We save and sell aluminum cans. How do you think I can afford this blog?
That process requires a periodic trip from Breaux Bridge to St.Martinville. It is an enjoyable outing and not a problem at all. I take my 100 # plus Lab with me as she insists on going even though we all have a laugh when I put her on the scales. A laugh she knows is at her expense.
This visit was highlighted by a discussion of movies made in the area. Of course "In the Electric Mist" was considered "top of the charts" among all the assembled critics. I was able to add that I knew 90% of the scene locations. That misguided pronouncement lengthened my stay a bit, not usually a concern, but I'd gotten this idea to head to the Wax Lake Outlet and take a picture of the oncoming Sunset Limited Passenger Train coming across one of our spectacular rail bridges here in south South Louisiana. After collecting my 8 bucks and sharing a laugh that it wouldn't cover a movie ticket and maybe not a coke, we moved on.
I'd skirt New Iberia to the east. I knew I had a long way to go and the clock was ticking. Wham Bam Shizam, at the Louisiana and Delta crossing, perfectly timed for my arrival, here came a rare train headed east on the old Missouri and Pacific rails. They are the last remnants of the branch that went behind my house traveling from New Iberia to Port Barre. They were, I think, originally built by the Iberia and Northern RR, but don't quote me, I get all those old names mixed up.
Here are a few shots and comments as I chased the train out to the sugar mill which it serves.
I do believe the L&D polishes their old engines. The keeping
of the old insignias reminds me of what a collector might
do though I know it's a cost cutting measure. The shine
Pardon me, but this was an exciting moment. I left out
5 shots that were taken between these two to speed things
up for the general public.
Next, I ran back to the car and the snoozing, unappreciative
Maggie May. (The Rod Stewart song fits her to a "T")
At the next crossing, I set up.
Not liking that side of the tracks, I jumped them and 2 ditches.
My boots are still caked with gumbo mud. You realize you've
made that mistake when your feet take on 10 pounds each.
Wear high water boots anytime you think you might be off
pavement in S.La.
I had to back up. That angle would not work and the sun
would be a problem. When am I going to get a filter?
The engineer gave me a toot. How did he know me without
the motorcycle? I'm sure they've checked me out with
all the law enforcement agencies. For some reason I've
yet to be visited.
The cut cane afforded this shot. In other times the train
would have simply disappeared. It would later.
This is standard procedure on this railroad. It's so they
can get back to where they came from. Yes and no. They
switch all day long and that's the way you do it.
I raced to the mill.
Time for Google Earth. Like all the shots, if clicked, they
get a bit larger. I can see why I couldn't see the train....
It was around the levee to the right (above).
I had spent too much time at the mill. I pressed on and
got to the Wax Lake bridge just as I heard something
about Amtrak being in Cade, north of New Iberia. My
heart sank. Ah, but next, the dispatcher was giving the
engineer a track warrant beginning at mile post 80, Morgan
City, 15 miles to my southeast. We were on time with
time to spare. I'd work on getting a good shot. This would
I moved to the rails. This was the ticket and easy as I was
standing on an old unused road crossing. I cleared away
the weeds so they wouldn't interfere with my shots.
Here she came.
When the engineer saw me he began tooting, nothing malicious.
They were friendly toots, you know the difference.
Yes, a repeat, as I wanted you to focus.
The old camera was performing, not hesitating between
Then it happened. It hesitated just at the prime moment.
Then focused on the weeds.
I had stepped back because I'm a little leery of some kid
throwing a pop can at me. Enjoy the weed shot.
That's the Sunset Limited in the background. The
larger version is worse.
The camera recovered for the parting shots.
Lucky devils. That ain't workin'..... that's the way you do it.
No visit to the area should be without going by the Bayou
Sale' (Sally) sidetrack. Many a train has to wait there and I'd
check if one had to wait on The Limited.
The redundancies of the next pictures are for a purpose.
Notice the yellow lights on the signals.
They were flashing on and off, a never seen phenomenon.
Today had been filled with such. First was Mark's seeing
and photographing the Acadiana RR's trip north, then, my seeing
the mill train, and now, flashing signals. It makes me wonder
what else weird was going on in the world on Friday.
My bridge art shot.
Needless redundancy, no, the lights are on the off click.
There's some cement in the limestone. I figure there had
been a station here at one time and that was what was left.
Next, Maggie and I were headed home. If I was a smoking
man, I would have lit up. The day had been awesome.
Even Bayou Sale had been vacant which allowed me to take a
few unquestioned by home land security pictures.
I'd shoot some shots out of the windows as I rode along.
My first shot in Baldwin was to be of the plantation on the
bayou. Instead I got a great garbage can shot. Don't litter
unless chunking cans. You better not throw them from
trains at old crazies taking pictures too close to the tracks
because they will get your mug and come after you.
Ask Donnie what happened to him.
Going west on Old 90 between Baldwin and Jeanerette.
The Live Oaks are a green light in a brown winter world.
See the old mill stack to the right.
This is the famous Yellow......Restaurant east of Jenerette.
I forget the full name, that happens a lot and my wife is not
here, she's a name completer, and I do the same for her.
A lucky shot this was. Mountains of sugarcane are held
behind those reenforced steel walls.
Built on a hill, the Sorrell Mill is one of the last 9 in Louisiana.
Jeanerette is a neat old town. Yea, "neat" is over used but
when something is "neat", what are you suppose to do?
No other 4 letter word expresses so much. Well, ones you
can use in polite company, anyway.
"Canal, Canal, Economical", Cody Dupre' will not be forgotten.
Neat, huh? LeJeuarne (sp?) Bakery is next. It is world famous
for its french bread. If the flashing light is on, stop.
I left Old 90 and headed on up 347, the east Teche Road.
Each time I go beneath the old oaks it is a celebration of
history saved. People have been going beneath these oaks
for a while.
St. Johns Plantation Mill is another still operating refinery.
It was served by the SP, the MP and it had its own RR.
Can you tell I'm hurrying?
The red building was the plantation's church and possible
school house, also.
The faintly visible power lines to the right mark the route
of the old Missouri Pacific on its way to Port Barre. I was
on my way and nearing home. There I'd look at my shots
of a perfect day's outing.