Sailing Into Big Lagoon

Betty adds Arkansas to our sticker map.

As Betty & I continue our overlandish odyssey, we capture images along the way – either on our phones or through my Nikon – that help to tell the story of our adventure. But we see far more on our journey than we record, and we post only a fraction of the sights captured. Sometimes, the story tells itself when we download the pictures, and sometimes we need to weave a thread that ties it together. This post is more of the latter, capturing random images from the past week.

One of our levellers began to bleed red fluid when we arrived in Russellville, Arkansas.
We called the Hose Doctor, and he performed surgery on our ailing Boy – from his modified ambulance – getting us back on the road with a new hydraulic hose to our leveller..
Our nice site at Buccaneer State Park in Mississippi was a short hour’s drive from New Orleans, Louisiana.
Gavin gets in on the action, adding Louisiana to our sticker map.
Through much of Mississippi, Route 90 follows the Gulf shoreline, with many miles of well-groomed white sand near the roadside.
We passed at least 9 casinos near Biloxi, Mississippi. This one sports a huge guitar on its front.
Betty & Charlie take a break on the beach near Biloxi.
Our add-a-room gets added at our Big Lagoon  State Park campsite by Gulf Breeze, Florida..
Betty strolls the squeaky sand along the Gulf Shores, at the Alabama – Florida border.
We had a great beach day in early January, near Pensacola, Florida.

We are thankful for the marvels of modern technology that allow us to share our travels with you. As we explore the state of Florida, and travel back up the east coast, Betty & I hope we can continue to transmit images that capture the epic nature of this marvelous adventure.

Cheers!

Fantastic Florida helps to fill out our sticker map.

New Orleans!

On narrow Bourbon Street, looking toward downtown New Orleans.

Readers of this blog may have noticed a number of references to songs that have struck cords with the writers: from Willie Nelson’s “On The Road Again”, to Bob Marley’s “We Jammin”, to Glen Campbell’s “By the time I get to Phoenix”, or Marc Cohn’s “Walking In Memphis”, among others. But how is it possible to choose a song about our visit this week to New Orleans?  Should it be:

…the city of New Orleans. Say don’t you know me? I’m your native son…

Fats Domino: Walking to New Orleans

Johnny Horton: The Battle of New Orleans

Jimmy Dean: Big John

Creedence Clearwater Revival: Born on the Bayou/ Proud Mary

The Rolling Stones: Brown Sugar

Arlo Guthrie: City of New Orleans

The Animals: House of the Rising Sun

The Tragically Hip: New Orleans is Sinking

Chuck Berry: Johnny B. Goode

Janis Joplin: Me And Bobby McGee

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band: Mr. Bojangles

Wrought iron balconies surround many buildings in the French Quarter.

There are dozens of songs referencing New Orleans,  so we’ll leave it to the reader to pick their favourite…

OK, I can’t resist humming a tune from a special singer I saw live, back in the day. During the Festival Express tour in 1970, Janis Joplin belted out:

“Busted flat in Baton Rouge, waitin’ for a train
And I’s feelin’ near as faded as my jeans
Bobby thumbed a diesel down, just before it rained
It rode us all the way to New Orleans…”

Our Russellville, Arkansas campsite.

When Betty & I left Ivy’s Cove campground in Russellville, Arkansas, the forecast was for rain all the way into New Orleans, but by the time we reached Texarkana, the drizzle had ended, and it was clear sailing until our stop for the night, an attractive road side rest area south of Alexandria, Louisiana.  It was a bright sunny day when we passed Baton Rouge the next morning, so our windshield wipers were not

Our overnight rest stop, north of Lafayette, LA had seen lots of rain before we arrived.

slappin’ time, but I was holding Betty’s hand in mine, and we sang every song that we both knew. LOL.  For the next few days, we camped at the beautiful Buccaneer State Park in Mississippi, just an hour’s drive east of New Orleans.

Someone added an editorial comment on this Bourbon Street One Way sign. LOL

Betty & I have been to New Orleans twice during Mardi Gras: Once unintentionally with our 4 young children (on our way back from Disney World), and once with Betty’s brother

A mix of colourful low rise homes and shops enliven the French Quarter.

Jack, and his wife Christine. The focus then was very much on the party atmosphere. But this time we were able to

The large French Market borders the Mississippi River in New Orleans.

concentrate more on the unique architecture and lay-out of the French Quarter. The weather was warm, with blue skies

A beautiful day to stop at this courtyard cafe for some Cajun cookin’.

and sunshine as we walked through the French Market, and enjoyed an al fresco meal in one of New Orleans’ special courtyard restaurants. It was a magical visit, and enticed us to want to return again.

A late lunch at Cafe Amalie in the French Quarter.

“There Betty shared the secrets of my soul
Through all kinds of weather, through everything we done
Yeah, Betty baby kept me from the cold…

And, feelin’ good was easy, Lord, when she sang the blues
You know, feelin’ good was good enough for me
Good enough for me and my Betty  eee.”

Cheers!

Fresh flower baskets accent the unique New Orleans’ architecture.
Walkin’ in New Orleans…
Bourbon Street is a little more visible, without the Mardi Gras crowds. LOL
Getting a feel for the history of this unique city by walking through one of New Orleans’ above ground graveyards. 

“I’m the train they call the city of New Orleans
I’ll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done.”