Crossing the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge
[Editors’s Note: In last week’s blog we announced a contest to guess the construction completion date of our house in Asheville, NC. We later realized that the contest can’t go on indefinitely so we will not accept any more entries after March 30. The easiest way to enter is by commenting on our blog or by e-mailing us.]
It’s been a hectic week. Five days ago we were in southern Georgia at Stephen Foster State Park in Okefenokee Swamp. Over one thousand miles later, we arrived yesterday at McKinney Falls State Park just south of Austin, Texas.
Texas was not part of our original trip itinerary but we added it for several reasons:
- We were invited to the wedding of our friends’ son in Fredericksburg, Texas.
- We discovered that some friends from Puerto Rico are now living in Austin.
- With the delay in our house construction, we had to go somewhere.
Stephen Foster State Park is named after the American songwriter who wrote “Oh! Susanna” and “Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair”. When he was writing “Old Folks at Home”, Foster looked on a map for a southern river to include in the first line: “Way down upon the _____ river”. He considered the Yazoo River in Mississippi and the Pee Dee in South Carolina but he chose the Suwannee River, which begins in Okefenokee Swamp and flows through northern Florida to the Gulf of Mexico. However, Foster changed Suwannee to Swanee so it would fit his music.
In addition to Stephen Foster State Park, we stopped at Blackwater River State Park near Pensacola, FL and Sam Houston Jones State Park near Lake Charles, LA on the way to Texas. Much of the week we were on the road but here are some photos from our stops along the way.
It was rainy and cold in Okefenokee Swamp but it really is a beautiful place to visit. This photo is from the last time we were there in 2008.
Another view of the swamp from 2008
Some wildlife from our recent visit to Okefenokee—on the left, a frog that was in Ed’s shower with him and, on the right, a spider that ran across the floor as he got out of the shower.
The first day of spring at Blackwater River State Park—we are looking forward to many more spring wildflowers.
The Blackwater River was flooding while we were there. It is a popular river for kayaking and tubing.
A swamp at Sam Houston Jones State Park—we may be biased but the Florida swamps we have visited were much prettier.
Another spring wildflower
We end this blog with an observation from our nine months on the road—take a look at the following photo of the back of our Airstream.
Can you tell the number of our license plate or even what state we are from? We have driven through 17 states on our trip and have never been stopped by the police for any reason. Now we’re not condoning any illegal activity but if you do want to avoid having your license plate identified, put a bike rack and bikes on the back of your vehicle. Towing an Airstream is not necessary but it would give you a convenient place to hold up if you are on the run.