|Boardwalk through Camp Salmen Nature Park|
Over bowls of cereal, we struggled with our obvious dilemma--where could we go that was outside the city yet close enough to explore before the afternoon heat fried us all. "How about Camp Salmen?" Paul suggested, and off we went across the lake toward Slidell.
|One of countless grasshoppers|
With every step we took forward, the ground seemed to come alive around us. Enormous grasshoppers circled our feet, and Charles thought we had brought him to Heaven. Overcome with both fear and excitement, he was shaking each time he reached his small fingers down to catch another one. Before we knew it, we had a Ziploc bag full of the black and red-striped insects.
|Garden designed around Camp Salmen ruins|
After a quick detour to the Dollar Store to buy another bug catcher, we stopped off in Old Towne Slidell for a burger and fried pickles at the Times Grill. The restaurant is located on Front Street, which runs along Bayou Bonfouca. Old Towne houses several antique shops, clothing stores and Heritage Park with its playground, walking paths and boat launch.
For the more adventuresome, Slidell is also the launching site for tours of Honey Island Swamp and The Nature Conservancy's White Kitchen Preserve. Skipping the swamp tour for today, we did swing by The Nature Conservancy site where a short boardwalk offered a peak into the area's wetlands as well as a chance to see a bald eagle nest.