Part 7: Lake Charles, LA to New Orleans, LA


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The Trip

From Lake Charles, we headed generally south east to Grand Isle.  GI is one of the southern-most points in the state and is well out on the Mississippi Delta.  Our objective was to camp at the state park on GI and then go north to NOLA and see the sights.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

Some of the bridges around Lake Charles were true engineering wonders.  They must be high enough to allow passage of full sized ships.

From the top of the bridge, we got a commanding view of the area.

The Lake Charles area is heavily industrialized with a number of refineries and chemical factories including a sulfur plant.  The rail yard adjacent to the plant was filled with cars awaiting product.

We did not make it to Grand Isle in one travel day, so we ended up staying in a small RV park that belonged to one of the cities we passed.  (Kemper-Williams)  The facilities were adequate and there were not many bugs, which is always a plus.

At the park, we spotted this questionable looking bulldozer for sale.  Given the poor condition, I am assuming that it has been for sale for quite awhile.  This was a true hillbilly special.

We passed some massive bridges on our way to Grand Isle.

Above is a railroad drawbridge that was lifted to allow the tug and barges to pass.

On our way to Grand Isle, we passed plenty of drawbridges.  Some were in sketchy condition,  but the one above is brand new.

As we headed south on LA 1, we passed a long canal that carried barge traffic.

The highway to Grand Isle had suffered damage from one of the frequent storms that come through the area.  From the elevated causeway, we could see the old road and the temporary repairs that were attempted.

I think that the new causeway construction effort ran out of funding as the bridge just dead ends.  There was an intersection built into the causeway, and we had to turn off to exit the bridge.

Looking back, the scope of the new bridge is apparent.

As we approached Grand Isle, we saw more and more fishing boats.

Near the entrance to the state park on Grand Isle, I spotted this blue heron.

We spent the night in the state park and it was quite buggy.  Not many mosquitoes, but what it lacked in mosquitoes, it more than made up for in biting gnats.  Next morning, we hustled out of the park and checked out the local area.  There is a medium sized marina that services the local industry.

More than just roads were damaged by the storms.  We spotted this boat that sank in it's slip at the marina and was abandoned.

A number of the structures in the area were damaged as well.

The beach at the Grand Isle was flat and featureless.  In the distance, you can see one of the many of the oil rigs that dot the area.

The oil rig above is being serviced by a cargo vessel.

From Grand Isle, we headed north along LA 1 and then east on I-10 into NOLA.

We stayed in the French Quarter RV park.  The park is nice and in great repair but there were a few down-sides to the location.  While close to the French Quarter, it was also adjacent to "the projects".  We were told by the staff at the park that despite the fact that the park is within walking distance of the FQ, walking after dark is not advised.  When we set up the camper, I could see some of the locals from our back deck over the armored fence.

Also visible over the wall was one of the many cemeteries in the area.

The perimeter security at the park was quite serious.  There were codes to both the vehicle and pedestrian gates as well as physical deterrents to unauthorized access via the wall.

Grand Isle was interesting, but I would not go again.  The terrain there was flat and featureless but the beach was nice and clean.  Our trip into NOLA was gladly uneventful and we were lucky to be able to park our rig so close to the French Quarter.  Tomorrow, we will check out the tourist portions of town via our bicycles.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2009, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.