for sure. Louisiana boys do not like to be questioned about their bagged ducks by long-haired northerners.