Originally Posted by cruceno
Once you get south of New Orleans, civilization nearly drops off the map. There's an oil refinery here, and a little town there...but not really worth the trip in my opinion.
Wow! That's exactly the reason I like
the ride to Venice. It's such a different life down there.
Katrina did a bad thing to the region, but the oil rigs and fishing are the lifeblood of Plaquemine's Parish, and it's fascinating to see.
You can ride down 23, which dead ends just past Venice. The road goes out through the docks where all the crew boats and eventually the shrimping boats are parked. The shrimp boat marina is crazy with all the boats so closely packed and the rigging all stacked up.
You have no choice but to ride back up 23, at least as far as Pointe a la Hache or Belle Chase where there are (or used to be) free ferries. Then ride up 39 on the other side of the river.
There's an old fort you can tour (though it may not yet be reopened), a high school built on stilts, and a some really cool small towns along the way. I've camped in Empire. The people have thick New Yawk accents.
Lake Hermitage road is a well maintained gravel which goes back to a small fishing village about as far away from anything as you can get.
It's not the ride of a lifetime, but it's a place like no other. I can't imagine why Brent would suggest it's not worth the trip.
Be aware that it is
quite a ways. It takes longer to get to Venice than you might think. There and back with a couple stops to see stuff will take up most of the day.
Man... just talking about it makes me want to go again.
Oh, and I wanted to add, though you're probably well aware. Shuttle launches often get postponed. Sometimes for only a day, sometimes for a year. Occasionally they'll scrub a launch with just a few seconds left in the countdown. Prepare yourself for the likely possibility that you might have to wait a few days at best to get the opportunity to watch the launch. Most often they scrub because of weather or a faulty sensor. They try again the next day.
When I went to view a shuttle launch (STS-91) the temperature was sitting right at 100°F and right at the safe limit for launching. I waited for four hours in the heat as they discussed whether or not to launch, and at the last minute they gave a go, and it went. Right on schedule. I got lucky.