Louisiana is undoubtedly a unique place; the Acadian, French, Native, and Western African influences on culture, food, and architecture combined with the distinctive coastal marshes and swamps that dominate the delta make the state unlike any other. Our last visit in 2017 was my first time there and we sampled quite a bit of the small town culture, learned about plantation-era and Acadian history, explored a bayou by boat, and more in between our Habitat builds, but after five years we were both eager to return.
This visit was decidedly lower key than our first, spent mostly around the Atchafalaya Basin and the swampland of the Gulf Coast exploring back roads and small towns while seeking out places we could walk with Allie. We found more than a couple of the latter in Lake Fausse Point and Burns Point State Parks as well as around the towns we stopped in. Tom also had a chance to eat some Cajun food and I had a chance to drink my beloved Envie Pale Ale at Parish Brewing. One historical activity we did manage however was a brief stop at the Cypress Sawmill Museum, where the history of logging the massive cypress trees that characterized the swamps up until the twentieth century is documented. It was surprising both that these original trees were as massive as they were and that nearly all of the cypress in the swamps bayous today are second growth, only about 100 years old. It was interesting – and more than a little sad – that the experience of the bayous and lowlands would have been quite different only a century ago before these behemoth cypresses were turned into lumber and shipped nationwide.