08 July 2008

Bipping coastalwise

Removing this blog from the doom and gloom of late...more viatology stuf cometh this way!

I have a small but growing backlog of road related stuff on the old hard drive which needs to be posted here at some point - write-ups for a long-delayed Louisiana roads website, road pictures taken while bipping around various parts of the state, etc. So here are some samplings from that cache.

The LA 1141 ferry landing, Cameron, Louisiana, 9 March 2008:

This is the north ferry landing, taken from the LA 27/82 intersection (not much road on the Cameron side of the Calcasieu River). The rest of LA 1141 is now orphaned on Monkey Island, an artificial island created when the Calcasieu Ship Channel was cut straight through a three quarter bend of its namesake river.  As you can see, this ferry route (the infamous money wasting Monkey Island Ferry) has been inoperable since Hurricane Rita, since the island remains uninhabited, every last structure having been destroyed. 

Here is Cameron Parish's only traffic signal, located at the eastern LA 27/LA 82 junction in the Creole community:

Cameron Parish is generally far more desolate than this.

Below is the site of the pre-1952 US 90 Calcasieu River crossing in Lake Charles.  You can see the remaining piers and bridge structure jutting off the north side of the channel. This picture was taken from Lakeshore Drive, which served as US 90 until the route was moved to the current bridge.  (This bridge was later grandfathered into the Interstate system, so I-10 could cross there too.  Bad move.)

The extraneous elements are not UFOs, but my dashboard reflected in my windshield. Sorry folks, didn't think I would be poasting this to a blog at the time I took these photos.

The glittering skyline of cosmopolitan Lake Charles becomes visible as one drives along the lakeshore into the city center:

Notice the old-school concrete roadbed - a sure sign of a vintage highway. In this case, this is former US 90.


More road photos, from last July!

Another ferry landing:

This one, West Pointe a la Hache, constitutes part of the most downstream crossing of Old Man River. This may be the most desolate river crossing location anywhere. The ferry runs on a thirty minute schedule. Suprisingly, it does carry a brisk trade, even with Plaquemines Parish largely in ruins in this poast-Katrina world.

The ferry is one of two linking Plaquemines' westbank with its sparsely populated eastbank (who those so blessed happen to know is actually the proverbial land of Oz). These ferries are the only links between the parish's two halves.

In transit via ferry:

The river is very wide here. Midwesterners, you ain't seen nothing till you've been South.

The eastbank objective of the ferry is Pointe a la Hache, the parish's erstwhile seat of government. Most public functions, however, have been situated in the more northerly locale of Belle Chasse (nearer the bulk of the population, in any case), since December 2002, when the historic courthouse was torched by an arsonist:

This was captured from the river road. The hurricane didn't help matters, of course. Parish voters have twice rejected referendums to officially move the parish seat to a westbank location (where 90% of the population lives).

Road ends! The south terminus of LA 23 in Venice - the last town on the river:

The road itself continues under local maintenance, past this semi-famous sine...

...to this point:

South of here is only wetland, and then open water giving way to the Gulf.

And finally, the south terminus of LA 39 in Bohemia:

They don't call it Oz for nothing.


Anonymous said...

Why did you refer to the east bank of the Mississippi down by Pointe a la Hache as the "Land of Oz?"

Google my blog "A Landing A Day" and you'll see why I care about Pointe a la Hache (and why I copied and pasted some of your blog in mine).



Anonymous said...

I won't be posting until tomorrow (Christmas Eve) evening

Urban Prairie Schooner said...

Because it's remote, hard to reach, and very beautiful country. One of my long departed relatives lived down Wills Point way and we would visit her every Easter and Thanksgiving. These visits remain some of the fondest memories of my youth. For some reason, the lovely citrus fields and horse pastures reminded me, when I was young, of the field of poppies in "The Wizard of Oz." Such is the sometimes strange mental process of someone who's lived in urban environs for the entirety of his life.