Thursday, May 10, 2007
We spent last Friday and Saturday in the northeastern parishes of Louisiana mucking around in swamps, visiting the enormous campus of LSU and taking a tour of the imposing Art Deco edifice that is the State Capitol building sitting atop a bluff on the Mississippi River. I have decided to break the trip up into separate pieces and will begin with our adventures in Livingston Parish and the sublime swamps and bayous of Tickfaw State Park.
We arrived in the middle of a very heavy rain storm, in fact it set the all time record for East Baton Rouge Parish (8 inches in 24 hours), which mercifully ended soon after our arrival. The weather forecasters in Louisiana were saying that it probably had ended their drought in one fell swoop. This massive system, for some strange reason, never made it to Florida and boy could we have used it!
The first stop was Tickfaw State Park in Livingston Parish. This wonderful preserve is set in the wild verdant swamps and bottom land forests along Gum Bayou and the Tickfaw River. Most of the trails are along elevated walkways that probe deeply into the densely green foliage amidst the eerie whooping and wild shrieks of birds, frogs and insects. It was as close to a tropical jungle as I've ever encountered and due to the fact that we arrived just minutes after a record breaking deluge we had the entire park to ourselves.