There was plenty of excitement when the year started. A new year, a new decade. When I hit the road in 2020, I wanted to find some of the lesser known places.
My first stop was at the Old Sarto Iron Bridge in Avoyelles Parish, followed by the Plaquemine Locks near the Mississippi River. Both of these spots are on the Atchafalaya Water Heritage Trail and show how precious our waterways are, and how they came to shape our state.
We also found some of the more romantic places in Acadiana as we celebrated Valentines Day. This includes the deep, but tragic love story of Evangeline. Rather than delivering a bouquet, we showed up to Rip Van Winkle Gardens and all of its beauty.
Mardi Gras came quickly thereafter, and I wanted to find the perfect place to see all of the parades. It's hard to believe, that Mardi Gras, at least for me, is the last time things felt "normal".
Then COVID, closures, and stay at home orders. We were off the road for a period of time, while we were in home studios. But as some of the restrictions started lifting, we got back out there trying to find things we could do while continuing the social distancing.
All were outside venues. We took a stroll down Main Street in New Iberia, enjoyed a summer morning at Cypress Lake on the UL campus. Kept fit at the St. Julien Sports Park. We enjoyed window shopping in Abbeville, and planned a picnic in Magdalen Square. I took one of my favorite routes, LA 31, winding along Bayou Teche in St. Martin Parish.
We tackled one of the Games of Acadiana challenges at the Northup Trail, following the footsteps of freedom. And enjoyed the peace and quiet of Lake Faussee Point.
Just as things were beginning to become more normal, the unprecedented 2020 hurricane season took aim at Louisiana. We visited Lake Charles, ground zero for Hurricane Laura, and heard the mayor's plea to not forget them. We were getting back on track when the Gator Chateau reopened, and we celebrated the 300 year history of the great city of Opelousas. Then, yet another strike. This one from Hurricane Delta.
Once we picked up the pieces again, we got back on the road and headed toward Breaux Bridge, where crawfish is king and home to some pretty famous people. By Halloween we visited a pair in Franklin.
They didn't really think much about the paranormal when they bought the Trowbridge house in Franklin, but are believers now! We took a trip to Church Point, a truly Cajun hot spot in Acadia Parish.
But as COVID started spiking again, we tried to stay outside. The air was cooling off, so it was a great day to enjoy Lafayette's Girard Park. Then finished the year almost as we started. Showing how the Intracoastal Waterway not only shapes our state, but also employs thousands keeping the Louisiana lifestyle alive.
We're hoping for better days in 2021. Who knows where we'll end up next. For Acadiana's NewsChannel, I'm Dave Baker.