Gas prices downsizing your summer plans?
That's right, it's vacation time boys and girls. If youíre like me, this is the time of year that we pack our bags and climb into our cramped automobiles and travel a long and hard journey. One in which we cram as many events as humanly possible into a limited time in order to maximize our annual pilgrimage of adventure.
With gas prices reaching an all-time high, how about this for a cost effective adventure? Suppose, I told you that I have discovered an inexpensive one-day adventure that is intriguing, informative, exciting, educational and eye opening.
It's just a short travel taking you to a land rich in history and legend. A land where stately mansions once stood along side its highways and byways, and a few still stand today as monument of a bygone era.
It is located on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River, where vessels of all shapes and sizes can be seen traveling north and south as part of a complex global trading system which has made the United States the greatest country on earth.
While you sit on the levees watching these vessels from international ports pass you by, think back in time. Transport yourself back a century or so and imagine what this waterway must have been like when steamers and houseboats attempted to tame its unforgiving currents.
This adventure will take you to two stately 200-year-old homes restored and open to the public. Each was the centerpiece of prosperous plantations where local leaders lived and molded the region history. Each possesses a unique personality and legends, even a ghost story or two. You can visit the site of the oldest church and cemetery in Louisiana and marvel over a suspension bridge that is considered being an engineering wonder.
You can see a flood control project managed by the Corp. of Engineers which was designed as a way to divert Mississippi River flood waters away from the City of New Orleans.
Just a few short miles away, visit picturesque fishing communities located on bayous abundant with wildlife, and take a swamp tour into the moss cover cypress wetlands. You can see a host of industrial complexes that produce a wide array of product that makes all our lives much easier, and so much more.
If you haven't guessed yet, I am talking about a trip into your own back yard.
That's right, this year's most excellent adventure can be your rediscovery of St. Charles Parish. It could be one of the most informative trips you have ever taken. A chance to rediscover your local heritage. Get a copy of Louisiana German Coast to read before hand and you will have a better understanding of the town and street names and how we became the Parish of Plenty. Visit www.louisianagermancoast.com
Take tours of Destrehan and Ormond Plantations, and visit the Labranche Dependencies in St. Rose. take a swamp tour on LA 3127, sightsee on the Great River Roads. Visit the Bonnet Carre Spillway and the fishing communities of Bayou Gauche and Des Allemandes.
The only thing you will need to make this undertaking a true adventure is to use your imagination and look at things a little different. In other words, think like a tourist. This could be a journey back in time for a rare chance to trace your roots and re-experience your heritage.
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Longtime educator reflects on works and changes - 1314 views
As a longtime educator in the St. Charles Parish School system and school board member, John L. Smith remains a staunch supporter of public education.