Cajun Country Road Trip
My wife Janet and I have traveled extensively within the US and found people in most places pleasant, but sometimes of varying temperaments and hospitality. Never have we met a populace so uniformly polite and pleasant as the folks in the Cajun Country of Louisiana. From the hotel staff to the convenience store clerks, restaurant employees and people we passed on the street, almost to a person we were met with smiles and greetings from total strangers. And they weren’t the canned ones necessitated by the
demands of business, but those of a genuine and pleasant people. One of our goals on these little trips is to skip the chains and touristy places and visit the places where the local folks go. We visited two this trip, and both were good picks.
The first we discovered while driving in the middle of nowhere in Terrebonne Parish near a town called Bayou Black. A nondescript little building with a gravel parking lot, the Bayou Delight Restaurant was surrounded by vehicles with local tags. We turned around and went back, and we were not disappointed. There was live music (an old gentleman on a synthesizer who could sing more Cajun tunes than I have ever heard) and good food: just about any crab, crawfish, shrimp… (…I could go on for a while here) dish you could imagine. There was dancing and good conversation from everyone. We were made to feel welcome, even to the point of receiving our Honorary Cajun Certificates. If you want the genuine experience with genuine good folks check out the Bayou Delight Restaurant.
The second place we visited, Gros Marina, is in Saint Martin Parish. It was literally six miles down a road along Four Mile Bayou near the little town of Stephensville, on Highway 70 north of Morgan City, Louisiana. There is one road that winds along the banks of the bayou, turning to gravel before ending near Gros Marina. This means you drive six miles into this little piece of Cajun Country and six miles out, but it’s worth the trip. The locals travel there mostly by boat (everything from kayaks and aluminum bass-boats to double-deck houseboats). After photographing gators, turtles, egrets, nutria and a variety of wildlife on the way in, we arrived to meet Leroy Gros and his youngest son, Ben. Ben explained that there is food and music there every weekend during the summer. We enjoyed Burgers and Fries and a bucket of beer on the covered veranda beside the bayou. Now, don’t go looking for a lot of fancy digs here. Matter of fact, if you drive in, there’s only one small sign at the entrance, and you’ll have to make your way past outboards hanging for repair in order to get back to the marina. What you will find are good people and a pleasant time “down on the bayou.”
Lastly, if you are reading or have read one of my novels and like(d) it, please go to Amazon.com and leave a review of the book. Tell others why you liked it. The next novel will hopefully be out in the Fall. It will not be a military thriller like Melody Hill or The Gomorrah Principle, but more of a love story about a vet recovering from the horrors of combat. I guarantee it will make you laugh, despite the serious subject matter. The tentative title is Raeford’s MVP.