I decided to take a road trip and soon learned a few things that should be my top priority. First, I need to refresh my geography knowledge as in relations to current events. I need to prepare in advance, I know whether or not my destination was affected by any Act of God. Next, I need to look at the weather forecast as rain is very common in the south. Most importantly, bug spray should be kept in my vehicle at all times as nowhere here is mosquito free.
I decided to venture to Lake Martin in Breaux Bridge Louisiana. Beings that I went on a whim and was not prepared, I found many roads closed as they are still holding water or damaged due to the flood. I drove for miles on Breaux Bridge highways with many acres that have turned into temporary swamps. The areas where water has receded, had dead grass as the water hovered over the land for a long timeframe.Upon my arrival, I noticed that almost every walking bridge had been damaged and closed. I found one bridge that I could cross that was covered in green algae and duckweed the height of the white soles of my tennis shoes. I had to walk very gently and occasionally stretch one leg in front of me, as to point my toes as a ballerina. I walked ever so carefully on the boards to ensure I would not fall through because I was crossing through an alligator habitat. Once I made it to a stable road, I realized I had been eaten from head to toe with mosquitoes and they were determined to keep following me.
I begin to watch the few birds as they flew back and forth between astounding cypress trees. I pull my camera out to try to capture the glory of nature when I heard thunder break out from behind me. Low and behold, black clouds were ahead and rolling in pretty swiftly. I tried to take in as much of the nature around me and as many pictures as I possibly could before returning to my vehicle. I sat in my car hoping the rain would pass and was able to occupy my time on the phone with a family member. Once I got off the phone, I decided to pull up the radar and unfortunately to the north, south, east and west of me was the alerting red colors of thunderstorms. That was enough for me to make the decision to start heading back home. Needless to say, I never made it to the Lake Martin only the swamps that surround it.
As I pulled out onto the highway, I decided the I couldn’t help but go through the antique section in Breaux Bridge and see if there would be any spots I could capture just a few more pictures. I did find two stores with some interesting focal points. I snapped a few and headed back to the car as it was still a torrential downpour. The storms followed me all the way home and to no surprise, there was a multi-vehicle accident on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge. I returned home several hours later than expected. I was slightly disappointed however not surprised as day trips planned on spur of the moment usually ends up being a funny story for me to tell the future.
I did learn one valuable lesson, getting away for a couple hours no matter the circumstances is worth it, as you break from the everyday hustle and bustle of life. Despite uncontrolled weather events, traffic stops and mosquitos, the state of Louisiana is one of the most breathtaking states. There is a multitude of perfect spots all over the state that is photo worthy. No matter where your roots are settled in this state, a short drive will expose nature at it’s finest.
Written/Photos by Jennifer Hutchinson