Highway 61

Straight out of the New Orleans airport car rental onto Highway 61, on to I10 through Baton Rouge(!), then back to Hwy 61. Famous names, all of them.   

Our weather luck ran out last night when the rain started. It was raining so hard when we started west that I could scarcely see the cypress knees(!) lining the wet ditch beside the road, but we outpaced the storm before we reached Baton Rouge. Just as well, because I could clearly see the sugar cane(!) growing in the roadside fields. I was so excited!

Beyond Baton Rouge we could once more see the chemical plants lining the Mississippi riverbank.   

 Google shows some of them using the remains of old meanders as docks for the barges shipping raw materials and finished products. As the road moved away from the river we entered what I think is the scenic bit of this Scenic Highway, complete with signposts for plantation houses. We kept moving: historic houses are not our thing, and we wanted to stay ahead of the storm shadowing the entire southeastern sky dark blue-black.

The soil is interesting: gorgeous orange/pink/cream totally unconsolidated sediment. Anywhere the roadside grass was damaged, the exposed soil had washed away leaving a miniature landscape of gullies and hoodoos no more than 3′ high. I have several photos that might have shown this if I had a faster finger. When I upload this post I’ll pull out the roadside geology book and see what it has to say about the origins of the soil; I’m not sure we’re still in the valley, so perhaps it is loess.

The boundary between Louisiana and Mississippi is clear: 

We were pootling along, classic rock on the radio, when I saw this through the window:  

I was almost incoherent with excitement. Cotton! A field of cotton! COTTON IN A FIELD! COTTON!!!

A. smiled patiently. He’s used to it. There was cotton! on the roadside too, probably blown off the harvesting machinery.  

That’s Cotton! 

I was still bouncing when we arrived in Natchez, but settled down after a good walk through the historic town centre. It’s a lovely little place, although I think it paid a high price for the preservation of its historic houses in 
 with seriously good food at the King’s Head Tavern


About sarahw

A zoologist who draws, a spinner who weaves, a person who thinks.
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