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Category Archives: Mississippi River Bike Trip

Stage Two.


Coming down Oak Street, New Orleans blew me one last kiss: a glimpse of Jacque-imo’s and its famous gator-painted pickup truck. Every time I see something interesting in New Orleans, I realize how unimaginative and boring everyplace else is. I’ve seen pickup trucks and restaurants all over America, but only in New Orleans have I […]

The Young Beautiful Hobos of New Orleans.


The next morning I left Johnny Angel’s house and headed for the river. I went down Carrollton Avenue to Oak, and stopped at the old bank there, which has now been converted into a coffee shop. On line waiting to pick up a few muffins, a young woman turned and asked me, “So where are […]

The Tiger Truck Stop.


Heading back from the Atchafalaya we had to stop to get gas. The gas station at the exit had a big sign which said “TIGER,” which I presumed was just a local filling station’s way of copying Exxon, which used (uses?) a tiger as its mascot. But this was Louisiana, of course, so it had […]



Heading back to New Orleans from the Atchafalaya I spoke with Randy about the possibility of the Corps opening distributaries from the Mississippi in order to build the coastline back up. The way he spoke had been encouraging. He spoke of the current model – channeling the river so it flows fast and deep straight […]

The Swamp.


In the Atchafalaya.


I think most people whose love of nature is undimmed by mechanized life fantasize about the swamp: paddling a boat beneath a dense canopy of trees; being watched by motionless reptiles and cunning panthers; feeling the thud of living motion against the hull of your boat and wondering what it is; seeing strange blooms deep […]

Into Cajun Territory Again.


Randy and I had contacted Dean Wilson, the legendary founder of the Atchafalaya Basinkeeper, to arrange a tour of the area. Wilson is a member of one of the most exclusive clubs in the world, the Louisiana environmentalists. Conditions in Louisiana do not tend to generate environmentalists. Not only is the state, which is one […]



As a person who thinks about things as opposed to just doing them, I generally understand human catastrophes. Human catastrophes are typically the result of thought – the result of some kind of understanding of the world. Any understanding of the world is necessarily limited, and when people act enough on such limited apprehensions, catastrophes […]



Mystic Blue Signs, New Orleans.

The Lower Ninth Ward Redivivus.


When I woke up on Sunday I realized I had another busy day before me: I was going to stay one more night with Johnny; and during the day I would be heading out to see the Atchafalaya River with an Army Corps engineer. But I didn’t want to leave New Orleans without seeing the […]