Sunday, March 18, 2018

Hiking in the Batavaria Preserve, Louisiana


Leaving Mississippi we headed to Bayou Segnette State Park which we have visited several times in the past. It is by far our favorite park to stay at to visit New Orleans. While we were hoping to explore the city we were still in limbo as we have to wait for our insurance adjuster to meet us to look over our RV for our claim. Since we have some cracking in what appears to me only involving the clear coat we were told they wouldn’t approve a windshield replacement until it was determined that there wasn’t any fiberglass damage near the windshield.

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We finally got a call from the adjuster and he would be able to meet us on our last day in New Orleans. Fortunately he wanted to meet us in the morning so that left the afternoon to play. Having the appointment also meant we would be free the day before so we drove over to the Batavaria Preserve after lunch.

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The Batavaria Preserve is part of the larger Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve. This section of Jean Lafitte comprises over 23,000 acres of Louisiana's wild and scenic wetlands. The trails we chose to hike would give us a glimpse of its bayous, swamps, marshes, and forests. Trails  in this area are a mix of boardwalks and dirt trails that snake their way through the preserve. Of course these wetlands, like many in Louisiana, were created by deposits from the Mississippi River.


There are some nice boardwalks there that had us floating above the swamps giving us a rare glimpse into the wetlands preserve. While we didn't see many critters we did some some interesting things. Most notable was seeing  North America's largest moth, the Cecropia moth. These giant silk moths have wingspans of up to six inches!


Their larvae mostly feed on Maple trees and are nocturnal so it was a real treat to see our first ever Cecropia moth. An interesting fact about them is that the nocturnal adult cecropia moths lack functional mouthparts or digestive system and like mayflies emerge only to reproduce As a result they only survive a maximum of about two weeks By the way my go to book for identifying butterflies is the Kaufman Field Guide To Insects of North America.

Our last day we will be so happy to finally have the adjuster to come by and look over our rig. After that we will go to the French Quarter to explore the city…

NOTE: We left Bayou Segnette State Park for a 15 night stay at Betty’s RV Park in Abbeville LA where we are now…

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Slowly Moving West and a Mississippi Hike…

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It took us a while to get over the fact that we murdered a poor turkey and in return will have to pay a $1,000 dollar penance (deductible for our insurance). However,after taping up the inside of our windshield we made our way slowly on the back roads of Florida to Robertsdale Alabama for an overnight stay at a Passport America Park.

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Wilderness RV Park is a modest park but at the low passport America rate it was the perfect stop for a one night stay. We didn’t really do anything while staying there and the next morning we hit the road again for another drive on mostly back roads to Ocean Springs Mississippi.


I snagged two nights at Davis Bayou Campground in the the Gulf Islands National Park in Mississippi. Somebody cancelled and we got lucky securing a site using our senior pass. This was a great location to visit the sights in this area but with rain coming through the area we didn’t really do much the first day.


Before the rain we did walk around some of the smaller trails in the park and found a neat little boardwalk pull-out where we saw a few baby alligators. We were unable to explore further as the clouds started rolling in so we headed back to the RV. We did go out for a hamburger and a cold beer while it rained so the day wasn’t a total loss.

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The next day we went over to a trail called the Fontainebleau Trail in the Sandhill Crane National Park. The trail meandered through the typical pine/hardwood forest found in the southeast but it was great seeing all the signs of spring budding out. Most spectacular were the wild azaleas blooming like mad in the forest.


There were other plants blooming including the lyre sage, thistle, blackberries,  black titi, flowering dogwood and other early bloomers. We were fascinated by the yellow galls on the sweetbay magnolias. We found one that pointed us in the right direction and another that had an uncanney face (thanks to some midge flies that landed to make the eyes). I love this time of the year when trees and bushes begin budding while the wildflowers and the brilliant greens of early spring also peek out.

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It was a great hike but our two days ended forcing us to decide where to head next. After scouring the maps we decided that we would go to Bayou Segnette State Park south of New Orleans Louisiana and visit the city one more time. We will be there three nights and although the weather will be a little chilly, we are still looking forward to our stay there.

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We are still dealing with insurance for the windshield repair and it is not moving as fast as I would have hoped… but such is life on our road of retirement…

NOTE: We are now at Bayou Segnette State Park and will leave here on Friday for a 15 night stay at Betty’s RV Park in Abbeville LA.