Written by IWW639 on 06 Dec, 2000
Rayne, LA is known as the Frog Capital of the World. It is one of Louisiana's Mural Cities, with frog murals all over town. My son loved the paintings that featured everything from nature scenes to frogs playing pool. In…Read More
Rayne, LA is known as the Frog Capital of the World. It is one of Louisiana's Mural Cities, with frog murals all over town. My son loved the paintings that featured everything from nature scenes to frogs playing pool. In late summer, Rayne hosts its annual Frog Festival. I didn't make it to the famous amphibFest, but I did happen to venture in to town during the annual car show.
My hometown, Pismo Beach California, has a car show each year that closes off all of the main streets in town. It is huge and gets hundreds of thousands of visitors. Rayne's car show was not like that. They had one short block of street shut off. Cars lined both sides and zydeko music blared along with '80's funk. In all, about two dozen cars were featured.
Some cars seemed to be straight off the lot, while others were garaged beauties from the '40's. A table near the DJ’s booth held the trophies. There must have been enough trophies for each participant to receive one.
The town is really charming, and doesn't require an excuse to be visited.
Written by IWW639 on 05 Dec, 2000
Heading south out of Sulphur on the 27 I entered into the Louisiana Outback. Green pastures and grazing cows lined the hiway. The vegetation slowly changed to marshy grasses and water was everywhere. Oil rigs were starting to disappear. South of…Read More
Heading south out of Sulphur on the 27 I entered into the Louisiana Outback. Green pastures and grazing cows lined the hiway. The vegetation slowly changed to marshy grasses and water was everywhere. Oil rigs were starting to disappear. South of Hackberry was the entrance to the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge. Birds were everywhere, but not like I had expected. This was also the place to see alligators (but not in December).
I stopped at the interpretive center for some schoolin', but it was closed before noon on weekends. So, I drove a few miles farther to the marsh trail. The 1.5-mile trail is accessible for anyone and offers educational graphics along the way. It is supposed to take a couple of hours, but I wouldn't know, I didn't do it. It was too cold, and I wasn't prepared for the sub-freezing wind chill. I drove on hoping the weather would improve.
Holly beach, the Cajun Riviera, is just south a bit. 25 miles of white sand beach free to the public. It's a popular get-away and a great place to sunbathe and swim (not in December, though).
From here the 27 darts to the east, along the shore. I drove my car onto the public ferry to cross over to Cameron, the seat of Cameron Parish. Then, another ferry out to Monkey Island, the site of the only civil war battle in the parish. It is peculiar because both Union and Confederate troops are buried together there.
From Cameron, I strayed off the 27 to go to Rutherford Beach. I had to get out and do some shelling. The tiny waves lapped at the shore leaving exotic shells and debris. In the distance, offshore, loomed numerous oil rigs. My son and I collected the best shells we could find, but the cold was getting to us. So, we got back in the car and returned to the 27, which now took us north.
Through the town of Creole and over the inter-coastal waterway again, we landed at the Cameron Prairie national Wildlife Refuge. A three-mile driving tour of the fresh water mashes featuring waterfowl galore. The Pintail wildlife drive, as it’s called, may offer a chance at sighting other wildlife as well. I like this because we didn’t have to get out of the car. At other times of the year, it would be the mosquitoes to deal with instead of the cold. I was prepared for bugs.
Up the road, I pulled off at the interpretive center for the refuge. It, too, was closed (Sunday). Surrounding the center was a pond filled with alligators (but they wouldn’t show themselves in December).
Instead of looping back into Lake Charles, I headed east again, on the 14. This route took me away from the Creole Nature Trail, but it was still a Louisiana Scenic Byway. This took me through small towns like
Bell City and Lake Arthur (home town of country singer Sammy Kershaw).
The sugar cane and rice fields transitioned into hardwood and cypress forest with autumn colors to rival New England. The cypress swamps slowly disappeared by the time I got to Abbeville where I called it a day.
For an extensive virtual tour of the Creole Nature Trail with useful links go to http://pages.structurex.net/mosketer/creolint.htm