Lake Effect Fun

Lake Effect 4 thek9harperlee

Last weekend my little sister, Tallulah Bee, and I joined our humans for a beautiful walk along the Lake Pontchartrain lakefront. (Yes, I know that Tallulah is slightly out of focus in this photo. But I look really good and this blog is still all about me . . . so there.) Lake Pontchartrain isn’t really a lake. It’s an estuary, connected to the Gulf of Mexico through a series of outlets. It has brackish water–part fresh and part salt–because it is fed by several freshwater rivers. It even experiences slight tidal changes. Have I dazzled you with my knowledge? I’m just getting started.

Lake Effect 5 thek9harperlee

Lake Pontchartrain is a big lake–about 630 square miles–but it’s pretty shallow–only about 12 to 14 feet deep in most places. It’s crossed by a really, really, really long bridge called the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, which connects what’s known as the South Shore (where we live) to the New Orleans suburbs on the North Shore. The Causeway is 23.83 miles long, making it the longest continuous bridge over water. And speaking of water, the water in Lake Pontchartrain has faced its share of environmental challenges in the past, but thanks to the efforts of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation the water quality is improving and swimming is allowed in some locations. Tallulah seemed pretty interested in that swimming option, but my humans managed to hold her back. Good thing, because it was windy and chilly and I would not have been happy about jumping in to retrieve her.

Lake Effect 1 thek9harperlee

One of the prettiest spots along the lakefront is the Mardi Gras Fountain. Dedicated in 1962, the fountain is surrounded by ceramic tile plaques depicting the crests of New Orleans carnival krewes, the groups that parade during our Mardi Gras season. The fountain was damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005; but, with the help of $1.3 million from FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers, it was refurbished in 2013. Unfortunately, it wasn’t working the day we were there (I have no idea why), but you can click here to watch a beautiful video of the Mardi Gras Fountain in all its splendor.

Lake Effect 2 thek9harperlee

Even if the fountain had been working, I’m not so sure that I could have completely enjoyed it because of a certain little irritating distraction.

Lake Effect 3 thek9harperlee

Could someone please do something about that pesky stick-shredding puppy so we can continue with our lakefront tour? Thank you.

Lake Effect 6 thek9harperlee

Our last stop along the Lake Pontchartrain lakefront offered a lovely view of two buildings that have risen from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The building with the red roof is the New Canal Lighthouse, Louisiana’s only working lighthouse. Dating back to 1838, it was rebuilt by the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and now houses a museum and education center that covers the history of the lighthouse, the ecology of the Pontchartrain Basin, and information about the coastal issues that face South Louisiana.

The building behind Tallulah’s head is the rebuilt Southern Yacht Club. The Southern Yacht Club traces its history back to 1849, making it the second oldest yacht club in the United States (second to the New York Yacht Club). Its third clubhouse, built in 1949, had modest wind and water damage caused by Hurricane Katrina; but it was destroyed by a fire that burned unchecked in the hours after the storm. The new clubhouse opened in 2009. I have a feeling it’s probably not pet-friendly.

Tallulah and I took one last look at Lake Pontchartrain before calling it a day. We’re happy to have added the lakefront to our list of fun new walking spots, and we cannot wait to visit again.

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19 Comments on “Lake Effect Fun”

  1. It looks like a fun excursion and it looks real warm. Your little sister is definitely not the same quality model you are. She is always looking around and not at the camera like you are. No worries about her stealing your spot for a while, but she is cute.

  2. Piglove says:

    Hey beautiful!! What a trip that was. Loved the pictures. XOXO – Bacon

  3. Rosy Rue says:

    What a fab tour! Thanks for sharing! RosyPoodleKisses!

  4. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

    That’s so informative!

  5. Cupcake says:

    What a beautiful and historic place to walk. In that last picture are you and Tallulah tethered together?

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake

    • It does kind of look like we’re tethered together, doesn’t it Cupcake? That’s just the way our leashes look when our human daddy is desperately clinging to them just out of view. 😉 Although sometimes I do think my little sister might have a bit of Velcro on her. She likes to attach herself to me!

    • It really is great. When my human mommy was a little girl, her grandparents lived just around the corner from the lakefront and she remembers playing there with them. She had not been there in more than 45 years. Wow . . . she’s old!

  6. OMD! I can’t believe that we’ve never seen that fountain. It is on my list for the next trip down there.

    • Hopefully it will be working when you’re here. From the pictures we’ve seen, it looks like dusk is the best time to see it. And then you could grab a bit to eat at one of the few remaining restaurants on the lake. What fun!

  7. What a amazing fun day. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Your dogs are so beautiful! I love how Tallulah wanted to jump in the water, so typical for Goldens. Finding a new place to walk is one of my favorite things to do with my Golden Retriever (mix), Lily.

    • Thank you! Tallulah is definitely a water lover. She practically pulled my human daddy into a pond on our park walk this past Saturday. One day I have a feeling we’ll all get pulled into the water behind her. That would be a blog post to share. 😉 Happy walks to you and Lily!


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