Despite the traffic in tourists (many from France, in fact) even now 'Acadiana' is special, different, and surprising.
Pecan plantations.......rice mills and cotton gins..........signs reading 'We buy alligators' (and they do not mean 'alive').......Spanish moss and Resurrection ferns draping ancient live oaks.......sleepy bayou waters.........lakes born from the ever-changing Mississippi River..... place names taken from French and Spanish settlers as well as the Native American tribes that predated the European explorers... Almost everything you see is here by the consent of Nature and immense effort of Man: steep levees hold back waters (mostly); oxbows dissipate the force of fast-moving rivers; alligators move back into bayous where once they were thought extinct, beneath rookeries of snowy egrets (also once hunted to near-destruction.)
Lake Fausse Pointe State Park is 22 miles (give or take) from small Henderson, Louisiana. One gets off the interstate and almost immediately finds that the road (no longer gravel, mercifully) takes off along the base of a huge levee....on and on....and on....until you reach the remote park. A local fisherman (who was having no luck) described trying to pull in a catfish 'before the gators get to it.' The mosquitoes were equally enterprising.
Other denizens of the park are also used to the easy life. We were told that this park regular was always on hand when fish were being cleaned.
This hawk was ubiquitous (and loud) for the entire time we were in the park.
These pictures were taken while other campers were moving into a space. The presence of four humans (one plainly stalking with camera) did not raise so much as an eyebrow......
Things that were scarce:
doctors; hospitals; emergency rooms; drug stores; grocery stores or gas stations......or cell signals, not to mention accurate maps and legitimate GPS coordinates that meshed with the visible landscape and highways. Oh, yeah.....there's a story there.