Moving Campsites at Fontainebleau

Monday, March 16, 2009
Mandeville, LA

It’s been raining since Saturday here at Fontainebleau State Park on the north side of Lake Pontchartrain. The ground in the park doesn’t drain real well so there are small lakes throughout lending a realistic touch to the thought of camping in a swamp. We did have a break in the weather Sunday afternoon when we took a long walk around the park to stretch our legs a bit and to check out the facilities.

This is a very busy state park. We were lucky to have gotten a space at all on Friday, and could only have it until this morning as someone has it reserved for the week. So the first task after coffee today was to find out what’s available and pick a new site. Our thought to stay for another week — until next Monday — was nixed by the park office. “Sorry, we’re booked solid next weekend… there’s nothing available… spring break, you know.” We could, and did, find a site we could have until Friday though. At least we weren’t kicked out altogether. In addition to the spring break crowd there are a lot of snowbirds from “up north” moving around and biding their time until spring breaks back home. We’ve run into them all over the past few weeks. They’re a nervous bunch who, I believe, think they’ve been away from home far too long already. They can’t wait to get back.

So between rain showers this morning we moved to the new site. It took a couple hours and, of course, as soon as we were done it stopped raining.

The weather the next few days is supposed to be nice and sunny and we’re looking forward to getting the bikes on the famous Tammany Trace Bike Trail, a 31 mile long “rails-to-trails” recreation project developed on the old Illinois Central Railroad’s right-of-way. We won’t ride all 31 miles but a good 20 mile ride sounds about right. It turns out we can take our bikes right to the Abita Brewing Co.’s Brewpub just up the road in Abita Springs. Wherever we go we like to stop and sample the products at small craft brewers like Abita and almost always have a great time.

There are also some natural areas to explore, some hikes to walk, and, of course, we don’t want to shortchange ourselves on thinking-time and a bit of solitude. It’s all good for the soul.