Saturday, June 30, 2012

Baton Rouge and Bonita Lakes

All's well that ends well, and though I had a great time in Dallas, I couldn't stay forever. Iz has gym, I've got work. While I can mostly work from anywhere with a good internet connection, I can't do everything. Time to go.

We bailed back to Baton Rouge last Tuesday and dropped off Kathryn and Sophie. Wednesday, Iz and I aimed ourselves in the general direction of home. I say the general direction because we took a little side trip through downtown Baton Rouge first.

In the late 80's and early 90's, when I skated 6 hours a day, along with my brother and Sager, one of my perpetual partners in crime was Clark Derbes. During the summer of '91, in particular, I'd skate with him in the morning, work until 9PM then skate with J 'til midnignt or 1, most days.

Clark's an artist now, living in Vermont, but he recently came back to Baton Rouge to paint a mural on the corner of Florida and Third, downtown.

 Clark's Mural

The mural itself is beautiful, and standing in front of it made me far more homesick than I imagined it might. I could see the wall...

 The Wall

St. James Church...

 St. James

Capital Bank, the Centroplex, that ollie bump across from the old house, and a half dozen more skate spots. The flood of memories was almost tangible. And with this massive expression consuming my field of vision... It wasn't exactly like standing there again with my friend, but it was pretty close. Man.

I got a shot of Iz in front.

 Iz at Clark's Mural

And that made me reflect on how much my life has changed in the last 20 years. How much more might it change in the next?

We grabbed some lunch nearby and hit the road.

Passing through Honey Island Swamp on the LA/MS border, I first saw some wild hog roadkill, then a small herd of hogs themselves. Iz missed them both, but as fate would have it, there was an exit right there and we were able to spin back for a better look.

Only one remained when we returned.

 Honey Island Swamp Pig

It soon trotted off but Iz got to see a real, live, wild hog. Waaa!

We needed gas in Meridian. We often stop in Meridian. So much so that I've been able to explore and map the entire mountain bike trial system at Bonita Lakes, nearby. There's a walking trail around the lower lake too, but I've always been too tired/lazy to walk it after riding. This time, I had plenty of energy and nothing better to do, so me and Iz took a walk around the lake.

There were a lot of rules.

 Lots of Rules

It was like 100 degrees and sunny, and the reflections off the lake were blinding at first but partway around it was beautiful.

 Bonita Lake

The perimeter was dotted with swamp cypress (I think) and most of it had some weird growth going on.

 Weird Cypress Disease

What the heck is that?


About halfway around, a massive conglomeration of geese blocked the trail.


They were entirely unafraid of us.

 Geese (Unafraid)

One hissed, but other than that, they were very friendly too. We didn't have any bread though. Sorry, geese.

And then our walk was over.

I'm fairly certain that I have some odd form of hoarding re. trails and map data.

"No, I'm just being thorough."

"No, admit it, you have a problem."

"Yeah, but it's useful and interesting and I've learned so much and Adventure so often follows!"

"True, but, still, it's weird."

"Yeah. It's weird."

It's definitely weird. Is it wrong? I might need to think about that.

Wrong or right, It was a nice walk and, of course, I collected data. Precious, precious data.

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