Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Great River Road, Part II

As I drove lazily (to the chagrin of the drivers behind me--every time they passed me, I got glared at. Eh.) down the River Road, I started to wonder where the plantations were--all I kept seeing were teensy weensy little towns nestled one after the other along the levee. On further research after I got home, I found that these towns were settled by either free plantation workers or former slaves. Not much to write home about, unfortunately--just some rickety old wooden houses, equally rickety single-wides, a gas station and of course a restaurant selling po-boys and fried seafood. Lots of people sitting around drinking out of paper bags. I did find an old mercantile that was closed. There is a ferry that crosses the River at this point. It was closed, too.

Many of the plantations in this area were sugar plantations, and the growing and harvesting of sugar cane is still ongoing. I spotted a bunch of tumble-down wooden cottages surrounded by chainlink; the gate was open so in I drove. And was confronted by a big sign that told me to turn my butt around or I'd be greeted with PEOPLE WITH GUNS! So I whipped out the camera and got a couple shots (ha ha) before I hightailed it outta there. I believe these are for part-time sugar cane workers. I didn't want to risk my life trying to find someone who could confirm that, though--I'm not an embedded reporter in Iraq, for pete's sake.

This little building was interesting. I think it has something to do with water. Not sure, but that creepy sign was just to the left of it, just daring me to come closer.

Finally, here's what you see for miles and miles in between the teensy towns. Sugar cane fields. And I believe that's some of Louisiana's ubiquitous KUDZU engulfing the electrical wires and ground. The sugar cane growers must have warned the kudzu within an inch of ITS life about trespassing, as well.
Next post: some actual plantations.