Sunday, February 27, 2011

Saturday - Paddling, birds, good food, old friends & new friends

Another crappy day in paradise. High 70's-low 80's and lots of sun, as evidenced by Geezer Mike's arms & legs! After a little breakfast, we loaded the boats to paddle Bayou Segnette (pronounced locally as "S'nyet"). We went down along the levee, which is being rebuilt for hurricane protection. Saw lots of waterbirds, the coolest being a bunch of Black-necked Stilts.

Barataria Preserve - good paddling

Black-necked Stilts

Stopped for lunch along the levee and found out how sticky Mississippi delta clay can be. This stuff could cling to teflon! Thought we'd try a circle route, but the GPS maps were not up-to-date and the delta landscape seems to have been redesigned after Katrina. Since we were already 4+ miles from the launch site, we were tired from fighting the wind (OK, Al was fine - Mike was tired!) and unsure of our directions, we headed back on the route we came in on. After 8 miles on the trip, two muddy, sun bleached, hungry & thirsty Geezers loaded the boats, grabbed a shower, a Whelan and headed for the French Quarter.

Dinner was raw oysters and gumbo at Felix's. You just stand at the bar while the guy shucking oysters keeps them coming - right on the stone bar top. Who needs plates? Mix your own cocktail sauce with the hottest horseradish in the world and slurp them puppies down! Hog Heaven!

While walking along Bourbon St., we looked at the throngs of people stumbling along and spied Art Newell, a fellow we had both worked with at DEC! Had a nice chat with Art and Jackie and heard about their trip while we explained our travels. Small world!

Bourbon Street on a Saturday night a week before Mardi Gras was wild! People watching here is about the most fun you can have anywhere. We heard some great Jazz, some Cajun music and sampled some local beers and the beverage for which the street is named!

Revelers on Bourbon Street
We caught the last ferry back to the West Bank where we met a local guy, Bryan who gave us some great tips on places to go and restaurant recommendations. He urged us to spread the word about the Big Easy to our friends up north. If Bryan is an example of the local hospitality and friendliness, New Orleans is in good hands! Thanks, Bryan!

Today, Sunday, is dedicated to preparing to welcome the Geezerettes to share our adventures for the next 10 days.

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