Our destination for the night was Fountainebleau State Park in Mandeville Louisiana. It isn't far off of the highway, and looked like a nice place to spend the night. I had checked online and saw that there were plenty of sites available, so I did not make an advance reservation. I figured why pay the reservation fee to ReserveAmerica if I could just walk in? Imagine my surprise when I had no trouble getting a site for the night, but the ranger informed me that I still had to pay the fee for ReserveAmerica. Is this something particular to Louisiana State Parks, or is it normal now for any park that uses the ReserveAmerica system? Its my first time NOT having a reservation, and I was getting brave about not having one :-).
Anyway, we arrived by 3:30 in the afternoon, and decided we would take site 8, a long pull-through that enabled us to not have to un-hitch for the night...quicker getaway in the morning :-).
After getting set up, we set out with the dogs to explore the park on foot. Its a fairly large park, 2800 acres that used to be a sugar plantation on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain, which is not a true lake, but a brackish estuary which is the second largest body of inland salt water in the United States ( Utah's Great Salt Lake is number one).
Part of the beach area for the enjoyment of park guests. From the size of the picnic areas this park is very popular with the local population. The dogs were not happy that they are not allowed on the beach here, as it was pretty warm and they really wanted to go swimming.
A long pier extends out into the lake from the beach
More of that drippy Spanish moss giving off a deep south atmosphere
We then took a walk down the boardwalk trail to Alligator Marsh. It was very pretty, and waiting for us down at the end....
the gator! Just hanging out.
We continued walking along the nature trail, but as the sun was getting lower in the sky, the mosquitoes were making their presence known. It was also quite warm, so we started to head back to the campground area. It was a fair distance away, and Chelsea was making her displeasure at walking so far be known. When we finally reached the picnic area, she decided it was enough, and just stopped and laid down. Time to rest! She even had some picnic'ers feeling sorry for her, and brought us over some water for the dogs. Too funny. It was really nice to see their concern for her, and we thanked them very much. She then rallied and we made it back to the trailer and she relaxed in the air conditioning...that's her favorite thing after food!
So tomorrow we plan on driving as far as Shreveport, Louisiana. There is the possibility of thunderstorms tomorrow, so we will be keeping an eye on the weather.
Here's looking at you!!