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24 January 2008 @ 09:30 am
I could come here every year  
This horrid 36 hours of continuous rain is supposed to end sometime this Thursday morning.

It is humid and chilly in the tent and I would not have enjoyed any boating or walking in all the rain yesterday.

So, I made the time useful by really exploring the wildlife refuges down toward Point Breeze thoroughly by car.

I saw them in the worst possible weather but I could still travel all the puddled roads to check out all the remote campgrounds and boat ramps.

I am very pleased that these spots can indeed be my southernmost destination by car every year I come down here.

I say this because I think the best way to explore Louisiana is by water.
And, I must be able to do it safely and relaxingly, with James going with me in the boat, and with my car left legally parked in a safe place.

Of course I could leave my car right here and explore the Mississippi for days launching and returning just below my tent window here across from Natchez.

But the Mississippi is so gigantic and it has barges out in the middle so it would be more stressful and hazardous.

But down near Point Breeze two of the remote campgrounds I visited have boat ramps onto the other river that parallels the Mississippi, the Red River. (The two rivers are only about two miles apart down there.)

This flows with very slow current all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, is big enough to support commercial boats, and yet has no locks or dams, and has nothing but refuges and a few villages along it, no industry or towns. (It becomes the Atchafalaya River once part of the Mississippi is diverted into it below the control structures at Point Breeze.)

And the refuges have check-in boxes and auto windshield cards so if I left my car at a campsite near the boat ramp the ranger would know it was mine, what my Blackberry number is, and what my intended schedule is.

I could set up my tent at other campsites along the Red/Atchafalaya River that the maps of the refuges indicate.

I also could spend a trip down here visiting towns instead of nature and do this without driving, too. -In Natchez there is a small old depot for Delta Bus Lines, which runs the entire "Blues Highway" from Memphis to Baton Rouge, and at Baton Rouge it connects to New Orleans and Lafayette via Greyhound.

So I've decided Natchez and/or Point Breeze probably are indeed going to be my base every time I come down here as a snowbird like this.

James certainly loves it too. Last night during a break in the rain she ate grass then choked up green furballs while I drank an Abita Amber and we strolled along the sand bank next to the barges she is fascinated by.

It may rain again tomorrow (Friday) night then that will be it and then we'll finally get some nice, warm weather for the weekend before rain returns Monday night.

So, I'll stay here until Monday and be back in Ohio Wednesday.

The rain is finally stopped now at daybreak so I'll head back down to Point Breeze and James can sleep while I do some hiking and exploring on foot.
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