Saturday, October 19, 2013

Exploring the Northshore

of Lake Pontchartrain.

This is a view of the lake with the causeway in the background.  The causeway was constructed in the 50's and 60's.  At 24 miles long, it is the second longest bridge over a body of water in the world, the connection to New Orleans.

Some more facts about the lake.
  1. It is a brackish estuary.
  2. It is 630 square miles in size.
  3. The average depth is 12' to 14' deep.
  4. It is connected to the Gulf of Mexico.
  5. It is one of the largest wetlands along the Gulf Coast.
  6. The Native American name was Okwata (wide water).
  7. It forms the northern  boundary of New Orleans.
  8. In 1600 B.C., the Choctaw inhabit the northern shore.
Our exploration started in Lacombe on Lake Road.

This is a popular place to wet a hook.  If you want to go fishing...this is the place, very close to where we are located. The road ends at the lake.

We do some of our volunteer jobs here.

Here is part of the Tammany Trace bike path that goes for 31 miles.  It is a rails to trails path. Now all I need are the roller blades I gave up a few years ago!!!  The path links 5 towns along the way.

Our next stop was at one of the refuges in the complex of 8. I think we could use a little pruning here, what do you think?  The woodpecker in the sign is the Red-cockaded Woodpecker, a threatened species on the refuge.

Next on the agenda is Fontainebleu State Park where you can enter for the day at no cost if you are a senior citizen.

It is a beautiful park with grand live oak trees over 100 years old, draped with Spanish moss.

The main reason for stopping here was to spend some time checking out the old sugar plantation where the remaining ruins still stand.

Bernard de Marginy accumulated and lost a fortune in his lifetime, 1785 to 1868.  He was responsible for growing sugar cane and the refinement of sugar from 1828 to 1852.

Mandeville town was owned and developed by him.  

There is a small sand beach and this nice pier to walk out on. We enjoyed a walk on one of the trails where you can still see the effects of Katrina where there no longer was a boardwalk.

It is a very nice state park.

This is a famous little place on Lamarque street called the Dew Drop Social and Benevolent Hall where people come together to listen to jazz.  Louis Armstrong has played here, and the music has been going on since 1895.

The next time the doors are open is October 25, and we plan on being there.

It is the oldest unaltered jazz hall.

Our next stop was in Covington. I have been hearing about muffulettas since we got here and now I want to try one. DiMartino's is the place as this is their specialty.  We both got one and we were not disappointed.

This was it.  It WAS delicious, and what made it so good was the olive salad that you can see on top.  The bread was just right, and tasty too.

Covington is the county seat for St. Tammany Parish (county) where we reside at this time.

There is also a Kohl's store where we stopped to see if I could find a skort.  I found just the right one...denim...for only $9.00!!!

Covington was established in 1813.

Now that our appetite was sated, it was on to Madisonville to explore the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum where we heard about the citizens of New Orleans, during the Civil War, left the city and fled to the northshore because they would not support the Union.

We drove out to get this glimpse of the Tchefuncte Light House.  It is not open to the public, but I was able to get my book stamped at the museum.
It was built in 1837.

This was as close as we could get.

Madisonville was established in 1810.  Many people took the steamboat, The Camelia, across Lake Pontchartrain to Madisonville,  and it seems to be the first place many of them settled. 

In 1803, the United States acquires 828,000 square miles of territory from the French with the Louisiana purchase.

In 1812, Louisiana is admitted to the Union.

We ran out of time so the other towns will be visited another day.

Until next time...



  1. I'm envious that you're walking around in shorts! Maybe I'll get to try one of those muffulettas this winter.

    1. Well Judy, you will be here pretty soon and then you can be in shorts too. I'm sure you will enjoy the moof-a-lotta as did I.

  2. I incorrectly thought that when I followed a blog it would show up on my blog list. That isn't the case, so now I think I've taken care of that by adding a few more of my favorites. :)

  3. Any place that has good food is the right place to volunteer as far as I'm concerned. Looks like you've found another winner.

  4. Isn't Mandeville an interesting spot? We loved going to the park there on the lake. Have you made it to Pepe's in LaCombe for Mexican food yet? Not as good as Texas but.............. Be sure to borrow a canoe and go explore Bayou LaCombe. It's pretty too. Looks like you are enjoying the area.

    1. Yes, Mandeville is a great place. We did not care for Pepe's...don't like black beans!!! Yes, kayaking is in our future. Wish y'all were here.

  5. We stayed in Fontainebleu State Park the year we visited Louisiana. It is a great park. I'm glad you enjoyed the olive salad. John would have liked it, too. I don't like those little black or green balls, personally.

    1. I like the green olives, but NOT the black ones!!!