When life gives you lemons, go ride Lemonade!

Louisiana

Louisiana is a state we have visited before. We were here in 2014 for Mardi Gras. This time we’ve come back to “see” New Orleans. Last time we spent almost all of our time riding in, or watching, the Mardi Gras parades. We had a great time then hanging out with the local chapter of GWRRA. Now we’re back to see more.

Much of Louisiana is a swamp. To get to New Orleans, Louisiana (NOLA) we had to cross a couple of these elevated freeways. This one is 18 miles (29 k.) long.

I wonder how the early settlers felt when finding this in their way looking for new land to live on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are staying a Bayou Segnette State Park this time. It is south of the city across the Mississippi River. It is a nice park with electric and water hookups for RV’s. Normally we want to find a campground on a bus or rail line to town. We have done this in cities all over the US and Europe. This is so we don’t have to find secure parking wherever we want to go. This time we do find parking and then buy a all-day all-city ticket for the public transit. This is tram, bus and ferry in NOLA. And it only cost 80 cents for seniors. This is the best deal we have ever had for public transit.

Our first stop is at a cemetery. NOLA is famous for it’s above-ground cemeteries. The city is below the level of the river and has a water table just under the surface of the ground so it cannot bury the dead underground. Therefore they have these tombs to hold the remains. Most of the tombs have multiple names on them. Sometimes numbering several dozen names. I can only assume they are cremated because there is not enough room for that many bodies.

 

 

Many of the tombs are decorated with a cross or angel. Many have fancy scroll work carved into the rock.

The dates we saw range all the way back to the 1700’s.

This cemetery is north of downtown at the end of the Canal Street tram line. There are two cemeteries near the French Quarter that are more famous. They each only allow visits if you hire a guide; and the guide costs $25 per person. We may have gotten more information about the cemeteries with a guide but $50 was way too much.

 

We rode the tram back down to the French Quarter and wandered around. It is the oldest part of NOLA and the most famous part.

This area is full of bars, taverns and restaurants. Many of the buildings date back into the 1800’s, some into the 1700’s.

 

 

 

We visited the Pharmacy Museum. My father was a pharmacist and had his own pharmacy when I was in high school. Our whole family worked in it. Often after a patient visited the doctor they went home. The doctor called my father with the prescription and I would deliver it to the patient at their home. Because of this family experience I found the museum interesting. The items in this museum mostly dated from the 1800’s. That was way before my experiences but still interesting.

 

 

Over several days we wandered the cemetery, the French Quarter in the daytime and Magazine Street, a shopping district. We walked miles and then rested for a day because we were going back to the French Quarter that evening.

Our first stop was dinner with local NOLA food and then on to Fritzel’s Jazz Club. (YT Video) This club dates back to the origins of jazz. It was a lot smaller than I had thought it would be. It is one of the more famous clubs in town. This is the whole back half. The bar is in the front half. Only about three dozen people could sit in there at once. There are bands playing here seven nights a week. We sat through a couple of sets and then wandered back outside.

 

 

 

 

Outside Bourbon Street was in full swing. The vehicles that had clogged the street in the daytime were gone and the people took over.

 

We have enjoyed New Orleans and seen the real (?) town. At least from the tourist point of view.

 

 

 

 

This is as far east as we go in this trip. It is time to turn north so we can work our way back to our home in Washington State.

 

 

 

As I had planned our route. I found that we were going to pass within a few miles of where Bonnie & Clyde died. So we detoured and visited. They were famous outlaws in the 1930’s. They robbed banks and killed people across several states until they were met with an ambush along a dirt road in northeastern Louisiana.

On the left the original monument, on the right what it looks like today. You can see graffiti on it even in the left picture.

The left hand picture is from the nearby museum.

Bonnie and Clyde were driving down the road when the officers hidden in the brush on each side opened up with hundreds of shots fired killing both of them immediately.

 

The museum had a replica of their car complete with real bullet holes and bloody mannequins inside.

 

 

 

 

 

The real car, with real bodies, was shown in a movie about the couple that was made in 1934 after their ambush.

 

 

Now it is on to Arkansas where we will go diamond hunting and ride the famous Ozark Mountains. Then we continue north and west to the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Now we go North and West.