2014: Rolling thru Amerika on 18 Wheels. Volume VII Louisiana to Mississippi.

2014: Rolling thru Amerika on 18 Wheels. Volume VII Louisiana to Mississippi.

The sides of the highway look like they will swallow you whole if you stop and step out of your vehicle... These puddles look more like ponds. No wonder cemeteries around here house their inhabitants above the ground as all the land looks to be below sea level. 

I first went to Louisiana in 2011 (TESOL Convention) and decided that I really liked New Orleans. I was 'couchsurfing' on this guys couch. He is a local boy and a high school teacher. He lived in a "Shotgun" house (an architectural style in the area where it is a narrow one story home where the front door is straight in line of sight with the back door. This way, you can shoot a shotgun straight through from front to back) on this island right across from downtown in the French Quarter. I remember it was like a 10-minute ferry ride across the Mississippi River and BAM you are in the French Quarter, ready to party it up. 

I didn't see much of the conference, but I played pool, ate a lot of bar food and had good fun. It was the end of Mardi Gras so the town was already filled with a festive nature which, I suspect, is actually year-round. I can't think of his name on hand, but he had this super cool old jeep. I think an International Scout. It was topless with a roll bar, and it had a killer sound system. We cruised town and some other areas that I'm guessing don't tend to see a white girl like me much. We walked into one bar (I think his cousin was bar tending there) and I swear everyone stopped what they were doing and just stared... at me. I looked around and yep, sure enough, I was the only whitey in there... I'm no porcelain-doll looking type either, but man it was an interesting feeling to be a specimen for a brief moment. In the end, no one gave a shit after raising an initial eyebrow. He had a commending presence with ultra long flowing dreadlocks. Everybody knew this dude. It was a great time. I drank a lot of vodka/grapefruits with him at various famous watering holes throughout some amazing neighborhoods. 

Here is a plug for couchsurfing.com :) as it is a great way to visit an area when you don't have any money for accommodation. It is safe as the website is self-policed in that you write a summary of your experience with that 'couch surfer' that can't be erased by them and vice versa. 

The local Native Americans here are a called 'Couchata.' They made these flat canoes with a keel (flat bottom). They would stand in them and used a pole to push off the bottom of the bayou. 

Local crops include: sugarcane , beets, tobacco, cotton and rice, etc. 

A flock of pink flamingoes. Buoys defining Crawfish ponds. Yep we are in Louisiana! 

We've just entered Lafayette Parish (county). 

Now we are coming into Atchafalaya Wetlands and Basin. The roadside Black Oak trees got bigger right here. Henderson Swamp is full of Cyprus Tree stumps and moss so electric green. Lake Bigeaux has some boats fishing on it right now. It looks like some fishing shacks are on the lake as well. Bet there is a lot of gators in those waters. Gators mean gator hunters...

I-10 Highway here is a 24-mile long bridge through this huge swamp and lake waterway. This is so cool. We just crossed over Whiskey Bay. Now Bayou Des Glacies. This area must be a huge bird sanctuary. 

Pee break at Grosse Tete, Louisiana. Tony the Tiger lives in a cage there.  Kinda sad, but he is certainly a big attraction for tourists stopping along I-10 East. 

Entering Baton Rouge and crossing over the great Mississippi River. This is Southern Baptist (church) country down here in these parts. 

2pm Mississippi border...