Palmetto Island State Park, Abbeville, LA

It was a long day of driving yesterday...not because it was very many miles, but because the roads were absolutely terrible. They were the worst we've seen on this trip. Geez. When we finally got parked, I went around and carefully opened all the cabinets to avoid any surprises. The thing is, you can't avoid having things fall out of the cupboards after such a rough ride. However, you can avoid the unpleasantness of having them fall out when you aren't expecting it.

So I would have said it was a boring drive, but it wasn't. We saw quite a bit of interesting stuff along the way and after we got here. Fairly soon after we got underway, we went up and over this big bridge.

From what we've seen, bridge names are marked in Louisiana, but not the waterways they cross. Since they're forcing me to guess, I'm guessing this is the mighty Mississippi. It's an educated guess...I looked at the map.

From there, we just tried to avoid falling into the deepest cracks and potholes. As we drew closer to our final destination, we began seeing flooded fields. Initially, we thought they were flooded from the rains, but then we realized that they were sort of dammed up all around, as if they were flooded intentionally.

The were all around us, on both sides of the road.

Eventually, we were close enough to the park to see our old friends, the bald cypress trees and the palmettos.

We drove through the gates to the park and checked in. While there, we asked about the flooded fields. The park ranger told us they were crawfish ponds, which made sense. We'd seen a market selling blue crabs and crawfish. (We call them "crawdads" in Oregon.) In warmer weather, rice is grown in the same fields.

We have a nice level campsite here, and we pretty much have the place to ourselves. There is wildlife all around and it sounds surprisingly similar to a jungle. This morning I'll try to get out and make an audio/video of it so you can hear it.

We got Smitty out for a walk right away. He didn't really get any good walks in New Orleans. When the woofies weren't bothering him, the wind and rain was.

After that, we had some lunch and took our naps. The kitties were all whipped up about something outside. Eventually, they aroused us sufficiently to take a look. Lo and behold, there were a pair of armadillos nosing around outside.

They were digging in the deep leaf cover looking for grubs and worms, presumably. We aren't really sure what armadillos have on their menus.

It was hard to get a good picture of their little faces because they were buried in the leaves most of the time.

We kept trying, and they kept hanging around, seemingly oblivious to our presence.

As it grew darker, it was harder to get them in focus as my shutter speed slowed down to accommodate the lower light levels.

Finally, I turned on the flash and caught this one. Unless I'm able to get a better picture during the three days we're here, this one will go into my Sketchbook.

My one word for this One Word Wonder: "Armored."

We have no plans here aside from hiking and relaxing. As I mentioned in my previous post, we're killing time so that we can arrive at the Texas Quilt Museum on the days when it's opened.

One of the landing gear on the front end of the trailer has broken. As we were leaving the RV park in New Orleans, we realized something was dragging. We strapped it up to go down the road, but it will need to be replaced. This will be the third time Mike has replaced the landing gear on this RV. For now, we're using jack stands and a "bottle jack" to unhitch the trailer. It's pretty much a major hassle. The part will reach us at a future destination, and then we'll probably stay at a place in Amarillo where the sites are paved. Mike doesn't want to be crawling around on his knees in a gravel site while he fixes it. It's the first mechanical failure of the trip, and so we're feeling pretty lucky...even if our luck did give out on us temporarily.

Now here's something: it's hard to say Amarillo when you've been watching armadillos. Try it for yourself. Say armadillo five times, then trying saying Amarillo. Let me know how you do with that.

9 comments from clever and witty friends:

Caro said...

The damned up fields you saw were crawfish fields. If you like them, this is crawfish season and I’m sure you could find a restaurant that serves them. They are spicy and great eating.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Amarillo/Armadillo - that will be like someone planting part of a song in your head and you can't shake it out!!

QuiltShopGal said...

I've only seen armadillo in a zoo. Pretty cool that you were able to see them in nature. I do wonder what the cats were thinking when they saw them? Clearly, not a woofie, nor another cat, but big and certainly in Smitty's turf. LOL! I was able to say armadillo, armarillo, but probably because I was concentrating with your challenge. I'm doubtful I'll be able to do so well in an hour.


heartsease54 said...

LOL. Sorry about the vehicle trouble. I've discovered much to my dismay that my knees hurt too bad, like really, really bad to ever get down on them without knee pads. It is kind of crippling. I couldn't even imagine doing it on gravel. Mike is smart to wait for pavement.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Since I'm a native Texan (just misplaced at the moment) it was easy for me to say both. Outside of Amarillo is the Cadillac Ranch, where there are several Caddy's buried in the dirt. Interesting to view. It's on Rt 66. Lots of fun things on Rt 66. I'm betting that bridge was the one in Baton Rouge. I've been on it, but, it's been decades.

WoolenSails said...

You have a wonderful site, nice and roomy and love how it is enclosed for privacy.
I hope the weather gets better so you can enjoy more time outside, love seeing the photos from your walks.


Brown Family said...

Ws laughingly call Amarillo Armadillo! So now I can't say either one! I am in your route through Texas. I was not sure if you were still going along the coast and up the Rio Grande River Valley or strike out for home! I would love to meet up for lunch or dinner!

piecefulwendy said...

I've never eaten crawfish. Growing up in SDak, we always called them crayfish. Whenever we caught one in a trap, we just tossed them back in the creek. Now I think I'd like to try them, just to see what they taste like. I have a feeling the crayfish I grew up with might be a bit different than the crawfish there! Cool that you were able to see the armadillo who apparently isn't from Amarillo. I can imagine the two kitties were quite excited about seeing them as well.

quiltzyx said...

I managed to say armadillo 5 times & then Amarillo OK. Then again, I'm sitting in the College basement with no other distractions...lol.
I might have guessed that those flooded fields were rice paddies (having seen those in the Sacramento area), but wouldn't have thought of them being for crawfish ponds.
The armadillos are interesting looking critters. Our buddy, Mr. Google, said you were right, they eat grubs, worms & insects. They also have poor eyesight, so maybe that why you didn't bother them much.