Day trips > Louisiana Coastal Region

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by achesley, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

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    Location:
    Jennings, Louisiana
    This is a short local run to check out a new camera and see what’s happening along the Louisiana coast. Leaving Jennings, La. About 11:AM, me and the Bandit headed West on US 90. One of my favorite ways to avoid NASCAR I – 10. ;-).

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    Mainly just farmland with a few towns to go through. Didn’t see much activity in the Crawfish farms, but some are getting the fields ready for planting rice. Water leveling, plowing, etc. Wasn’t able to get pics of that due to a bit of traffic at the wrong time.

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    If a person were to turn North here on US 165, it would lead them to the Gambling Casinos near Kinder, La. Not my style of living but is to many. I continued on West to the West side of Iowa, La.

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    And took a long straight road headed South through more isolated farmlands.

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    Was not a whole lot happening on this stretch of road. Light wind from the East, Cruising at about 55 to 60 and chilling.

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    Just checking out the office to see if all was good. It was good. Not much happening in the way of scenery and headed to the LA 14 junction which heads for Lake Charles, La. But, at Holmwood, La which is a store/bar/etc, LA 27 starts on it’s East side loop headed South.

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    Headed South on LA 27 we soon get to the Cameron Prairie Refuge where all the birds have a place to stay without getting shot at. Plus the other animals and fish and birds that live in this Prairie Marshland. Really vast and flat.

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    If you look really good in the next picture, you can see a South Louisiana Mountain. ;-)

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    Nawww, really , it’s the Gibbstown Bridge over the Intracoastal Canal. Inland water way for mainly barges and boats. Not any large ships.

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    And a few pictures of the marshlands while crossing the bridge.

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    Here is a pic of one of the many hunting camps about this area. Most belong to clubs and duck and goose hunting is their main thing.

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    There are still a few of these homes which floated up from the South during Rita. Still have not been torn down yet. In fact, still have other stuff in the marsh from both Rita and later Ike.

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    Right after Rita, there were some homes like this on the road that had to be torn down and moved for highway access down to the gulf to restore power.

    Crossroads again. 82/27 takes off to the West towards Cameron here at Creole. LA 82 used to just stay along the beach but at sometime back, it was moved up higher. Probably lots easier to maintain it up here than along the beach. All this has some heavy truck traffic at times since it’s an outlet to the gulf for the oil/gas industry. And, a bit of fishing / shrimping.

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    Still trash and not reopened places here since Ike’s visit. We never were even close to recovering from Rita when Ike came along.

    This place opened a few months back after rebuilding again after Ike.

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    With some neat murals painted on the fence.

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    Probably a biker hangout / stop on weekends. But, I do most of my roaming down here on weekdays when most are working. The fruits of being retired.

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    A large flock of pelicans that Bandit scared up. Most all these pictures are on the fly so quality is not going to be great. Or, frameing. Ha ha ha. How do U frame looking over the top of the camera and just shooting the pic and hoping for the best.

    I take the little road south to Rutherford Beach. A few months back, after Ike, I came by here and there was nothing but the posts where some cabins used to be. Only good thing about a hurricane is that it takes all the trash off the beach and moves it way inland.

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    This is one of two cabins being completed there. Strict rebuild codes if you want to get high dollar insurance now. Most people just come out with their campers and drag them back home after the weekend.

    This next one is the Air Logistic Helicopter Base a few miles down the road. There are 3 heli bases in the Cameron area serving the oil/gas industry of the western gulf. Texas offshore is considered the Far Western Gulf and is served from bases out in that direction as is the Central and Easter Gulf regions.

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    A graveyard next to the highway before getting to Cameron. You can see the newly placed graves. Lots of them floated out of the ground during Rita and again for Ike.

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    Then we have some of the homes that were destroyed by Ike. Many felt that with near 40 years between 1957’s Hurricane Audry and Rita that they were done with one for a long time. Then along came Ike and took out what they rebuilt. I have friends that left this area after Rita and many more after Ike. Heck, a few more serious ones and I’ll be looking at Arkansas really close. That said with me being a good 45 or 50 miles, as the crow flies, from the gulf.

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    This picture repeats itself all along the Louisiana coast from Intracoastal City to Sabine Pass. I’ll do some more my next trip.

    If anyone that wants to be come an architect and design hurricane proof buildings, they need to come study the Cameron courthouse.

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    This building has withstood all of them with no more than some flood damage on the lower floors. I have not been in this building since 1961. Something about speeding, loud mufflers and disturbing the peace at Holly Beach at 2AM in the morning on my ’59 Triumph ? After bail, they would not give me a ride back to my bike in the Sheriff’s storage at Holly Beach. I had to walk to the ferry before getting a ride to my bike. Sigh!

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    IN the background, you can see all the yards and boats catering to the fishing/oilfield industries. Trapping used to be a big thing in Cameron and they still have the Fur Festable .

    Well that concludes this segment. I was going to run to Holly Beach and beyond but when I got to the ferry , it was just getting to the other side. So, that met about 30 to 45 mins waiting time. Not today. Was a great riding day with temps in the high 60’s to low 70’s , mostly cloudy with a slightly cool East wind.

    I’ll just put it on hold here till my next trip down there and run it to Sabine Pass.
    #1
  2. Thumpercrazee

    Thumpercrazee Long timer

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    Supurb report!! Great photos for a trip down memory lane for me & the Mrs..

    Thanks for sharing..
    TC:D
    #2
  3. pgup

    pgup Adventurer

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    S Louisiana
    Nice to see a Louisiana ride report. I am by Slidell.
    #3
  4. Laconic

    Laconic Hapless Rube

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    Thanks for the report.

    Make sure to get over to Grand Chenier on your next trip; it was really hoppin' when I was there back in the late 70's! :lol3
    #4
  5. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

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    You do know that Grand Chenier was wiped by Rita? About the only thing that survived was the Ranger Buildings that were about 10 feet off the ground. The maintenance buildings were wiped then and again for Ike. As was quite a few of the trailers people put out.

    I do from Intracoastal City to Garden Grove several times a year. I'll do some pics next time through. ;-).
    #5
  6. JayElDee

    JayElDee not saying what I mean

    Joined:
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    Thanks, Andy for the report.

    How far west have you traveled on 90 and have you seen any ride reports on just doing 90 cross country? It is the Old Spanish Trail for much of its run and winds up in LA, doesn't it? And you are right. I 10 is horrible. I have done 190 instead, but could possibly do 90 when I visit Tx, depending where I am headed.

    John
    NOLa
    #6
  7. Laconic

    Laconic Hapless Rube

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    I didn't know about it, that's too bad. We used to dock there on the oilfield supply boat I worked on.

    Ride safe! :1drink
    #7
  8. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

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    John,
    Thanks for the reply.
    I've done US 90 from Alabama to about Houston. I did a gig on chasing the OST from Lafayette to the Texas border for an OST web site a few years back. Quite an experience trying to find the original road. Some of the original gravel road still exists from Mermentau to Midland, La. There is and OST road in Rayne and also Westlake.
    I may do a write up in here on that one day. I need to get back to it and chase the original OST through Lafayette to Morgan City, Houma, etc.
    #8
  9. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

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    This is a short movie clip on our muddy gulf. ;-) The guy fishing has been there for 20 minutes. He does not know what he has on the line but he can't bulge it. Every once in awhile it will like shake it's head. He was waiting for his Dad to get back with some more shrimp for bait then he was going to wade out there to it.:eek1 I left before that happen. :lol3
    #9
  10. tugboat

    tugboat MicroTourer (tm)

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    US 90 runs from Jacksonville Beach, FL to Van Horn, TX. Much of it is south of I-10. Everyone knows life south of I-10 is different. The changes in the scenery and the way people live are extraordinary. A trip well worth your time.

    Great ride report, Andy!!!
    #10
  11. Thumpercrazee

    Thumpercrazee Long timer

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    Sooooo true there Tugboat. Hwy 90 is similiar to Route 66. So much history, scenic vistas, and super people all along the route. In Texas, From San Antonio, to Uvalde, Del Rio, Langtry (Judge Roy Bean), Alpine (Sol Ross Univ) , Marfa (Marfa Lights), Valentine and Van Horn, the entire route is amazing. Off road possibilities abound!! The Chispa Road to the Rio Grande is outstanding!
    The food along this route is also well worth the trip!

    TC:D
    #11
  12. mike1952

    mike1952 Long timer

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    Your report brings back memories fromover 20 yrs ago when I lived in New Orleans. Great time. Thanks
    #12
  13. Juice Box

    Juice Box Got Ink?

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    Nice to see a Louisiana report. :clap Ash when you going to come over for a ride with us?
    #13
  14. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

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    I did some more of the coast roads today. From Jennings to Ester wood to Kaplan and down to the coast road. LA 82. Run it to the Mermentau River Bridge and then up to Little Chenier Ridge road. My camera died on me at the Bridge so I'll have to return to Little Chenier. I'll get hot on the pics in the morning and get them and a report posted.

    Been a long time since I've been to BR town riding. Use to go to Herbert's quite often and do rides from there on Saturdays when I was riding BMW's. Thanks for the invite, we'll see what we can do when I get this coastal road thing done.
    #14
  15. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

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    Bright day , all is good. Decided to go check out the LA 82 from the East side to the Grand Chenier Area.
    First , drag out Bandit and preflight it.

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    All was good. Had just changed the oil and filter yesterday at 10,500 miles on the ometer. Air pressure in both tires good, all lights working, nothing loose, water, raingear, flat fixing stuff, etc in the tail pack. We’re ready to go.
    Headed out East US 90 towards Mermentau, Midland, Esterwood, then turned south.

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    Here is a link to information about Estherwood. I was looking for some history on how the place got it’s name but have not found it yet. ;-(.
    http://www.city-data.com/city/Estherwood-Louisiana.html
    I guess I could do this on many of the cities I pass through but this link will give you access to any cities your curious about.

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    Europe has it’s castles dotting the landscape and Louisiana has it’s rice dryers doing the same. This is one of the smaller ones.

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    And our Crawfish farms. Below is an insert I got off the web to kinda explain it.

    2. Crawfish grow in a cycle that typically begins in the spring and ends in the late fall and winter when harvest
    is underway.
    a. Adult crawfish are stocked in growing facilities (often rice fields) in the spring.
    b. Crawfish prefer water that is about 8 inches deep. The water is drained off after a few weeks from June
    to August.
    c. As the ground dries, the crawfish burrow into the earth and reproduce.
    d. The field is reflooded in October and the crawfish emerge from the burrows.
    e. The crawfish feed on the vegetation that has been grown on the field and grow rapidly.
    f. Selective harvesting may begin in November and run through the following March, depending on the
    size of the crawfish.

    This year was not a good year for them. Very late. Not much size to them. Kinda medium size. But still good. ;-)

    Many farmers getting ready for rice planting. Plowing the fields. You can always tell they are going to be rice fields by the levees.

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    Access road to check the levees after flooding. Good place to hunt snakes.

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    Here we have LA 35 South. Really a rough road which gets lots of heavy truck traffic to gulf outlet ports. Years ago, the road was widen about a foot or so. This is the smoothest path on these beat up roads most of the time. That’s where I try to ride with the Bandit. These roads are much better traveled on a bike with long travel suspension. My older and and shorter legs finally made me leave the BMW GS type bikes and get something closer to the ground like my Bandit. But, in doing this, end up with a lot harsher ride due to shorter travel suspension. I guess one day, I’ll spend the 250 bucks and put a gold valve and springs in the front. And, ???? money for a better working shock in the rear to help on this.

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    Some of the fields are left idle for grazing purposes. Many farmers raise cattle also. I don’t know of too many milking them anymore as was popular when I was a kid and spening Summers on a farm. It was an every morning chore and had my thumbs sore the first week. Fond memories. First was a the cat bowl. They kept the rats in check. Then a cup for me. Then fill the pail.

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    We have our Lounge at the Curve.

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    As we ease on to LA 82 headed West, we come to some of the first homes in the process of being raised to the required footage before they can get high buck insurance.

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    The Old Intracoastal Canal routed through the lakes but was later relocated further South and not using any of the big lakes of the area.

    The next series of pictures are just running West on LA 82. No towns along the way.

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    There are about 3 of 4 of these little wharfs built for fishing. All but one were occupied. This whole area is a sanctuary for wild life.

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    And we have our people with the raised trucks and big tires also. They passed me and about a ½ mile up the road , they pulled over , did a U turn and come back the other way. Must of forgot something at home. ???

    Continue in a little bit. Coffee is calling me.
    #15
  16. austinl08

    austinl08 Austin

    Joined:
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    15
    great pictures. next time in planning these let me know i live in lake charles and dont mind the ride there to jennings to take an adventure.
    Austin.
    #16
  17. divingbiker

    divingbiker True Blue Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
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    Location:
    Louisiana Gulf Coast
    I enjoyed seeing your post. As a lifetime resident of Louisiana I appreciate all that our state has to offer. Thanks for showing others.
    #17
  18. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

    Joined:
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    3,534
    Location:
    Jennings, Louisiana
    Okay, let’s see , where were we. Yes, La 82 westbound.
    Let’s start off with a map of where I went today
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    It was a good day for riding. Temperatures in the high 70’s , about a 15 to 20 mph wind out of the South. The trees and high shrubs really helped out on blocking most of this wind. There were many turtles and little alligators out basking in the sun. As soon as you stopped to get a picture, off they would go. The turtles went diving off what ever branch or stump sticking out of the water they were on. The alligators just would sink out of sight or scamper back into the water. Many times I didn’t see the gator till the last moment and had to turn about to try to get a pictures and they would submerge before I got to them. But , I did get a couple pictures of them.

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    This where a good sized on was when I passed but hit the water and was gone by the time I got turned and stopped. So, took a picture of the ever present oil well locations.

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    And Bandit waiting patiently for me to return to the road.

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    We get to see more damage to home, some abandon since Rita.

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    All the road word you have been and will be seeing was done since Hurricane Ike. Lots of road damage. All this gravel was hauled in and put in place as the storm washed most of it away and undermined the north side of the road.

    Following are several shots of LA 82 shortly after Ike. You can see the undermined damage before repairs and lots of gravel hauled in.

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    Back to the present.

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    Want to buy a school? This one was probably just too much to repair the second time. I’m really not sure if it ever was reopened after Rita. But Ike finalized any plans to rebuild I’m sure.

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    Probably would make an interesting home. ;-)

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    Cajun Humor Da Camp is no meaux.

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    Pics of the land behind and in front of Camp Seaux. Not a lot of protection from the elements out here. Just coastal marsh and prairie from the gulf to beyond.
    Actually, looking out across the lands towards the gulf, you could never tell a storm had passed except for piled grass in places and waterways choked with it. But when I comes to anything humans have added. It’s destroyed to the most part.

    A series of road shots while just riding along.
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    Now we are getting to the Rockerfeller Reserve. Very large sanctuary. Fishing is allowed at times of the year. I’m not sure if this one is restricted at all. But you can be sure your catch stands a good chance of being checked when you get back to the landing if not before.

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    More homes along the way. We are in the Grand Chenier area here.

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    The ever present shrub and tree lined road.

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    Then we get to the Refuge Headquarters. They pretty much withstood damage from both Rita and Ike due to being well above ground except for the maintenance sheds.

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    We come up on one of the many Gas Plants along the coast.

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    All the gas and oil from the gulf come through stations like this and sent on further north for processing. First order is getting these places back on line after major storms so platforms in the gulf can get back on line. For Ike I think it was in the order of 54 platforms destroyed and many many more damaged. The platform I was one for this one had minor damage at the bottom from a stairway coming loose and bending up some piping. But the platform I was sending my product to , about 1 mile away from me, was laid over on it’s side under water. They are hoping to have my old work place back on line in October. After having to add a lot of equipment and run a couple of pipelines. Much expense and paperwork with the government.

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    Two pictures of the platform that went down that I was shipping my product to. Plans are to replace it with a bigger Platform in the future.

    An office check. You can kinda sorta see the map on my GPS of the road between the waters of the area.

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    Then the Mermentau River Bridge.

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    This river actually starts right near Jennings, above Mermentau. I can put in at the Bayou Nezpique which joins with Bayou Plaquemine and Bayou des Canes to form the River which flows to the gulf.

    Well , at this time , my camera’s batteries expired so that ended the picture taking. But I turned north on a little road right after the bridge and went to Little Chenier Ridge as I had not been there in a long time. All looked pretty good there and in good repair. Then it was home bound.

    Now , All I have left to get is the interesting part from Cameron, over the ferry and to Port Arthur , Texas.

    Thanks for riding with me on this part of the Coastal 82 ride.
    #18
  19. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,534
    Location:
    Jennings, Louisiana
    Great and thanks. I'm retired and just take off when ever I get an urge. Nothing planned. I generally try to ride during the weekdays and leave the weekends to the weekenders. :lol3 Less traffic that way.

    My next segment will be from Cameron to Port Arthur. Not sure when as of yet though.
    #19
  20. the darth peach

    the darth peach eats crackers in bed

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    :eek1

    Why are you using your right hand to take pics??!!!
    Throttle lock?

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    You're scaring me, old man!!!! :lol3

    Cool local report!!!! Keep it coming!!
    #20