I love to roder. Yesterday, with the sun shining brightly and it not being too hot, I kidnapped my mom and hit the road for a little sightseeing. She didn’t complain at all. She grabbed her camera and was ready before I was.
It’s funny really. I had no idea where we were going. That’s the best part of rodering, traveling without any destination in mind. At first, I thought we’d just explore River Road (the highway that follows the Mississippi River), but we ended up doing a lot more than that. In fact, we did so much and took so many pictures, I’m going to do this first road trip in parts. Yes, I said first because we decided we’re going to try to do this once or twice a month.
We headed east from our house, driving through the small communities of Choupic (pronounced shoe-pick), Chackbay, and Vacherie (vash-a-ree) to get to River Road.
This is a sugar mill we passed on our way to Choupic. Sugar cane is one of Louisiana’s endangered industries. At one time, there were more sugar cane fields than neighborhoods, but over the years, more land is sold for development. Sugar cane mills are slowly going out of business due to population growth and imported sugar.
Then we were in the community of Choupic and Chackbay. Every year they have a Gumbo Festival, but I think we missed it.
It’s a pretty area with lots of traditional Acadian style homes and cypress trees.
If you ever get the chance to visit the area, you should take the back roads since they provide you with plenty of things to see.
Next we headed for River Road, which as most people know is where the big plantation homes are. We didn’t do any tours, but we did take as many pictures of the homes, public and private, as we could.
We actually passed on taking a picture of Oak Alley Plantation since they were having their festival and a race. The traffic wouldn’t allow for a stop and shoot (of the photographic kind). I think Oak Alley is popular enough though, that you’re not missing out.
This is, I believe, St. Joseph Plantation. This home is just before Oak Alley if you’re coming from the south. Apparently the home is still part of an active sugar cane farm and tours are available.
We followed River Road for several miles before taking a small break at the foot of the Sunshine Bridge. The Sunshine Bridge, named for Louisiana Governor Jimmie Davis, was the only bridge across the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Unfortunately, it emptied into a swamp. I remember one of my college professors telling us that before the Sunshine Bridge was built, the East bank of the Mississippi didn’t have Nutria Rats.
This is a nutria rat. No, we didn't see any on our trip.
We got back on River Road and wound our way along the crooked Mississippi, leaving the Sunshine Bridge far behind us. Except when we got about ten miles down the road, we looked back and saw this:
It just goes to show how winding the Mississippi River is.
So that’s the first part of our road trip. I have several more pictures during our trip to Donaldsonville, Louisiana and further north, but I don’t want to crash anyone’s machine. I’ll pick up the story again tomorrow.
Hope you’ll stop by to see more pictures!