New Orleans to Natchitoches

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North America » United States » Louisiana » Natchitoches
February 22nd 2013
Published: July 22nd 2017
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Geo: 31.7278, -93.1531

Took a taxi to the airport. Check-in with Avis went easily. We had requested an economy vehicle but they didn't have any so got a free upgrade to a 2013 Ford Escape. You need to take a course on the controls. Like a spaceship. Fully equipped including Sirius satellite radio. We have been through one tank of gas and the economy is pretty good considering we have been running at 70-75 mph most of the time. On the road for about 5 hours except for a Starbucks and bathroom stop.

Natchitoches is a very pretty town with a fascinating history. It was founded in 1714 as a French outpost on the Red River to facilitate trade with the Spanish in Mexico. The town is named after the local Native American tribe. There was a log jam during the 1830's and the Red River changed its course resulting in a 36 mile long oxbow lake known as the Cane River.

When it changed from a river port it gave rise to cotton kingdoms along the river. The affluent owners had plantation homes as well as elegant houses in the town.

The fact that it became isolated resulted in the preservation of its heritage.

The town shares French, Spanish, African and Anglo-Saxon influences. It is very picturesque. In addition, it is the home of North-Western University which is a very large campus.

We had dinner at Mama's Oyster House. Great dinner of gumbo, étouffée and crab cakes. Highly recommended.

Many of the plantation homes still exist some of which are still private homes. Tomorrow we will head out to some of these plantations and other historic sites.

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