Sugarcane Alley

      What is Sugarcane Alley, besides the name of a 1983 film by whose association I have gotten a lot of "hits"? 
    To me, "Sugarcane Alley" is that area stretching from Morgan City westward to the border of that area of Southwestern Louisiana which grows rice. Roughly the longitude of  Abbeville.  This article will be about a very limited part of that area. To address it all would be overwhelming.
      This write will look at the area between Franklin and New Iberia, including neither. The southern portion of the Atchafalya Basin will be the northern border and US 90, the new four lane version, will be the southern limits. I have not chosen to include Franklin because books could be written on that city and likewise with New Iberia. I am going to concentrate on the small towns of Baldwin, Charenton, Olivier and Jeanerette,
    Traveling I-10, get off  at Lafayette. The stretch of I-10 between Lafayette and Baton Rouge offers only a few scenes of the Basin worth seeing with no reason to continue unless you are going to explore east of Lafayette and west of the Atchafalaya River, featuring the larger towns of  Breaux Bridge, St. Martinville and the Basin towns of Henderson and Coteau Holmes, the home of Lake Fausse State Park. After enjoying that area, retrace to Lafayette and take La.182 south and get ready to soak it in.  If you are worried about missing the swamps,  they can be seen around Morgan City, where there are swamp tours, also. An article on the road east of Lafayette can be found here.
      La.182 is what was US 90, a highway which I believe features more Americana than the famed Route 66. It is also a lot easier to follow. For "Easy Rider" fans, the 1968 movie, it is their route into and out of New Orleans. So put on the sound track and cruise along.
      The highways which connect the towns in my Sugarcane Alley are Louisiana 87, Louisiana 182 and the forementioned US 90. First of all, just forget about the present US 90. Use it only to cross the big waterways, then get back on 182.
      To try to organize this little tour, I want to start at Olivier.  Named for the Olivier Plantation. It is a typical rural community. This is plantation country and sugar has been "king" here for a very long time. Olivier is on La 87, the road following the north shore of Bayou Teche. The major towns were on the south shore. 87 bypasses them and it's principal purpose was to connect the fields and refineries. My guess. Sugarcane Alley's high ground follows the natural levee of the Bayou Teche, a former route of the Mississippi and Red Rivers. It empties into the Atchafalaya at Morgan City. Beyond is swamp.
        This article is not going to be about the Sugarcane Industry. I have a
page that is set aside for that. Those pictures are the visual affects of that industry. Something the inhabitants of this area have to look at and deal with, in differing portions, most of the year.  Here I will be trying to feature the beauty, both natural and man-made which defines Sugarcane Alley.
H ow To and Why Should You Go There?
From field to Refinery, the carts and, more recently, semis  carry the sugarcane. Pictures taken along La.87.
    Louisiana 87 is a true bayou road.  It follow the bayou's every bend. La.182, formerly US 90. takes a few shortcuts across the bends, which is good because the areas next to the bayou were saved from high- way induced development and in many areas appear as they did a hundred years ago.
     Connecting 87 and 182, roughly corresponding to the locations of present and historical sugarcane plants and communities are the bridges across the Teche. This model is repeated. I don't know the vintage. Let's say, "old". They are one lane, turntable bridges, not draw bridges.. The one on the left is the LSU bridge on the grounds of the LSU Experimental Station.  The other is near Irish Bend.
The gravel road connecting 87 with the LSU Bridge. Yes, they're Oaks.
Louisiana Highways
Louisiana Scenic Highways
Louisiana Scenic Tours
More of the top road, La.87.
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