Day 131 – Bay Saint Louis, MS > New Orleans, LA

I feel that I’ve lost focus working on the blog in these past few weeks. I think it has a lot to do with being on the road for a long period of time. Even the new is becoming routine – towns and hosts are blurring together in my memory. I find my brain isn’t as nimble at picking up on things as it was a few months ago. I think this will be an on going theme for the next few weeks and I’m looking forward to staying in Austin for a while.

I stayed in a motel last night on highway 90 and was feeling tired so I didn’t go out. I was hoping to see the premier of Smoky Mountain Money, but the motel didn’t have expanded cable. I think I forgot to put that in my blog post yesterday, but you can see episode 2 on the National Geographic Channel this coming Wednesday at 10PM.

This morning I went into downtown and got breakfast at the Blackbird Cafe – actually lunch. I got to talking to a bunch of the towns people and ended up staying 3 hours. I started out talking to a guy, I assume is Scottish by his accent, that was checking updates on the vote to split from England. He was for it. When he left I moved onto Caroline and got to taking about the latest problems with NFL players. She said that she was working on a program or the proposal for a program that had something to do with the New Orleans Saints and teaching life skills. She lost her home to Katrina. I remember there was a lot of national coverage about New Orleans, but not much of the coasts of MS, AL and FL. I saw a lot of foundation slabs remaining on my bicycle ride through MS.

Caroline was waiting for her friend Jessica and I was still there when she came. She’s from Montgomery, AL, but not a fan of living there. We talked about the challenges of raising a kid when divorced. She and her ex have different idea about how much pressure to apply to their daughters dance classes amongst other things. Next came Nick fresh from an interview and wearing a tie. He claims it was a rare sighting so now I will always think of him as tie guy, but that really is the least of who he is. Lastly Lane entered the scene as the unofficial Cafe Gardner and also an Oregon transplant. We got to debating the merits of Walmart, mostly negative, when Lane pointed out that they did a good job of delivering much needed supplies right after Katrina. Rightly pointed out that Walmart isn’t all bad. I wonder if they could become a more integrated partner with FEMA in the next major disaster?

By 2 PM I was finally on the road to New Orleans. With a 65 mile ride ahead of me it was going to be finishing in the dark.

I took 90, also known as Chef Menteur Highway through bayou country over the Industrial Canal and into the heart of the city. Almost every building along the way was up on high piles. I’m sure the people that live there feel it is totally normal, but to me they seem so exposed to the carnage of the inevitable next storm. I stopped in a restaurant to get dinner about 20 miles outside the city. I walked into the bar and a woman sitting at the corner motioned to the seat next to her. She saw me on the road and wanted to buy me a beer. Thanks! Cinde runs a B and B in New Orleans and was just coming back from checking her crab traps on Lake Saint Catherine.

I got to my host Jeff’s place by 9:00 PM and after a quick shower I took him out to eat at the Bulldog a local pub frequented by college students. Jeff’s working on his thesis so I’m really glad he is able to put me up. Thanks Jeff.






2 responses to “Day 131 – Bay Saint Louis, MS > New Orleans, LA”

  1. Khanimal Lecter Avatar
    Khanimal Lecter

    Adam..this is an amazing adventure! Love reading your updates!

    1. adampomata Avatar

      Glad you are enjoying the blog.