This journal entry marks an amazing discovery. I can drag pictures onto the page and they are shown in original size. Not only is this fast, but it eliminates any uploading which is the major time consumer in this endeavor. Ok, enough tech talk, on with the ride. PS, it only works for a while. Dang!!!
Needing to know if I could still ride without the rail crutch, I went south to New Iberia, not stopping at Cade and bypassing the Williams St. yard. I ran out east on Jefferson Island Rd. which is a very scenic stretch approaching the island. Of course this portion of Louisiana is filling up and driveways are one after another. Each field has a house at its head. After Jefferson Island the scenery between La.14 and US 90 became boring. One rice field resembles the other The roads are straight and one stretch looks like the last. I once enjoyed riding out into the prairie, but maybe that was further north. And, maybe I have become too accustomed to the excitement of the hunt and chasing trains. Chasing trains is a form of racing and I have the tools to do it. There are restraints if you don't want to have an accident or get a ticket, but those restraints make you use your head and senses to the point of redlining. By the time I got to Crowley I knew that putting along was not doing it for me. I'm an escapist. I ride to find freedom from the mundane. Putting along on the prairie allowed time to think about this and that. I can do that anytime. I do not need those thoughts invading my escape capsule and hobby.
Until returning to Lafayette, this was the deadest afternoon I've ever experienced. I even dropped in on a historical location to gather material.
The last time through Crowley I couldn't find Tiger, the yellow with black stripes
old AKDN tug. I feel sorry for the old girl as she was referred to as "junk" by one
of her handlers. I always give her a full photo set when I find her. You are lovely
darling. Don't pay attention to what others say.
In the north side alley, there she sat.
I returned to Lafayette.
The Lafayette yard looked like a ghost town. I was headed home by
the rail route through town. Near the depot I found this freight stopped.
Why? I figured another freight might be getting into Cade and this one
was stopped to allow that. I was wrong. I think it was stopped to allow
distance between trains. I have no idea. But you see, thinking is involved
here. the "WHYs" come at you like a summer hailstorm.
On the radio I heard her get her warrant to move on. I was surprised at
how fast she accelerated. I got caught at several red lights and had to
sit as she gained on me. I got caught looking down a one way street the
This is what it's all about.
I ran stride for stride with her down Cypress St.
I've pretty well perfected my urban rail racing route except
the several aforementioned problems.
At the Shilling Shack I skidded into the parking lot and my quick camera
caught each engine as it passed at 35 mph. That 757 must be a granny.
You can Google all these engine numbers and find the history on each.
Past Kaliste Saloom Rd.named for the judge that oversaw my ticket paying
in the 60's and 70's. I got stopped. Perhaps this part of my chase route
needs amending, along with the aforementioned tweaks .
Helpless Helpless Helpless
I lost her in Broussard. I rode on down to Cade to see if the supposed
freight was waiting and it wasn't. I headed home, but without enough
pictures to write about and the need to know if the sugar mill at St. John
had fired up yet, I went there. I also needed to check on the old rail bridge
that connected the Southern Pacific with St. John over Bayou Teche.
Question one was answered immediately. The mill had not fired up.
Its white plums would have decorated the sky.
The worker's homes were still there. I think these were probably used
by management or "overseers" as they are referred to, sometimes.
The 1895, bridge was still turned sideways in the bayou. It was a car,
tractor and wagon and rail bridge.
I'll have to show it to you in sections, south to north.