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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

A Little Mix-Up

~Monday, January 23, 2023~

Day 954

It was an interesting day……one that didn’t quite go to plan. While Jeff placed our tag on the campsite post, marking our territory, he quickly realized WE WERE AT THE WRONG CAMPSITE!!! We were in site 64 when we should have been in site 63. Here we were, all set up, ready to enjoy a day of not having to pack up and move. With nearly every campsite open, maybe they’d be understanding and let us stay. Site 35 really was a nice site that we hated to give up. So I called the park attendant, embarrassed with our mistake, to explain what happened. I’m sure the whole time, she’s wondering how these dimwits could make this sort of mistake as the posts and the numbers on them make it very clear where you’re supposed to be. I’ll tell you how it happened……I don’t want to pin my hubby on this one, but since Jeff was the one guiding me in, he would have been the first to see the post. But I think pulling up right before game time between the S.F. 49’ers and the Dallas Cowboys, Jeff’s mind was completely focused on the game. But I’m just as to blame since I didn’t place the tag on the post immediately before unhitching. Otherwise, we would have seen that the numbers didn’t match up. Anyway, after a few polite no mam’s and the explanation that someone else was coming into our site on Wednesday, we had no choice but to move sites.

With half our outdoor stuff brought over to the correct campsite and nearly hitched up, camp host Pat heard about our mistake and stopped by to offer up a suggestion of moving to a different section of the park where the construction noise wouldn’t be as bad. So nice of him. Being that we had already paid for a premium full hookup site, we asked what was left, once we got to the entrance station. We had plenty to choose from. We found out that due to the construction, they hadn’t booked any sites since September and that the people who are here had either booked way in advance like us, or are last minute drop-ins. Site 17 it is. In fact, it may be even better than site 63. I’m sure Sadie was relieved that the pack up and drive was a short one after spending hours on end in the car as of late.

By the time we moved sites and got resettled in, it was mid-afternoon, not really leaving us enough time to tour around today. So instead, we opted for walking a section of the park with Sadie to get the lay of the land. The mosquitos were out, but not in full force with the cooler weather. Along the way, we ran into a few critters and 2 or 3 fellow campers…..first, a wild pig about to come out from the forest, only to run back in after he saw or heard us. Then we ran into camp host Pat doing his final rounds of the day which can’t be too demanding considering the small crowd that is here. Anyway, he told us about a 12-foot alligator that lives just down the road from the entrance to the park. Since we just learned about this right before dark, we’ll have to check him out another day. Somehow, we also got into a conversation about Pat’s seasonal work at the park. He works here from September through March/April, then heads to the Badlands, working at Custer State Park in South Dakota to spend his summer. He said you wouldn’t believe how perfect the weather is at that time of year. We remember. It was an amazing time to be there.

Wrapping up our walk, we learned a little bit more about the park. Palmetto Island State Park comprises 1,299 acres and is located on the Vermilion River, with a lush, green environment teeming with birds and wildlife, and yes, Palmettos that form a dense understory in the hardwood forest. This climate is very well suited to Iris’s as well with the rarest being the Abbeville Red Iris. This is Louisiana’s only endemic plant, which means it does not grow naturally anywhere else. It was discovered by W.B. MacMillan in the 60’s and stands 4 to 6 feet tall. Wow! I’ve never seen an iris so tall. Hopefully, we’ll have an opportunity to see this rare species as we tour Vermilion Parish. And we look forward to the many things there are to do here.

Now what better way to celebrate being in The South than making sure your meals are all about southern cooking. While I whipped up a spicy rice dish, Jeff was enjoying his little party outside, cooking a little Creole seasoned blackened chicken on his Blackstone while listening to a little Cajun Zydeco music 🎶🪗.

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