St. Martinville & New Iberia, LA


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January 5th 2014
Published: January 5th 2014
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Lake Fausse Point Campground
We arrived at Lake Fausse Point State Park after dark on the December 29. We had traveled many miles over bridged highways that spanned miles and miles of bayou on Highway 10. Those of you who have campers know what a treat it can be to park an RV in the dark. In this case we were also in a park that was full of large family groups with lots kids still riding bikes after dark and generally doing what kids do.....around our moving camper. Our neighbors however, were very kind; they brought out their flashlights and helped watch different corners of the camper as Ron maneuvered into a tight spot. More helpers is not always a good thing, but we finally got settled in and thanked all the good folks who had strong accents , just like those guys on the alligator show.

The park has 3 different nature trails. We took the one called Armadillo Ridge. Along the way we spotted a barred owl, an eagle flew into a tree carrying a fish to eat, 2 pelicans repeatedly dove for fish, an anhinga, a pileated woodpecker, a blue heron, a kingfisher, a great egret, a yellow rump warbler, a robin, goldfinches galore and 5 armadillos . And this is the short trail.



The area around the park and New Iberia grows sugar cane and January is harvest time. Ron pulled over at a farm field of sugar cane, cut off a stalk and we chewed on it to see if it was sweet, and it was! Not candy sweet , but certainly sweet.



At one time this was a rice producing area but has since changed over to sugar cane. We took a tour of the oldest working rice mill in the US which is located in New Iberia. Interesting bit of information on rice growing - they actually grow 2 crops in a rice field at the same time. Rice, of course , is the first one, but the other is crawfish. The crawfish live in the muddy fields and feed on the rice debris once it is harvested. They grow to a good size by April and are harvested by using funnel traps and then the rice is planted again, grows , is harvested, and all the while the little crawfish that are in the mud grow up and the
Sugar CaneSugar CaneSugar Cane

The tall stand is ready to be harvested in January
cycle starts over.



This area was also made famous by an epic poem written by Longfellow published in 1847 called Evangeline. The poem is based on a true story about a time when the British forcibly removed French speaking Acadians from the area around Nova Scotia and Maine in 1755. In the poem an engaged couple , Evangeline and Gabriel, are separated during this forced exodus. Evangeline spends years searching for Gabriel and when she at last finds him he is sick and weak and dies in her arms. The story is, supposedly, based on the real life events of Emmeline Labiche and Louis Arceneaux . They really were seperated on their wedding day and Emmeline did search for Louis. She finally found him in St. Martinsville, LA, but he had married. When Emmeline heard the news she fell ill, died and was buried in the church cemetary. There is a tree called the Evangeline tree that shows the spot where she heard the news that broke her heart. I did a bit of research after reading the legend while visiting St. Martinsville. None of it seems to be true , but it makes for a wonderful story and Longfellow helped spawn a whole tourist industry in the area based on the legend. In fact that seems to be about the only thing that St. Martinsville has going for it right now. The once quaint town now looks like so many others that we have seen across the country with one empty store front after another, while down the street there is a Wal-mart doing a booming business.

Ron and I are playing continuous rounds of 2-handed euchre - so far 34 games - total scores to date Ron:236 Tam:285



Here is a recipe for a handy little treat that we have on hand in the camper.

It is called 3,2,1 Mug Cake ---- Mix together in a gallon zip lock bag - 1 Angel Food Cake mix with any other cake mix that you like - I usually use chocolate,

In a coffee mug mix together 3 Tablespoons of the cake mix, 2 Tablespoons of water and zap in a micro wave for 1 Minute. And there you have a little treat that satisfies a sweet craving. We usually make this in
Church CemetaryChurch CemetaryChurch Cemetary

Above ground cemetery just like in the New Orleans area
disposal paper bowls and swirl some jam through it before zapping. You can also add chocolate chips or nuts , top with cool whip etc.


Additional photos below
Photos: 15, Displayed: 15


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EvangelineEvangeline
Evangeline

Evangeline/ Emmeline There are stores and roads and streets all over the area named after Evangeline
Evangeline TreeEvangeline Tree
Evangeline Tree

A place of heartbreak - according to legend. I liked it a lot better when I thought is was mostly true.
DaveDave
Dave

If only...
Sapsucker treeSapsucker tree
Sapsucker tree

This is like a restaurant for the sapsuckers. They drill holes in lines around the tree and wait for the sap to run out. They use the same tree for quite a while.
Pileated WoodpeckerPileated Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker

Very prehistoric looking especially in flight
 Bonsai Squirrel Bonsai Squirrel
Bonsai Squirrel

This guy was helping Ron by nipping off the ends of some branches
armadilloarmadillo
armadillo

guess who came to dinner


5th January 2014

Well Helloo
I am reading your blog after helping the neighbors help us remove another 5-6 inches of snow from the driveway. So far we have removed about 10 inches. It is now 5:30 pm and it is supposed to snow til 4 am. St. Martinville may not look so bad now!!! Love your blogs.
5th January 2014

that snow is probably very pretty
I've been hearing the snow amounts from lots of Michigan folks, enjoy the beauty and take time to sew!! miss the guild!
6th January 2014

I love your blog. Martha and I will be following in your footsteps in a few weeks. Tell Ron I said Hi.
6th January 2014

Perserverance and long johns
Hang in there...A couple more nights of cold and then it's back to banana-belt weather. Have you tried the Gator soup? Longfellow reported it was what kept Evangeline so focused. Stay warm kids.

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