05-Oct-1998 -- The
confluence is about 44 miles south of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and is in the middle of a
sugar cane field. I was lucky in that all of the roads were paved until I got within a
mile of the confluence when I had to turn onto a dirt road.
Now, for the benefit of
those of you who were not born in or have not lived in southeast Louisiana as I was,
and are not familiar with the composition of the "soil", and I use the term loosely,
I will try to describe it for you.
The word dirt means mud. And not just your average
wet, slippery brown mud that can be rinsed off easily with a water hose. This stuff is
like a tar and asphalt mixture that never dries out. When you step in it and lift your
foot to step again you will have almost an inch of mud on the bottom and around the
edges of your shoe. When you put your foot back down that inch of mud grabs and holds
onto another inch of the sticky black stuff and after about the third step you are
carrying almost five extra pounds on each leg just in mud. And when you try to kick it
off you either lose your shoe or dislocate your hip depending on how tight you tie
Anyway, the weather was slightly overcast and getting worse by the minute.
After I turned onto the dirt road, which was made for tractors by the way, not cars, I
drove about a mile through the sticky black mud in my brand new (at the time) '98
Dodge Intrepid pilling up mud on the insides of the fender wells and caking it onto
the tires thick enough to negate any benefit of the tread for traction. It took almost
20 minutes to drive the last mile thanks to the mud but I finally made it and took
The sugar cane is almost 10 feet tall and very thick and if you tried to
walk through it you would slice yourself to ribbons on the leaves. Since I was on my
way to a business meeting I couldn't afford to still be in the mud if it started
raining or I would have needed a tractor to pull my car out so I made the 20 minute
drive back to the paved road.
Now that I am back on pavement the fun really begins
because now this 3500+ pound car is riding on about 2 inches of mud on each tire and
mix that with the torrential downpour that immediately followed and you have one
interesting drive back to town, but I'll leave that for another day ;-)
Cheers to all, Dave