Is seeing all the things that people miss flying or driving. (Yeah you probably get to see and experience more if you were to walk, but I’ll let the person walking across America talk about that) In talking with people in the past and seeing the predictable travel itineraries of so many passing through the hostel in Nola, I’m glad that I don’t just go to the major sites and cities as I travel. Lots of folks will go from Miami to New Orleans to Austin and LA, but miss everything in between. Don’t get me wrong, I love big exciting cities too, but I feel like people skip over the history, scenery and the chance to meet people as they go from one hotspot to another. I’ve been on the move again for about 10 days and I’ve already had so many great moments that most would miss.
I had the pleasure of meeting Paul and Russ and during my stay at their place in the countryside near the gulf. I learned that the area has black bears,coyotes,wolves and the occasional Panther ( in addition to the snakes,snapping turtles and alligators Oh My!) I also got to enjoy their glassworks studio and learn a little about the crafting of stained glass.
Russ told me about the hurricanes that he’d been through when the house he was in was swaying and he could hear the wood cracking as he and the others regretted not moving further away from the coast before the storm. He also shared a little about the history of his house.
It was one slave quarters on a plantation with two entrances. It was turned into a single family home for the share croppers that lives in it before it was abandoned. Russ got it for a bargain price, but had to have it moved off of the grounds of the plantation to his property. Such a fascinating little piece of history that I was glad to find out about.
I was close enough to the coast that I wanted to get a look at the water so I cycled a few miles out of my way and ended up meeting Wright as he was fishing. I helped him clear a line out of the way and grabbed his fishhooking pole as he wrestled with a 32lb 40 in long beaut of a fish. He told me that he’d be taking it to a fish fry in New Iberia. Wright spent 30 years working for a VA hospital in Houston and now that he’s retired he says he only goes fishing and chases ladies. (Not a bad way to spend retirement)
Afte saying farewell to Wright I cycled away from the coast to the town of Franklin. (Named after the guy on the hundred dollar bill). I was super impressed by all the beautiful homes in Franklin. I always feel like I’m discovering a hidden treasure when I pass through a town like This.
Kathy was the first French speaking Louisianan I’d met. She spoke to me in French to help me on my quest to become conversational en français. Will told me about how they had 17 folks staying with them after hurricane Katrina. They saw people sleeping in cars in parking lots so they invited all they could to stay. Both Will and Kathy filled me in on the regions Acadian culture. ( Acadian turned into the word Cajun) I feel like experiencing more of the Cajun cultural needs to be on my todo list soon.
So as I write this I’m sitting in the town of Corsicana, Texas, which is named after the island of Corsica in the Mediterranean, which is where Napoleon was born. Anyhow, it’s places like Franklin and Corsicana that I truly enjoy traveling to. Not just because I find out stuff like Corsicana was the first Texas town to strike it big with oil and at one point was the wealthiest zip code (isn’t that interesting) but because I get meet people like, Kathy, Will, Paul, Russ and hobo Steve (Who shared a stoop with me to avoid that damn El Nino rain Texas is getting right now)