As we neared the end of our holiday in New Orleans we felt it was time to check out the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. To do so we had to take the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. The causeway is two parallel bridges over the lake, the longest span being the longest bridge in the world over water. It measures 23.87 miles or 38.42 kms. If you have the time, please read the link – it is quite interesting.
Driving onto the causeway gave me goose bumps. The sight of the bridge going off into the distance - and the water stretching out on both sides, made me feel like we were alone – suspended in watery space. It was an unusual feeling. I could well imagine what it would be like to drive over this bridge in the heavy fog that seemed to be a nightly occurrence in New Orleans.
The north shore of Lake Pontchartrain feels like affluent cottage country. We were astounded by the obvious wealth and the huge houses with their huge boats moored at their docks.
The contrast from the city of New Orleans to the North Shore was almost a culture shock. Don’t get me wrong – there were some sweet little houses nestled in the pines and they had obviously been there for a long time.
Somehow in our wanders we managed to drive down to the shore of the lake and we found a large parking area and a boat launch. As we ate our picnic, a couple strolled past our car and stopped short when they saw our license plate.
“Did you drive here from Alberta?” they asked.
Swallowing quickly we beamed and proudly explained our journey to them as the gentleman pointed out the hitch on our small car. (The Man drives a Volkswagen Golf – diesel – a small car with a lot of torque – enough to tow our little 13 foot trailer)
They then proceeded to tell us how the area we were standing in had been under 8 feet of water because of the last hurricane they had endured. They told us of the precautions they always took when a hurricane was coming such as parking their vehicle on high ground and tying their canoe to the front porch. That way they could paddle to their vehicle and drive for supplies and then get back home again.
I tried to imagine what this kind of life would be like. We had already been looking at houses and trying to figure out a way to live in New Orleans – but were we ready for such a change? We’re used to shoveling snow for most of the year!
As you look at these pictures – some of you who have seen the Brad Pitt movie – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button might recognise the lighthouse. Brad sailed right past this one in the movie. We were so excited when we recognised it as we sat in The Barn with the snow falling outside and the movie playing in front of us. It took us right back to the conversation with this couple and the day we spent on the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain.