Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Trekking down the 'boot' of Louisiana

On the way from Abbeville, LA, to New Orleans, LA, we stopped at Morgan City. The first out of site oil well was completed off shore in the gulf about 43 miles south of Morgan City. As we walked around the canal front in the old downtown area, we saw a sign advertising shrimp for sale. We walked over to the fishing boat and watched someone else purchase some. This was about as fresh as you could get. The boat had come in earlier in the day and the shrimp was still on ice in the big wells. We bought 3 pounds. Last night we had a wonderful shrimp boil with potatoes and corn and sausage. No pictures, but take my word for it, it was good....!

Morgan City is built around its commercial fishing and shipping industries.

Most people tend to think New Orleans sits down on the gulf, especially since everyone knows it is below sea level. But in reality, it sits 60 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico on the Mississippi River. We followed the boot of Louisiana south of New Orleans over 60 miles to the gulf. These are some of the sights we saw along the way. Above is just a little reminder that Hurricane Katrina was only 4 years ago and the land is still healing.

Here is an almost empty FEMA trailer sight. There were only a few trailers left. But the guard on duty says they are expecting some larger trailers to arrive any day. Local residents, who are currently living in FEMA trailers on their own property, will be moving in here into the larger trailers. Why? We were afraid to ask.

The FEMA site was located where the town of Diamond was before Katrina. We were told the hurricane sat down here at the mouth of the Mississippi for over 6 hours, battering the land and the people, before heading on north to New Orleans.

We saw lots of sites like this where the structures had not yet been demolished, nor fixed. Most were beyond repair, like this one.

Here is a building which sat behind a cemetary.

The main church above was one of only a few buildings left standing in the lower 20 miles of the boot. The other building which was not destroyed was also a church. Most of the interior of these buildings were destroyed, but both churches were left standing in one piece.

We were in the delta. The Mississippi River was on one side and canals and waterways on the other.

Here is what was left of one goal post in football stadium. The bleachers and its supporting structure was damaged and now the entire field is fenced off and not being used.

One reason we headed this direction was to see Fort Jackson, another Civil War site. The Confederates lost this fort and the Union gained control of the Mississippi Riverway and the Port of New Orleans in 1862.

I think this is one reason the fort is now off limits. I suspect the hurricane did lots of structural support damage and it hasn't been fixed yet.

It was a walled fort with a moat most of the way around. We could see over the top of the wall from the levee.

Looking through the gate we could see signs of some of the old works, such as this cannon.

This was the main entrance and their was even a draw bridge across the moat.

In front of the main fort was this outpost. It sat up on the banks of the river with cannons which were supposed to keep any ships from passing.

Looking at the river from the outpost.

All the way at the end of the road was the Port of Venice. I don't think this houseboat survived the hurricane. The only reason it is still sitting so high, is because it is beached.

I don't think this buisiness will be opening again.

Another marina had nothing but commercial fishing boats. As you can see, the parking lot is partially underwater and there is not easy to tell where the marina starts and the parking lot ends except you see where the boats are sitting.

On the way back I noted the large hills of coal sitting on the banks of the river.

Here is a grainery. I could not tell if it was still in operation.

But next to the grainery was this line of large oil tanks. You can't see them, but there were several more lines like this. I figured at least 2 dozen tanks. One of the larger oil tank farms I have seen. It was Conoco-Phillips.

Here is the refinery for all those tanks.

We decided the only thing that made these Creole Tomatoes, might be because they were grown by a Creole. They also had Creole garlic strings too.

They were nice looking tomatoes, but they only sold them in these large boxes. Now what would I do with that many tomatoes?


Diana said...

Make spaghetti sauce! Great pictures of the hurricane damage. You guys are getting farther and farther away. When are we going to see you again?

Barbara and Ron said...

Very interesting. Weird about the FEMA trailers.