15-Mar-2001 -- The first visit to this confluence has always been one of my favorites, even if it wasn't right on target and there's only one photo. It was in the project's 2000 calendar and it's a great picture. We never actually saw this location; we approached it from the other side of the tracks by bicycle.
The city limits of New Orleans stretch out for miles; this confluence is located in the Port of New Orleans. We took a roundabout route to get there; we thought we'd head up to Lake Pontchartrain, cut across the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal and zoom down an industrial byway called Jourdan Road.
Ruthy snagged about a dozen ripe tomatoes from the throwaway area in the French Quarter, and (after washing them thoroughly) loaded them into her bike basket and off we went. We thought we'd find a place to cross the canal but first the railroad bridge was up in the air, so we had to cross on a four-lane divided highway. Took several minutes just to get across to the right side of the road, with cars zooming everywhere, onramps merging, the whole mess. Highways take on a whole new perspective from a bicycle.
Then we were down trying to find Jourdan Road. Peter thought to cut across through the New Orleans Water & Sewer plant. Unfortunately there appeared to be a chain link fence in our way. The security guards were very friendly and said he could go see if the gate was unlocked. It was locked. So the bike (closely followed by Peter) went up and over the fence and he was on Jourdan Road! Ruthy and I looked at each other said, "if he can do it so can we."
Now came the hunt for the confluence. Peter had just purchased -- no, invested -- in a GPS for his upcoming trainhopping adventures, and we biked along as it counted down the miles. There were lots of roads that said we shouldn't go down them because they belonged to the Port of New Orleans, but we found a place that wasn't marked and biked along a levee, passed by a pumping station and arrived.
The confluence is on a narrow strip of land between the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet Canal and some railroad tracks. It was a beautful day, and we sat for awhile on the banks and watched the passing barges.