Delta, Della, The Dead, The Dentist, And Detours

by Jim on 2020/10/13

Jimbaux doesn't have to live like a refugee.

Today, Tuesday 13 October 2020, two days after we trekked eastward to the aunts due to Hurricane Delta, it was time for The Choir Director and I to head back west, away from our homeland to the homestead, an end to our Hurrication Delta.

The Godmother had stuff to do today and awakened me from what was a good sleep, and I soon got going.

I was pleased for the visit and pleased to soon be heading back west, though I really want to spend more time here when the weather is cooler.

This place will always be very special to me.

I went to the other house, we all had breakfast, and then The Choir Director and I headed up the bayou.

I stopped to check out the Raceland Raw Sugar mill, another special place for me, a place with meaning.

This is, as my grandmother called it, the Statue Of Liberty Of Raceland, which local men, like my grandfathers and many of their siblings and friends, coming home – perhaps via rail – from war could see and knew that they were about to be home.

It is now one of 11 remaining raw sugar factories in Louisiana, and we see trucks with trailers loaded with sugar cane entering the facility.

This is an old tradition at this place, and I am relieved to again see it.

We went check out Kraemer Road, which looked the same or worse, and then immediately turned around and returned to the mill.

Yes, now, we are getting the view with the morning sun at the mill, better to show the “Statue Of Liberty” effect.

Trucks that have dropped off their load of sugar cane are leaving the mill.

With the exiting trucks in the foreground, these are views unlike any I have ever gotten here before.

I like them!

This is as good as photographing a train, because it somewhat is photographing a train, just not a railroad train!

Okay, well, that was fun.

By what is left of the Lockport Branch track there are these hopper cars, probably loaded, for a couple of local industries that offload hopper cars.

Looking over the track at the crossing that is slowly submerging the track, we see a truck exiting the western side of the mill.

That is Louisiana Highway 182, which is the former US Highway 90, but it forms a bypass around the mill, suggesting that the road coming from the mill was the original highway.

This is okay, but I have done better here before.

Let’s then have another look at the parked hopper cars before we go.

No train has been past that stop sign in more than 11 years.

Here is a look to the west.

This track is the “Post Office Track” and usually has cars like these spotted for offloading.

This operation started in 2014 or 2015, and I had long thought that potash is what was being unloaded here to go to Port Fourchon, but someone recently told me that it’s some heavily concentrated salt that is being unloaded here, to go to Port Fourchon.

Anyway, here is the post office.

Save the post office! Fully fund it!

We continued moving up the bayou.

We visited some relatives.

It was hot.

While The Choir Director looked around, I found a little relief in the back.

I don’t know what to think, really.

I dislike nihilism and wish that it would leave me alone, not because it isn’t correct but because it is useless.

We continued going up the bayou.

I wanted to see what was happening at Laurel Valley.

The crane is still there!

I wanted to maybe make a surprise visit to my head homie who runs this plantation, and I did.

But it was hot, and we had to get to the old hood.

And we did.

It felt weird, but not that weird.

I left The Choir Director with The Reliable Longtime Friendly Neighbor, with whom the two of us visited for a while and ate local take-out food that was good, for the dentist, stopping in Schriever along the way.

It looks the same.

That’s the LDRR 1702 above and a loaded centerbeam flatcar below.

I didn’t have much of a chance to check out what the deal with that tank car was.

The dentist visit was okay, but I learned that I must return next week, and I didn’t get to see the actual dentist, but I should be able to see him next week, since I have to return next week anyway.

On the way back to the old hood to pick up The Choir Director, I stopped on what was once called Back Street to see and photograph what remains of evidence that there was once a railroad spur into the local beer distributor that is still here, albeit under a different name.

You can’t see the rail well in the above picture, but you can see it better in the below picture.

Even the trucks are oriented as the boxcars I saw here when I was a kid would be! I really miss the action here; the branch mainline was basically in the right lane of the street here.

Back in the old hood, I photograph what was, both in my youth and until just about two or three years ago, the Shell house.

I spent plenty of time in that house.

With The Choir Director aboard, it was time to make our way back to the homestead, and I grabbed this shot of the stored hopper cars in Schriever.

At the Port Of Morgan City, there were again only hopper cars, no flat cars, on the track.

We then crossed the river into Berwick and went to the track and looked west, where there was a headlight! Sweet! Then again, the lighting for this train at this time of day isn’t good, but then I had an idea about how I would make the best of the situation.

So, I doubled back and went to the Oregon Street boat launch and was able to bag the train, which I knew to have had one locomotive running long-hood forward, thus.

Yes, that is the already-fallen-from-glory-even-though-it-is-not-even-two-years-old Union Pacific Railroad New Iberia turn heading east, with only one locomotive and only 13 cars, more than the westbound New Iberia Turn that I photographed in New Iberia two weeks ago.

It was just three tank cars and 10 carbon black hopper cars.

So, this may be an interesting view of a boring train.

I was pleased to get a shot of one moving train on this trip – unfortunately, though, one traveling in the wrong direction for me to chase it – and knew that I would not likely have another opportunity to do so today.

We took a detour from Baldwin along the Cypremort Branch to Four Courners and got back on US 90 by going north that way.

Then, in New Iberia, we arrived at the Louisiana & Delta Railroad shops, where the LDRR 1500, the last active CF7 on the roster, was in a position that made it look like the locomotive still had a future moving cars on this railroad, even if not a long one.

Were I rich, I would save that locomotive, the last locomotive on the L&D roster from my elementary-school years, and restore, preserve, and protect it.

These hopper cars are storage cars that were pulled northward in order to get them as far out of the way of Hurricane Delta’s potential storm surge as they could be moved.

Below, we see them stretching north of the Saint Mary Street locomotive shop.

That was all. We looked around by the depot and by the interchange yard, but then we headed to the homestead and a reunion with The Duke.

Afterward, as The Freezer and The Nail Lady were to come over, as I was in no mood for visiting, I went downtown and ate.

It’s not home, but there are worse places to be, I know.

I hope that you have enjoyed this mess of a photo essay. I am exhausted.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 KH October 20, 2020 at 16:45

Thanks for sharing.


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