I've been looking through my mess and found a bunch of
lost pictures. They are of some very remote spots, and as
such, should be displayed to the general public as few
will ever venture to these places for personal reasons or
the fact that it makes no sense to go there. Below are
instructions, guides and explanations to make your virtual
visit go well. Bon Voyage.
Open the map below in a new window.
The yellow line is La. 10. It is gravel La.10 from La.77
to the Atchafalaya River where it continues west on a
two car ferry with a limited schedule. Everyone knows this
but may not have actually gone to see it. The orange line
is a railroad built by the T&P RR or a predecessor. I have
the vague application and documentation for it somewhere.
The location of this stretch is common knowledge, also, but
you may have not seen it either. The white line is something
I saw from the air when Mark and I were doing the
McNeely (sp?) Siding investigation. That got sidetracked
but is still an active investigation. I say it was an earlier
route. Whatever? Why was the investigation curtailed?
Mark's blimp sprung a leak. You can't imagine the noise
and how fast a deflating blimp can climb, then drop.
The red line is highway. Below the yellow line is La.77,
above the yellow line is La.10 going into Morganza, La.
Morganza is where the Easy Rider boys visited the cafe.
Mark has a girlfriend there. Some say two girlfriends,
but I think there's only one the way he talks about her.
On with this short ride. Leaving the pavement of either
La. 1o or 77, you head west over the Morganaza Spillway
levee. Be careful, the shoulders of this road are rounded.
Louisiana, in its dire need for funds, has started issuing
licenses for sign hunting. This one has been hit a bunch
but has not been officially bagged, so get yourself a license
and try to bring her down. Then you can mount it for
all of your friends to admire.
The levee is a big one. You would want it that way.
The river carries 1/3 of the Mississippi's flow on a slow day.
A sign reassures you that you are not crazy or now lost.
That statement may be untrue.
There are more reassuring green DOTD signs. You aren't over
10 tons, now? It is my guess that Texas Calvary General
Tom Green came riding down this road to defeat the
Yankees south of Melville at this place called Fordoche Bridge.
Back to "10 tons". It's about sinking the ferry. I rode over
with a huge combine one time. They had to center it like
a fat guy in a canoe.
Various crops grow here. Last time was wheat.
A bayou or three inhabit this area with adjoining back
Eventually you will break out of the thickness.
Next is a shot from the cockpit of the 2kGuzzi Jackal.
I rode her today on my birthday run. More from that
On my GPS screen, below, green is La.10 on the east bank,
orange is the railroad. The yellow lines are the T&P's historic
rails running north to Simmesport and southwest to Opelousas,
and ultimately to Crowley. The other green line is La.105.
Then you come to Stonehenge, Louisiana Railroad style.
I parked and marveled at it. The train cannot go ground
level here. Flooding would wreck the schedule. So it needs
Stonehenge to support it over the threatening waters.
Notice this shot is from February. Others are from June
and March. I often revisit my favorite spots. In fact, I'm
now feeling a need to visit here again.
There's the wheat I was talking about.
And a close up. I may bring a chair and wait for a shot.
Next, the gravel road intersects La. 973 which enjoys
just a little pavement and then turns into paved La.417 headed
north to Legonier. Wonder where this was taken from?
BTW, La.417 is a wonderful levee ride if you can deal with
the rounded shoulders.
Up there? These pictures were sent to me by Lawless
Armont. In his note he claimed I was his long lost father.
I don't know about the "father" part, but "long lost" is true.
He used that perch to get these. The road shot is looking
toward East Krotz Springs. We are in a place called Red
Cross. I think the name originated from the floods of 1927
when the Red Cross set up base here to assist the flood
victims. It was high ground, maybe, or, the levee was intact
on this side. It sure wasn't on the Melville side. The rail
bridge eventually failed. I have a picture of it with a missing
Dang, Lawless, you got a shot of my bike. I never even
saw you up there. What a coincidence!!
Good shots, maybe you are my son? Who's your mama?
Look at the wood and how it is marked. This bridge is
no longer available to walkers. I'm wondering if autos
Senior EL, when these shots were aired in 2008, identified
the mechanism below as a car counter. Later he
amended that guess to "derailer". As a train engineer
you are barreling toward the opened bridge and can't stop or
you are asleep at the wheel. The derailer will derail the train,
beginning with the engine, you, Mr. Engineer, and then you'll
probably slide down the embankment and die. That beats
going into the Atchafalaya River and being eaten by a
300 lb. catfish with revenge written all over its whiskered
face. The above is speculative and not an authentic portrayal
of probabilities, real or imagined. I would suppose the green
thing means the derailer is not active being the bridge is
closed which means it's open for business. Confusion
necessitates the derailer. That's why you often see trains
stopping before attempting a 110 year old draw bridge.
Having not been derailed or gone off the bridge, we enter
Melville. These two maps show the abandoned rails going north
and southwest. The yellow line is the old "OG", the
Opelousas Gulf and Northeast Railroad which was absorbed
by the Texas and Pacific early on, like 1907. It may have
retained its name until about 1914, but the name "OG", in the
minds of the inhabitants, lingered for years. I've been
told that in Jeanerette, the name "Frisco" was used forever
after ownership moved to the MP. I'm using abbreviations
since if you are RR oriented, you all ready know what
I'm talking about, and if not, you probably don't care, so
I'll be economic with that understanding.
These maps were taken from Mark's blimp prior to the
"incident". From ground level you never notice the red
orange and yellow lines.
The Yellow line going north was the Texas and Pacific's
Simmesport route. I can't write on either anymore. Doing
so would make my head explode because there is just
so much you can know about something, then it gets ugly.
Extensive orations and albums upon albums of pictures
are somewhere else on this rag covering both branches.
As an added treat, I have a picture from today's outing.
Al has been wanting to become a brooding fashion model
since he heard about Naomi being given those blood
diamonds. He asked that I take this shot to submit to
Brooding Rail Watcher's Magazine. You have to hand
it too him, he might have finally found his calling. Lord
knows he been a searchin'.
The bed is calling me, more later with the Birthday Ride,
Part 2. Senior EL may recognize these tracks. A technical
discussion is included in the next one. Al, while brooding,
was able to figure out a tieing question and why EL is
graffitied everywhere .