A must visit if you like big old whales, high bluffs… Oh, and plenty of varied history too

I admit the following:  I recently visited the Grand Ecore Visitor Center in Natchitoches Parish primarily to see the big old whale skeleton and the super high bluff looking towards the Red River.

But I saw so much more.  Though the view and the big old whale definitely were my favorites.

Grand Ecore is a small community in Natchitoches Parish, just about five miles from the City of Natchitoches.  We stopped in at the Natchitoches Visitor’s Center on Front Street this past Saturday and asked the lady working there about the Grand Ecore Visitor’s Center.  She told us about the big old whale skeleton and that sealed the deal that we make the trip.  We knew about the bluff, and we were fairly committed to going just to see the bluff…. But then the big old whale came along and it became a must do trip.

This was a beautiful Saturday, and it was a bit surprising to me that we were the only visitors there.  The nice guy tending to the visitor center instructed us to sign in.  I noticed there weren’t many signatures for the weekend and that is sad… When I was a kid, getting to see a big old whale skeleton and look down at one of this country’s most major rivers from a super duper high bluff would have been a huge treat.  Kids today just have different ideas of fun… Wow, don’t I sound nice and older person-ish saying this?!!!  LOL!!!  But for real, they do… A big ole whale and a really nice view just don’t do it for kids today like they did for kids of a few yesteryears back.  Blah!


Well anyway, I was kind of bummed right off the bat because the guy there said we couldn’t take aerial photos of the super duper view by flying our quadcopter above the place.  He explained that it is federal property and he did not think we could do this, but did give me a card and told me to email him and he could double check with his higher ups about my seemingly tiny request.  He was really nice, and he helped me get over my sadness about the aerial photos by pointing me to the big old whale skeleton.  That made me happy.  And the girls were seriously delighted.  I’m pretty sure they weren’t faking it either.  We all stared at it, in a high degree of amazement.


The big old whale skeleton was actually an incredibly well preserved skeleton of the skull of a pre-historic whale– a Basilosaurus to be exact.  The skeleton was nicely encased in a rectangular crystal clear glass display with lighting strategically directed towards it so you could see every little detail.  And let me say this… this whale is a sight to behold.  Especially when you behold the sight while taking into account that this particular mammal lived 34 to 40 million years ago.  Now that’s an old whale.

Far as the big part in the big old whale, I read in the literature placed next to the display that an adult Basilosaurus grew as long as fifty to sixty feet.  Whoa!  Wow!  Now that’s a big long whale.  At that very moment, when I read that very tidbit, I completely understood the museum curator’s (that is what I am calling the Visitor Center guy) answer to the question I had just asked.

Me:  “Where is the rest of the whale?”

Curator:  “In Baton Rouge.”

Me:  “It sure would be neat if it was all here.”

Curator:  “It’s too big.”

Well, considering the head itself is no more than five feet, yeah, it made sense now,  at this moment, that the remainder of the skeleton is perhaps too large to display at the Grand Ecore Visitor’s Center.

The whale skeleton was found in 1979 by archeologists studying the Montgomery Landing (Creole Bluff).  It is always most interesting to realize that Louisiana, up to almost Shreveport, was once covered by a warm shallow sea… Once being a bunch of million years ago.  I had learned that interesting fact many years ago (1995 or 6, I believe) when the level of Toledo Bend Lake was super low due to a ridiculously awful drought and people on the southern end of the lake in particular were finding teeth which belonged to the Megalodon Sharks which actually existed after dinosaurs but still 3-10 million years ago or so.  Possibly by then, the sea only covered up to central Louisiana, since the shark teeth were only found as far as I know on the southern end of the lake.


One more thing about the Basilosaurus … It’s name is actually a bit misleading.  The name itself, though really an attractive name, was perplexing me and being that one of my strange inclinations is to dissect every word I hear for meaning… I knew basilosaurus translated to king reptile.  Well, actually my smarty pants daughter insists the suffix means lizard and not reptile, though I am not convinced she is one hundred percent correct.  Either way, a whale is a mammal, and so I thought any whale from any time and any place would be a mammal.  I wikipedia’d it and found that yes, a basilosaurus is in fact a mammal.  What had happened was that by the fossilized skeleton fragments which were originally found, the creature was initially thought to be a reptile… Or lizard.  Once the people who were lucky enough to study this beast realized it was in fact a whale, it was proposed that the Basilosaurus be instead named zeuglodon (which, by the way, translates to yoked tooth).

But a name change could not become reality.  Apparently, per taxonomic rules, the first name will remain permanent.  Who knew?

From Theworldofanimals.com
From Theworldofanimals.com

Oh, still one more thing about this basilosaurus (I love this name “basilosaurus) had legs.  Yes, legs!  Two teenincy legs.  Teenincy being relative to the big old bodies they had.  In case you were wondering just what teenincy was in the case of the big old whale’s legs… Approximately 14 inch hind limbs on an adult basilosaurus.  The legs were suspected to be used for swimming or other non-walking activity.

One more thing about the basilosaurus (I’m sorry, I just can’t help myself)… The basilosaurus head did not have room for a melon like modern toothed whales (well, that’s what Wikipedia says anyway, though I never knew fitting or not fitting a melon in a whale head could somehow categorize it).  The basilosaurus brain is smaller in comparison to modern whales, and the basilosauruses aren’t believed to have had the social capabilities of modern whales.  Poor basilosaurus.

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Now, I will at last move past the basilosaurus, as difficult as it is, and get to the high bluff.  How high is high, I imagine any interested reader is asking.  Eighty feet high… Eighty entire feet above the Red River.  That’s a mighty high bluff.  And, that’s a lot of underlying Tertiary strata!  We wouldn’t have even had to raise our quadcopter up many feet to get aerial footage… If only we could have flown it there.

Well, getting past my grief on that account, I must say it is a really nice view, the Grand Ecore Visitor Center view is.  And there are tables and sitting areas to just chill, sit back, enjoy the view and think about the history right before your eyes.


There is also a nice walking trail… Not very long but a pleasant walk… Which offers another view of the Red River.  It also meandors past trenches from the Civil War and these are neat to see.

Inside the Visitor’s Center, there are plenty of displays telling about this, that, and the other.  This being the Red River, that being Indian history, and the other being fish, birds, etc of the area and telling about rocks and what’s in the dirt should you happen to dig really deep… Basically all kind of things.  The displays are large, neatly arranged, bright, colorful, eye-catching and professional-looking… and all thanks to the United States Army Corp of Engineers, which operates the Visitor’s Center.

All in all, whale and bluffs and Civil War and all, I highly recommend a visit to the Grand Ecore Visitor’s Center.  Just leave your drones at home.

It’s something to see if you live nearby, and even if you don’t live so nearby.  Who knows, you may even have a whale of a time.  Or at least a basilosaurus of a time 🙂


52 thoughts on “A must visit if you like big old whales, high bluffs… Oh, and plenty of varied history too”

  1. I tried to visit one Sunday afternoon (superbowl sunday) and had a friend in tow after a trip to Grayson’s and the visitor’s center wasn’t open. I am still miffed all these weeks later.

  2. Have you found out whether or not you can fly a drone? Are you closed because of the shutdown? Looking forward to seeing this!

  3. Yes, your daughter is 100% correct about the meaning of “saurus”. And when they talk about fitting a melon in a whale’s head, they don’t mean like a cantaloupe lol. A melon is a squishy organ that echolocating whales use to focus sound, so Basilosaurus was probably unable to echolocate.

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  14. Whether you believe in God or not, this is a must-read message!!!

    Throughout time, we can see how we have been slowly conditioned to come to this point where we are on the verge of a cashless society. Did you know that the Bible foretold of this event almost 2,000 years ago?

    In Revelation 13:16-18, we read,

    “He (the false prophet who decieves many by his miracles) causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.”

    Referring to the last generation, this could only be speaking of a cashless society. Why? Revelation 13:17 tells us that we cannot buy or sell unless we receive the mark of the beast. If physical money was still in use, we could buy or sell with one another without receiving the mark. This would contradict scripture that states we need the mark to buy or sell!

    These verses could not be referring to something purely spiritual as scripture references two physical locations (our right hand or forehead) stating the mark will be on one “OR” the other. If this mark was purely spiritual, it would indicate only in one place.

    This is where it really starts to come together. It is shocking how accurate the Bible is concerning the implatnable RFID microchip. These are notes from a man named Carl Sanders who worked with a team of engineers to help develop this RFID chip

    “Carl Sanders sat in seventeen New World Order meetings with heads-of-state officials such as Henry Kissinger and Bob Gates of the C.I.A. to discuss plans on how to bring about this one-world system. The government commissioned Carl Sanders to design a microchip for identifying and controlling the peoples of the world—a microchip that could be inserted under the skin with a hypodermic needle (a quick, convenient method that would be gradually accepted by society).

    Carl Sanders, with a team of engineers behind him, with U.S. grant monies supplied by tax dollars, took on this project and designed a microchip that is powered by a lithium battery, rechargeable through the temperature changes in our skin. Without the knowledge of the Bible (Brother Sanders was not a Christian at the time), these engineers spent one-and-a-half-million dollars doing research on the best and most convenient place to have the microchip inserted.

    Guess what? These researchers found that the forehead and the back of the hand (the two places the Bible says the mark will go) are not just the most convenient places, but are also the only viable places for rapid, consistent temperature changes in the skin to recharge the lithium battery. The microchip is approximately seven millimeters in length, .75 millimeters in diameter, about the size of a grain of rice. It is capable of storing pages upon pages of information about you. All your general history, work history, crime record, health history, and financial data can be stored on this chip.

    Brother Sanders believes that this microchip, which he regretfully helped design, is the “mark” spoken about in Revelation 13:16–18. The original Greek word for “mark” is “charagma,” which means a “scratch or etching.” It is also interesting to note that the number 666 is actually a word in the original Greek. The word is “chi xi stigma,” with the last part, “stigma,” also meaning “to stick or prick.” Carl believes this is referring to a hypodermic needle when they poke into the skin to inject the microchip.”

    Mr. Sanders asked a doctor what would happen if the lithium contained within the RFID microchip leaked into the body. The doctor replied by saying a terrible sore would appear in that location. This is what the book of Revelation says:

    “And the first (angel) went, and poured out his vial on the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore on the men which had the mark of the beast, and on them which worshipped his image” (Revelation 16:2).

    You can read more about it here–and to also understand the mystery behind the number 666: https://2ruth.org/rfid-mark-of-the-beast-666-revealed/

    The third angel’s warning in Revelation 14:9-11 states,

    “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.'”

    Who is Barack Obama, and why is he still in the public scene?

    So what’s in the name? The meaning of someone’s name can say a lot about a person. God throughout history has given names to people that have a specific meaning tied to their lives. How about the name Barack Obama? Let us take a look at what may be hiding beneath the surface.

    Jesus says in Luke 10:18, “…I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”

    The Hebrew Strongs word (H1299) for “lightning”: “bârâq” (baw-rawk)

    In Isaiah chapter 14, verse 14, we read about Lucifer (Satan) saying in his heart:

    “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.”

    In the verses in Isaiah that refer directly to Lucifer, several times it mentions him falling from the heights or the heavens. The Hebrew word for the heights or heavens used here is Hebrew Strongs 1116: “bamah”–Pronounced (bam-maw’)

    In Hebrew, the letter “Waw” or “Vav” is often transliterated as a “U” or “O,” and it is primarily used as a conjunction to join concepts together. So to join in Hebrew poetry the concept of lightning (Baraq) and a high place like heaven or the heights of heaven (Bam-Maw), the letter “U” or “O” would be used. So, Baraq “O” Bam-Maw or Baraq “U” Bam-Maw in Hebrew poetry similar to the style written in Isaiah, would translate literally to “Lightning from the heights.” The word “Satan” in Hebrew is a direct translation, therefore “Satan.”

    So when Jesus told His disciples in Luke 10:18 that He beheld Satan fall like lightning from heaven, if this were to be spoken by a Jewish Rabbi today influenced by the poetry in the book of Isaiah, he would say these words in Hebrew–the words of Jesus in Luke 10:18 as, And I saw Satan as Baraq O Bam-Maw.

    The names of both of Obama’s daughters are Malia and Natasha. If we were to write those names backward (the devil does things in reverse) we would get “ailam ahsatan”. Now if we remove the letters that spell “Alah” (Allah being the false god of Islam), we get “I am Satan”. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

    Obama’s campaign logo when he ran in 2008 was a sun over the horizon in the west, with the landscape as the flag of the United States. In Islam, they have their own messiah that they are waiting for called the 12th Imam, or the Mahdi (the Antichrist of the Bible), and one prophecy concerning this man’s appearance is the sun rising in the west.

    “Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people— saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.'” (Revelation 14:6-7)

    Why have the word’s of Jesus in His Gospel accounts regarding His death, burial, and resurrection, been translated into over 3,000 languages, and nothing comes close? The same God who formed the heavens and earth that draws all people to Him through His creation, likewise has sent His Word to the ends of the earth so that we may come to personally know Him to be saved in spirit and in truth through His Son Jesus Christ.

    Jesus stands alone among the other religions that say to rightly weigh the scales of good and evil and to make sure you have done more good than bad in this life. Is this how we conduct ourselves justly in a court of law? Bearing the image of God, is this how we project this image into reality?

    Our good works cannot save us. If we step before a judge, being guilty of a crime, the judge will not judge us by the good that we have done, but rather by the crimes we have committed. If we as fallen humanity, created in God’s image, pose this type of justice, how much more a perfect, righteous, and Holy God?

    God has brought down His moral laws through the 10 commandments given to Moses at Mt. Siani. These laws were not given so we may be justified, but rather that we may see the need for a savior. They are the mirror of God’s character of what He has put in each and every one of us, with our conscious bearing witness that we know that it is wrong to steal, lie, dishonor our parents, murder, and so forth.

    We can try and follow the moral laws of the 10 commandments, but we will never catch up to them to be justified before a Holy God. That same word of the law given to Moses became flesh about 2,000 years ago in the body of Jesus Christ. He came to be our justification by fulfilling the law, living a sinless perfect life that only God could fulfill.

    The gap between us and the law can never be reconciled by our own merit, but the arm of Jesus is stretched out by the grace and mercy of God. And if we are to grab on, through faith in Him, He will pull us up being the one to justify us. As in the court of law, if someone steps in and pays our fine, even though we are guilty, the judge can do what is legal and just and let us go free. That is what Jesus did almost 2,000 years ago on the cross. It was a legal transaction being fulfilled in the spiritual realm by the shedding of His blood.

    For God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 18:23). This is why in Isaiah chapter 53, where it speaks of the coming Messiah and His soul being a sacrifice for our sins, why it says it pleased God to crush His only begotten Son.

    This is because the wrath that we deserve was justified by being poured out upon His Son. If that wrath was poured out on us, we would all perish to hell forever. God created a way of escape by pouring it out on His Son whose soul could not be left in Hades but was raised and seated at the right hand of God in power.

    So now when we put on the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 13:14), God no longer sees the person who deserves His wrath, but rather the glorious image of His perfect Son dwelling in us, justifying us as if we received the wrath we deserve, making a way of escape from the curse of death–now being conformed into the image of the heavenly man in a new nature, and no longer in the image of the fallen man Adam.

    Now what we must do is repent and put our trust and faith in the savior, confessing and forsaking our sins, and to receive His Holy Spirit that we may be born again (for Jesus says we must be born again to enter the Kingdom of God–John chapter 3). This is not just head knowledge of believing in Jesus, but rather receiving His words, taking them to heart, so that we may truly be transformed into the image of God. Where we no longer live to practice sin, but rather turn from our sins and practice righteousness through faith in Him in obedience to His Word by reading the Bible.

    Our works cannot save us, but they can condemn us; it is not that we earn our way into everlasting life, but that we obey our Lord Jesus Christ:

    “And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.” (Hebrews 5:9)

    “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’

    Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.’

    And He said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.'” (Revelation 21:1-8).

  15. Picture this – 3 am in the morning, I had a line of fiends stretched around the corner of my block. It was in the freezing middle of January but they had camped out all night, jumping-ready to buy like there was a sale on Jordans. If you were 16 years old, in my shoes, you’d do anything to survive, right? I got good news though; I MADE IT OUT OF THE HOOD, with nothing but a laptop and an internet connection. I’m not special or lucky in any way. If I, as a convicted felon that used to scream “Free Harlem” around my block until my throat was sore, could find a way to generate a stable, consistent, reliable income online, ANYONE can! If you’re interested in legitimate, stress-free side hustles that can bring in $3,500/week, I set up a site you can use: https://incomecommunity.com

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