Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler - Winter 2011 travel blog

Palmetto Island State Park

Palmetto Island SP

can you see the bird?

drilling equipment

Vietnamese fishing boat

in need of raising

raising in progress

fnished product



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preparing the crawfish

A short drive from Betty's jam packed RV park is Palmetto Island State Park, a facility so new it is not on my map or the GPS. The campground there is the exact opposite of Betty's. The sites are spacious and widely spaced and hardly anyone was camped there. It would be a great place to have a tranquil encounter with nature from a canoe. Although most of the ground there looked solid, it was easy to spot standing water and cypress trees. These fascinating plants send "knees" up from their roots above the surface of the water, purportedly to help with respiration.

Intercoastal City is a few miles south of the park. This city in name only has hardly any residents and was not on the GPS either. This is the area where the myriad oil rigs off the Louisiana coast are serviced. A helicopter airport takes the men out to the rigs. Huge parking lots full of pick up tracks gave us an inkling of how many men are employed on them. Two giant food warehouses supply the foodstuffs while the men are on the rigs, often for weeks at a time. We also saw what looked like drilling equipment. A new drilling permit was issued last week, almost a year since the platform explosion and three month oil gush that dominated the news. Around here people are happy that drilling has resumed. It obviously is a major source of work for the people.

As we drove we could still see houses that had been devastated by hurricane and never repaired. Another big business around here is leveling and raising homes up on stilts so they can make it through the next storm with less damage.

We returned to our campground for a special feast. One of our fellow campers from nearby Lake Charles had volunteered to cook crawfish for anyone interested. It's the beginning of the crawfish season so they are more expensive than they were when we were here last year almost a month later. He bought 100+ pounds of mud bugs for the twenty campers who sat salivating while he cooked. First he soaked them in seasoning so that the crawfish would take this liquid in and rid themselves to whatever was in their digestive tract. The actual cooking went quickly, Because most people only eat the meat from the tail, there is a lot of waste involved. Generally, people eat three to five pounds at a time. The eating and peeling was labor intensive, messy, spicy and delicious.

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