Sunday, June 16, 2013

Galliano to Thibodaux, LA - Sunday, June 16, 2013, Father’s Day (44 miles)

            What a way to spend Father’s Day!!  Cal was on the road by 6:36 am.  I slept in and finally caught up with him around 8:45/9:00.  We looked for a place for breakfast.  I am not sure where these people eat out – Burger King or McDonald’s!  Other than that, Mama must cook!  There are simply not restaurants along the way – So McDonald’s was the selection for breakfast in the town of Mathews at 9:15 this morning.  By then Cal had ridden more than he had ridden in total yesterday.  It was beginning to get warm, but we decide I should drive ahead and get a motel in Thibodaux, so that Cal can stop riding by noon.  I found a nice Hampton Inn but the rooms were not ready from a full occupancy weekend.  They promised me one by 11:30.  I went back on the route to meet Cal.  He was so glad to stop as he was getting hot.  However he did  ride 44 miles today.  Double of what he rode yesterday!

            Today, even though we are still along a main Bayou canal, we are seeing more and more farmable land.  We are seeing lots and lots of sugar cane. The sugar cane is in all stages of growth, and some fields are fallow.  We understand sugar cane is a 14 month crop.  We also saw some soybeans, and grass land for horses and cattle.   
Draw Bridge over the Canal

            For anyone who has not visited Louisiana, I took several photos of a cemetery I passed by. Cemeteries in Louisiana are unique in that everything is above ground, and often of beautiful white marble.   

            After a wonderful shower and nap Cal was ready to get out and do some exploring in the area.  While he was refreshing I did a load of smelly, smelly laundry here at the hotel.  By 2:00 we left the hotel and drove north to the Mississippi River and the town of Vacherie.  Our destination was the St Joseph Plantation.  Years ago on a vacation with our children we visited the beautiful Oak Alley Plantation.  St Joseph Plantation is adjoining Oak Alley.  It is more primitive, but it is unique in that it is owned by the same family since the 1870’s.  The family heirs are very active, to the point they are tour guides.  It was interesting how they could tell stories about G’ma, Great Grandma, and Great, Great, Great Grandma. 

            As you look out from the front of the house you see the Mississippi River levee. Before the levee was built in the 1930’s, all the ‘big’ plantation homes built along the river were built on stilts.  Each spring when the river flooded, the water just simply flowed under the house.  Also this open lower level is where the carriage drove through to pick up and unload guests and property (out of the weather).  Only after the levees were built did families finish the lower levels of the ‘big’ house into living space.  Every Plantation needed river front property as that was the only method of transportation for incoming goods and outgoing raw materials, plus people. Plantation property is narrow and deep (away from the Mississippi River) – some properties are as deep as 7 miles from the River.    

View From Street

View from Back Of House - Main Entrance
This family still has a working sugar plantation and they lease their river front property (on the river side of the levee) to a barge company for them to tie up their barges, and they also own a river edge sand pit. We are so glad we chose to visit St Joseph.  They have preserved many of the slave houses, the kitchen, the plantation store (used after the Civil War, bought from Sears), and the school house, but the original sugar mill is gone.

Entrance Hall

Childs Room

Main Dinning Room
Front Porch

Window Shutters - Closed Every Night

Detached Kitchen

Plantation School

Slave House
Nearby Sister Plantation House - Felicity Plantation
Nearby - Oak Ally Plantation
            After a great Mexican meal, we are back at the hotel for the night.  Cal hopes to leave again in the morning by 6:30.  He hopes to get to Donaldsonville by noon tomorrow.      

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