Exploring Louisiana

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I wish I could say my cross country trip thus far has been an out of this world adventure- each day bringing new crazy adventures, but alas here I am sitting in Louisiana trying to figure out where to go next. I left the little haven of that coffee shop in Gulfport, Mississippi and headed west for New Orleans. I was so excited to explore this historical city for a night. Though I had never been, many friends of mine had experienced this little French city and had a blast. I decided to stay in a hotel right off of Canal Street about a 15 minute walk from all of the action on Bourbon Street. After I dropped off my luggage and changed into something a little less dirtbag, I hit the town. I was mesmerized by the sites and sounds coming from each storefront whether it be a bar or gallery. My gawking was eventually interrupted by the first torrential downpour I experienced in Louisiana. I dipped into a little dive bar on Bourbon street called Beer Fest which featured hundreds of beers on tap.

I chatted to the super helpful bartender about the “must do” in New Orleans if you’re only there one night. Though as many people probably know, New Orleans is a difficult task in one day. It was decided that I needed to see some form of live music, drink a SMALL Hurricane, see some history, and eat a beignet. Most of all I wanted to walk along the French Quarter and experience the magic that resides in this small space. After waiting out the rain and paying my tab I opted to leave the popular drinking street and head to a more somber area. The bartender recommended I checked out the Museum of Death. After looking it up and realizing how spooky it was going to be I knew I had to check it out. For obvious reasons  there was no photography permitted. This tiny museum exhibited things from the history of death pictures to serial killers and their eerie lives behind bars. For warning: this is not the museum for the faint of hear nor is it for people under 18. Though it was incredibly interesting, I quickly hightailed it out of there as I wanted to experience something a little more upbeat and positive. Once leaving the museum I resumed the task of finding the coolest buildings and the unique spots of the city. I meandered around Jackson Square which overlooks the river and St. Louis Cathedral. Eventually I found my way to Armstrong Park, aptly named after famed jazz artist, Louis Armstrong. This park has played a huge role in New Orleans’ history. Throughout the years it is a place that allowed slaves to buy back their freedom by raising money through selling food and wares. Every Sunday since the 1700s, there is a huge farmers market and drum circle. It is a place for people from every walks of life come together and celebrate. For more information look up Congo Square. I continued my way through the city by way of galleries. I was so impressed by all of the talent produced by local artists- whether it was in the form of street art, fine arts painting, photography, or even masquerade masks. There was truly something from everyone. Eventually I stumbled upon a fun bar full of people and live music and finally tried NoLa’s famous hurricane.

After calling it an early night, I started the next day bright and early by enjoying a beignet from the famous Cafe Du Monde (remember it is CASH ONLY). After enjoying a quiet morning walking along the river my time in New Orleans had come to an end. I headed up north to go camping in Kisatchie National Forest. As I began my journey northward, I got pulled over and got a speeding ticket- it wouldn’t be a road trip without one right? Unfortunately I let it get to me and was in a pretty sulky mood the rest of the day. needless to say when I arrived to my original campground brought to you by murky, mud roads and ominous black skies that lead to my second torrential downpour in Louisiana, I was pretty stoked to leave this state. I drove to the Dogwood Campground next to the ranger station and set up camp for the night. Though it wasn’t by any means as secluded like the original site, it was a place to rest my head for the night and reflect on my previous 24 hours. On any road trip you find yourself on you’re going to experience undesirable hiccups like speeding tickets and rain, but that is all part of the territory. For me, I am grateful for my time in Louisiana and the ability to scratch it off my list, but stoked to not come back for quite some time. What isa hiccup you’ve experienced while hitting the road and how did you not let it affect your attitude in a negative way? Heres to so many more miles ahead.

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