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  • Writer's picturekerrieonward

Stuffed Sno Ball

I left Houston...I don't know when. I've lost track of time. I have no idea what day it is or what date it is. But, I know I left Houston at some point, since I'm not there any longer.

Our next stop was a campground just outside of Lake Charles, LA, a place I picked because of the song "Lake Charles" by Lucinda Williams.

Did an angel whisper in you ear? And, hold you close and take away your fear?

From the outskirts of Houston and all the way to Lake Charles, torrential downpour. I had to keep my eyes peeled for flooding. Like mountainous areas that get lots of snow, there were height-in-feet markers along certain sections of the road to indicate flood levels. Crimeny. If the road had started to flood, I have no idea where we would have gone, since there was no higher ground anywhere near. Anyhoo, we made it to Lake Charles without being washed away.

Something to note here before I tell you the next thing is that Lake Charles is full of petroleum refineries. Smokestacks amuck.

Before dipping north to White Oak Park campground, where we were to stay for a few days, we stopped for gas. I shit you not, they were out of gas.

I don't want to leave you hanging here, we did fuel up elsewhere and got to the campground.

This area of Louisiana is not infrequently devastated by hurricanes, including two back-to-back hurricanes about 9 months ago. Somehow, the folks running the White Oak Park campground got it all fixed up real good.

The campground was extremely clean, tidy, pretty, and quiet, but the campground was fringed with evidence of the hurricanes' damage. Giant trees ripped up from their roots, fallen onto other trees. Fat tree trunks snapped in half. Thick vegetation that looked as though it had been put through a tumbler.

Side-street note: This is where I encountered the "Let Us Pray" guy. For more information, read that post.

The rain, oh she poured! And, poured and poured. Loud thunderous lightning storms. Poor Henry was terrified.

I worked from this campground for a few days. Henry and I searched for gators. Didn't find any.

BTW, our general direction and ultimate destination at this point was New Orleans, but having never been in the South South, I didn't want to rush to get there.

Next up, we camped at Lake Fausse Pointe State Park in St. Martinville, LA, deep in Cajun country. I love the accent. I'd never heard it in person before.

Now, this place is for proper swamp camping! We parked on top of a small rectangle of cement that surrounded by nothing but real-life swamp. Dark and gloomy. Watery. Humid. Soggy. Droopy, mossy trees. All sorts of critters you can't see but can hear. Mosquitoes. The f*cking mosquitoes!!

I had to keep Henry, the terrier (or as Joy's daughter called him, the "terror"), away from the swamp. I knew he desperately wanted to chase every living thing in that swamp, but I also knew there are 10 or 11 things out there that would swallow him whole.

We short-leash walked around the campground and along the bayous. Watched a guy hand-feed a raccoon, then stopped on a dock that peaked out into the bayou and boom, here came a gator out from the reeds. She/he/they tracked us a bit as we walked around, but we disengaged and moved on.

Side-street note: For texture here, you have to image we are walking around in what feels like a hot sauna that's about to rain. 'Cause this is exactly what it was like.

We followed a trail that led us to a bridge spanning over one of the bayous. I leaned on the railing at the apex of the bridge, my eyes scanning the water methodically for a gator, and I said to Henry, "You know, Hen. This would be the perfect place to see a gator." We turned around to peer the opposite direction from the bridge and there, swimming downstream toward us (but under the bridge, so quit freaking out) was a giant gator.

Was this bit of luck God's gift to me for praying with the dirty, toothless guy a few days ago?

At this moment, I felt as lucky as I did the time when I was kid, in the forest, and came upon an abandoned cabin (so lucky!), which turned out to have a porcupine living in it (the luckiest!).

I think I managed to get one of the best pictures I've ever taken, from this bridge in the swamp.

High on life, Henry and I fled from the mosquitoes in the most oppressive air you can imagine, back to our proper swamp camp, which BTW, had power, so we could run the air conditioner!!!!

Did some work. Blah, blah, blah. Packed up the next day and drove to Metairie, LA, which is located a short 10 miles northwest of New Orleans.

Back in space and time in Houston, my boss (Chris) had asked me where my next major stop was going to be. I told him New Orleans. Well, Chris has spent a ton of time in New Orleans. He's super into and part of the music scene there. Chris is one of those people who has THOUSANDS of friends, so of course he knew someone nearby (in Metairie) who I should also get to know: Jimmy. Chris put the two of us in touch and next thing I knew, I was camped in Jimmy's driveway.

Jimmy is 6th-generation, born and raised in New Orleans. He is also into and part of the music scene. His home is very comfy and in the backyard is the Shack in the Back, a structure built for lounging or reading or napping or socializing. It turns out that Jimmy is one of the kindest people I have ever met. Truly kind. And, he loves dogs.

He let Henry and me hang out in his house. He let me use his washer and dryer, so I didn't have to go to a laundromat. He took us out to dinner. He drove us all around New Orleans, showing us as many interesting sights as he could during our short stay. This included allowing Henry to deposit hair all over his clean truck and hauling Henry's stroller around, taking it out, putting it back in. Henry absolutely ADORES Jimmy.

Jimmy introduced me to my first beignets.

Jimmy took me to my first Porch Concert.

Jimmy explained to me that hurricanes spin.

Jimmy had a birthday during our visit and on his birthday, he shuttled us to and from the car dealership where I was having my car serviced, and to and from the AT&T store located clear in the middle of New Orleans (only to find out they couldn't order the device I need, even though they said they could). Although I wanted to take him out to dinner for his birthday (it was the least I could do, right?), he ended up inviting us out to dinner with him and his daughter (Bonnie, also super nice) to a restaurant that could accommodate Henry and his stroller. To top off his birthday, he gave me a t-shirt that says "Lettuce Pray," which depicts a head of iceberg, praying. The shirt is utter perfection.

Our last night there, he took us for a walk along Lake Pontchartrain, where there are lots of extremely interesting rocks to pick through. Afterward, we went out for a stuffed sno ball.

Although I wasn't 100% positive that I knew what a sno ball was, I guessed it was akin to what we call in Idaho a snow cone or shaved ice. But, I had no concept of a stuffed sno ball.

Indeed, a sno ball is shaved ice with your favorite syrupy flavoring poured over the top. The stuffed part is that before the sno ball is topped off, the center of the shaved ice is hollowed and is "stuffed" with soft-serve ice cream or cheesecake (FSS!) or possible other desserts. Once stuffed, the sno ball is topped off with more shaved ice and syrup, and there you go: Stuffed Sno Ball.

When you go up to the window to order your sno ball, the size you want is indicated by the price. So, instead of saying "I'll take a small sno ball," you'd say, "I'll take a $1.25." Next, you tell them what flavor(s) of syrup you want, and then you tell them if you want your sno ball stuffed or unstuffed.

We both got stuffed sno balls. I think they were $2.75s. Mine was dreamsicle flavored, stuffed with vanilla soft-serve.


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1 Comment

Jun 12, 2021

Well Ms Kerrieonward it was an absolute pleasure to have you and Your Highness Henry the Terrier of The most excellent adventure.

I’m so happy that Chris had you reach out to me. If you ever find yourself back in New Orleans please reach out. There is still so much food to try😂

I hope you and Henry have a wonderful adventure. I’ll keep up will your trip on the blog.

Peace, Love and Safe Travels💜💚💛

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