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The Big Easy

posted Mar 16, 2018, 4:04 PM by Justin P
Friday, I couldn't wait to get out of the hotel.  I left early and headed west on I-10 towards New Orleans.  I wanted to visit the French Quarter, but didn't want to deal with the traffic and parking.  So I parked at Crescent Park, with ample safe and free parking and walked into the city.  Crescent Park is a linear park, essentially a greenway trail along the river leading to the French Market.  There were a few joggers and dog walkers, but otherwise not crowded at all.  In a shirt ways, I passed by the rusty rainbow, a pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks.  The views of the New Orleans skyline were great from across the river.  At the other end of the park, I crossed a pedestrian bridge over the railroad and street to the French Market and it was just a short ways further to the French Quarter.  Unlike Crescent Park, this area was extremely crowded.  I headed over to the beautiful Jackson Square with great views of St. Louis Cathedral.  Then I walked around some of the famous New Orleans streets.  On Bourbon Street, most bars were not open yet, but Fat Tuesday was.  Like Wet Willie's in Savannah, this bar mainly sold high-alcohol frozen drinks.  And like Savannah, drinking in public is allowed.  So I got Victoria's Secret to go and enjoyed the beautiful weather with a cold drink.  After I finished my drink, I went to Voodoo Authentica to pick Sandy up a souvenir and got her a voodoo doll.  Then I headed back to the car.  I drove south to Barataria Preserve, part of Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve.  Parking at the visitor center, I got on the boardwalk Palmetto Trail leading through the Louisiana swamp.  There was a lot of wildlife along this trail.  Near the start, I saw an otter, but he disappeared in the swampy waters before I could get a picture.  And towards the end, I watched two raccoons dart across the trail.  Palmetto Trail ends after about a mile at another parking lot and I got on Bayou Coquille Trail from here.  This trail had a lot of alligators in the canals and bayous.  Fortunately, it's a boardwalk so they can't get the pedestrians.  Where the trail ended at Lower Kenta Canal, Marsh Overlook Trail leads to an overlook at Upper Kenta Canal, where Bayou Coquille flows into it.  The overlook provided nice views of the canals and swampy wetlands all around.  Then I headed back.  Near the visitor center, I spotted another alligator, this one missing his right front paw.  I started heading back to my last hotel, but made one more stop at Twin Canals.  A half-mile trail runs between the two canals out to Upper Kenta Canal.  Heading back into New Orleans, the traffic was really bad.  I checked into the Comfort Inn by the airport and got packed up for a very early flight home.