Avoiding Mardi Gras

We have been hanging around Lafayette, Louisiana these past few weeks. Not only to see the sights in the area, but also to avoid New Orleans and the major event (and crowds) of Mardi Gras. We have not been hiding, as much as my lack of blog-posts may have given that impression. Quite the opposite actually…

Kerri brought my to see Vermilionville, a Living History Museum and Park showcasing the life of the Acadian and Creole people of the 1700 and 1800’s. It was a cute little town of a dozen buildings or so, each with their own exhibits, and some with volunteers to show just how it was done back then – washing clothes, spinning cotton, metal working, etc. We nearly put the kayaks in the water here as well, but chose not too after seeing the bayou. Unfortunately, the swamp kayaking has raised the bar to the point that normal bayous just do not excite as they may have two weeks back.

In the previous week, while camped not far out of Beaux Bridge (crayfish capital of the world, or so they say), we drove the few miles up the road to tour the Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge. Here we found a couple of nice little nature trails to hike and a few free camping spots (rare this far east of the Rockies). We thought we may drop in to one of these locations for the following week, but the humidity is keeping the Airstream’s A/C running most days and I’ve gotten a bit spoiled already. This entire year was originally planned to be done in the van. The only (well, maybe not ‘only’) reason we are in the trailer is for the A/C, so we damn well better use it.

Leave it to Kerri to find the one place you must go in any given area, especially if it is quirky. You should have seen her when she told me about Whiskey River. A Bar, not far from our camp at the time, open only a single day each week – for 5 hours – with real Zydeco music and dancing like you would not believe. I am no dancer, as Kerri found out, but even I enjoy good music and people having a good time. Watching was enough for me, and since I was the designated driver, staying sober was the plan as well. We ended up going to Whiskey River twice over two weekends with the second time happening on Mardi Gras weekend so the place was twice as crowded. Not only am I a non-dancer, I am also not good with crowds at all. Even a crowd the size you might find in a grocery store on a weekend is enough to unsettle me, but hundreds of people packed into this tiny room was wreaking havoc on my nerves. I lasted only two hours before we had to leave, but it was fun.

Just one more week of stalling before going into New Orleans…

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