Blue...Blue Bayou!

Trip Start Sep 20, 2007
1
95
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Trip End May 16, 2008


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Flag of United States  , Louisiana
Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Today I decided to go for a drive to find some swamps. I was tired (what else is new) so I rested a while after lunch then took off for points southwest. The map showed places with interesting names such as Bayou Blue, Houma, Bayou Grand Caillou, Cocodrie, and.....Lockport (Ok-I threw that one in for you Winnipeg people). FYI for everyone else. There's a town called Lockport north of Winnipeg.
 
I was heading for Houma. Figured it might be a good place to find some swamp and character housing like I had seen along the Interstate on my drive into New Orleans. What I saw was mostly farmland. Cows...cows...and more cows. Ok I did see some swamp but it wasn't exactly what I had imagined. I get to Houma slightly disappointed. Look at the map and see Bayou Cane on a road heading north towards the main highway that will return me to New Orleans. I figure with a name like that it must be some backwater town.
 
Well...that road was completely commercialized from Houma to the main highway. The one high point of that part of the drive was that I was in a Mardi Gras Parade. Well....actually, I was there before the parade had started, but people were already lined up along the road. I even had people waving at me. I did think of throwing some of the beads I had in the truck out at them but didn't want to cause a riot as I didn't have many.
 
It was getting too late to take a road that would lead me straight into the swamp so I headed back to New Orleans. The Mississippi River cuts through the center of the New Orleans metropolitan area. The campground I'm staying at is about 10 miles west of downtown New Orleans, close to the airport, and one block from the north side of the river. On my drive back I decided to cross the southernmost bridge crossing of the Mississippi River. This is just south east of New Orleans. At least on the map it looks like the southernmost bridge. And the reason I wanted to do that, you may be asking yourself? Well! Way back when I started this Journey, I crossed (September 23rd) the northern most bridge crossing over the Mississippi River in Minnesota close to its source in Lake Itasca. There has to be some milestones on this Journey. The Mississippi River is 3766 kms long. I've driven about 18,000 kms since I crossed it at that point.
 
What surprised me from looking at the map during this drive is that New Orleans isn't on the Gulf of Mexico. The mouth of the Mississippi is still 100 kms further south. New Orleans is on the southern shore of Lac Pontchartrain. This lake does empty into the Gulf a little closer. Looking at the map you notice that there probably isn't much solid ground south of the city. The map shows a few roads but they are probably built on piles like the Interstate heading into New Orleans.
 
So I drove on the south shore of New Orleans, crossed over the Mississippi, and landed in downtown rush hour traffic. I took a few pictures as I was driving of the downtown area and of the setting sun. Not my best shots, but what do you expect when you're driving 60 mph with cars all around you. You have to decide between proper composition or crashing into the car in front of you.
 
I drove about 250 kms round trip. Was gone for over 3 hours. Didn't get any swamp, alligator or houses on stilts photos. Should have stayed in bed instead of searching for the Blue Bayou.
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