Sunday, July 14, 2013

Lake Arthur's Lake

Forty miles southwest of Lafayette, LA, as the crow flies (or fifty-two miles if the crow is walking) is the small town of Lake Arthur (pop. 2,700).

We drove through the rustic downtown toward the large city park on the lake's shore. Here a large live oak welcomed visitors to the town and park.
As we stood in front of the oak, our view featured cypress trees,

a pier,

and a beautiful boardwalk that encircled a beach and roped swimming area. Just a short walk on the boardwalk took us out where the breeze was a little stronger and the view of the lake and the shore more dramatic.
Even though it was early in the morning, there were few people in the park. Two fishermen were the only ones on the pier.
We then took a short drive around town and happened on this inlet with these boats. Boat captains were an important part of early settlers lives, since the nine-mile-long lake connects with the Mermentau River, a waterway to the Gulf of Mexico.
Over the past 150 years, the area has been the site of lumbering businesses (1840, the first sawmill) and rice farming (1876, the first rice mill).
Today, small businesses in town and the surrounding towns provide employment opportunities for Lake Arthur residents.
Our drive took us along the shore on the aptly-named Pleasant Street,
featuring moss-covered live oaks

and piers leading to gazebos,

boat docks, and
and sheltered places to relax.

We then headed south on Calcasieu Avenue, crossing over the Mermentau River.

We then took Highway 717 and photographed this barn on our way to a group of homes along the eastern shore of Lake Arthur.

And now it was time for lunch.

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