Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Louisiana Bayous

Twenty-seven years ago I drove from Gainesville, Georgia to Houston, Texas.  My brother is still a little unhappy with me for doing that by myself.

I chose the scenic route once I left Jackson, Mississippi.  I can not remember if I took the Interstate to Louisiana or not, but once I got down around New Orleans I got on US 90 and headed west.  I drove past many of the places I have mentioned on here.  It was a hot July day, and the bayous were cool and inviting.  I enjoy bridges and there were many of them.  As I drove along and over the bridges I was peering left and right.  To the right were the deep, cool woods and the waters of the bayous.  I imagined what animals I would find in among the plants and waters; some friendly and some not so much.  I hate snakes!  To the left were the salt water marshes and the gulf.  Yes, I know that US 90 is further inland than that, but compared to where I was currently living (Gainesville, Georgia), this was practically beachfront!  I was sure that I could smell and feel the beach.

I was traveling on my own, blessed with a love of travel and adventure, a very active imagination, and a deep love of the water.  This was one of my Laura Ingalls Wilder moments.

As I have walked through Louisiana in my imagination these twenty-seven years later, some of the sights and smells and sounds have come back to me, along with the feel of the cool breeze through the open car window.  The memories are not quite as vivid as I wish they were.  Yet in my mind this has been the opportunity to do the on-foot exploration I day-dreamed about as I drove along.  Thanks to the internet, I can find many pictures and word-pictures of that area.  If I wanted I could probably even find videos that other adventurous spirits have made as they traveled along this path. 

I thought about searching for some public-domain pictures to post up here to chronicle the adventure.  I probably will before the week is over.  For now, however, I hope that you can just take a minute to close your eyes and use your imagination to find the deep, dark, cool bayous of Louisiana.  Experience the sound of a great blue heron taking flight, the cry of a hawk, the plop of a 'gator sliding into the water, the cool damp feel of the breeze coming from the dark, dank water holes, and the fleeting sight of a bayou bobcat.  Take a few minutes and dream.  Join me on my walk!

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