While driving across Louisiana, we noticed a sign for the Creole Adventure Trail. We were bound for Houston, where Derrick Broze was kicking off the first day of his Conscious Resistance Tour, only we were ahead of schedule and we had a few extra hours to use up before we arrived at the Houston Free Thinker House where the event would be held. I didn’t know what the Creole Adventure Trail was, but it was advertised as a family friendly adventure, so I took the exit and we found our way to the headquarters.
Inside was a reception desk and a whole bunch of activities clearly designed for kids, like what one would find in a kid’s museum, with a Creole theme. The girls, who had complained about having to stop (as if sitting in the car was so much fun) were immediately delighted by the play shrimp boat out front, and they dove right into all the activities inside.
The man at the desk told me about what was available to us in the area. Paid for by a Louisiana tourism association, the Creole Adventure Trail wasn’t just this little museum. While the girls tried on hunting clothes, played with crab fishing nets, and played in the Cajun band (set up so that music resulted from merely touching buttons on the instruments), I got the download on all that there was to see on the trail, which was actually a sixty plus mile drive that looped south to the coast and then back up to the interstate. Based on our timeline, the man suggested we go down to a certain hiking trail where we would likely see some wild alligators.
He talked at length about the trail, and how the alligators weren’t dangerous, assuming we don’t try to catch them. He also told us of a bridge where we could stop and watch dolphin riding the bow of incoming ships. The girls were having tons of fun in the welcome center and didn’t want to leave, but I figured they’d be delighted by what was ahead. They love animals, and I knew they’d be thrilled to see a wild alligator, up close.
We drove down to the recommended trail, and as soon as we got out, a mutiny began to brew. Nobody wanted to hike. It was hot, and as soon as we got started, the mosquitoes found us. Even the prospect of seeing alligators wasn’t enough to entice the girls forward. After maybe a hundred yards of walking, even Laura was having doubts, not wanting to get bitten up by mosquitoes. I was frustrated, and I told them they could all just go sit in the car, but I was going to walk the loop. They took me up on this, and I marched ahead, determined to enjoy myself in spite of their lack of enthusiasm.
The swamps there are beautiful, though it’s such open country that it hardly feels like a swamp. There were hardly any trees. It felt more like a vast grassland, only with shallow water all around. A good portion of the hike was up on a boardwalk.
I saw only one alligator, an adolescent of about five feet, sunning itself right on the pathway. I approached slowly, taking photographs and shooting video simultaneously. I was able to get quite close before it panicked and bolted for the water, moving much more quickly than I was expecting. Further down the trail I encountered a snake of some sort, which I was also able to approach quite closely. It studied me cautiously, eventually slithering away. I also saw many types of birds, and quite a few rabbits. I suppose those gators have to eat something.
We didn’t have time to go to the bridge to watch for dolphins. Instead we took the southerly route towards Texas, driving right along the coastline. We almost hit a turtle that was crossing the road. Laura suggested that we go back and help it across, but traffic was light and I figured it would make it. We probably should have gone back, but I didn’t know if we had time. Our detour added at least an hour to our drive, and we had just about used up the extra time we had. I was glad to have seen some of the swamp country, though I wished the girls had been more interested. Admittedly, my own childhood was full of fun family adventures that I didn’t fully appreciate at the time, or that I downright complained my way through, so I guess this is natural. It’s just really sad to me that kids will cry and beg to watch a movie or play a game on the computer, but the wonders of the natural world are often of little interest to them. I for one will never voluntarily get jacked into the matrix, trading the real world for a digital one, but I often wonder about the younger generation, from whom screens are the primary focus of life. If given the chance to be fed through a tube and live out their lives in a virtual world, I wonder how many people would take it.
So don’t forget about creation, my friends. Get out and explore your world! Go on a hike, jump in the lake, walk barefoot on the earth, climb the trees and listen to the birds. This is our world, so full of wonders, and our time here is short, so let it not slip past unappreciated.