Learning, Confirming, And Being Weirded Out

by Jim on 2023/05/15

Jimbaux is a hellraiser, or, maybe, he is not.

So, I had to go to Baton Rouge today, for the same reason that I went there in early March, though most of the pictures from today are from around or in Lafayette.

This is the first blog article in which my notes from the essay are audio and not text, because I recently got a handheld audio recorder with USB transfer capabilities.  Previously, I took notes on a Gmail draft when out and about on days on which I would take pictures and make a post here.

I tried an alternative route this morning, going west first to get around traffic to then go east.  I had a weird conversation with LT this morning.  I was going to try to meet her today, which is something that we discussed, but she got weird about it.  Maybe that has nothing to do with me and maybe is a result of her own trauma.

Anyway, the whole thing weirded me out.

I heard Moon Griffon argue against pay raises for state legislators.

At 10:15 CDT on Eagle 98.1, somewhere east of I-49 on I-10, I heard Ozzy Osbourne’s “Hellraiser”, with which I had not been familiar.

I stopped and got gasoline and topped off in Port Allen right around the time that I heard Stephanie Kelton on NPR with “MMT” described as this “new approach” to economics or budgeting or whatever, which I think is such a foolish way of characterizing all of this, because it makes it easy for people who defend the status-quo mythology to defend it because they don’t even have to defend it, because it isn’t even defined.

I was still upset about both LT and JP, which may be bad omens.  I don’t know.

At 11:10 CDT, I arrived at the Raising Cane’s on Sherwood Forest Boulevard.

Just like in March, this is what I am eating before I go to my study session.

This appropriate, since this is the town where Cane’s was born. 

The study session was okay.  I left it thinking that I didn’t need to return.

So, it’s off to look for things to photograph, generally, railroad subjects, of course.

Here we are at The Spurs of the Kansas City Southern Railway on Sorrel Avenue.

I then had a decent view of some action in the Canadian National Railway yard, with some Geeps in the yard, that would have made a decent shot, but there wasn’t much of a place to park, and it was really hot.

So, I went north.

So, here I am in Slaughter, photographing a blue EMD switcher locomotive parked on the track here.

This little park is neat.

I then took what was, for me, a new route north of Slaughter.  I took that road by the ball park in Slaughter, Midway Road, and went north intending to loop around and back to Louisiana Highway 19, which I did, but it was longer than I thought!  Midway Road turned to the northwest to go to Louisiana Highway 955, which I then took to go east back to Highway 19, and, in doing so, I went to Ethel, Louisiana, without realizing it.

Was this the first time that I come here?  Did I come here escaping from Gustav?  I just know that I crossed the Mississippi River on the Highway 190 bridge and then arrived in Vicksburg, but I don’t know if I went through here on Highway 19 or if I went via US Highway 61.  I think that it was the former.

There is talk of rebuilding this line due to restarting the plywood mill at Gloster, but I saw no sign of this.

I fantasize about rebuilding this line, but, for some weird reason, I didn’t think of that when I was here!  Perhaps that is because the old Rock Island Choctaw Route has displaced it in my mind.

Next, I went to check out the container factory – the old paper mill – at the end of the Zee Branch.

This yard is used just for storage now.

The boxcars here aren’t as cool as the boxcars that were here back in the old days.

These boxcars are better, but they are graffitied, as are most boxcars these days, most sadly.

These are mostly CN family boxcars, which is relatively cool, I guess.

I like these old Railbox boxcars.

I remember 20 years ago when this was exciting.

Let’s get out of here.

Here we are on the Kansas City Southern Railway D Line in front of the DelTech Monomers facility.

This is now the Canadian Pacific Kansas City railroad; so, I guess that these are my first pictures of CPKC rolling stock, because this is the first time that I come to any former KCS line since March 31.

I was heading south back to Baton Rouge proper with the intention of crossing the Mississippi River and be done with the eastern side of the river for this day.

I briefly toyed with the idea of going south to Donaldsonville and then Morgan City, taking that highway that I have never taken before, Louisiana Highway 70 through Pierre Part, and then trying to intercept the UP New Iberia Turn somewhere around Berwick Bay, but I nixed that idea that because it meant that I would have had to wait in the heat for the train somewhere.

I crossed the Mississippi River.  Shortly thereafter, for the first time in my life, I went into that residential area in Lobdell by the big bridge, take the old highway – Louisiana Highway 986 – southward then toward Port Allen Middle School then west to Louisiana Highway 1, my home highway.

I also wanted to take a picture of the school, but I was lazy and didn’t want unwanted attention. 

I thought that the section along Highway 986 near US Highway 190 would be a neat place to live.  I could see trains climbing and descending the bridge!

As I said before, I had briefly toyed with the idea of going south to Donaldsonville and then Morgan City, taking that highway that I have never taken before, and then trying to intercept the UP New Iberia Turn, but I avoided that because I’d have to wait in the heat somewhere.

However, I also wanted to avoid I-10 on the Atchafalaya Basin, so, I decided to go across the basin on US Highway 190, but I was also thinking of taking state highways from either side of the I-10 span over the Atchafalaya.

In any case, my choice meant that I got some new shots on the former Gulf Coast Lines mainline.

Some time not long after I passed Livonia, I overtook a westbound train.  Sweet!

Shortly before 17:00 CDT, I shot this Union Pacific Railroad train about to cross the Atchafalaya River.

NS 4090 and UP 8755 were the power.

About 18 minutes later, I get the train crossing Mamsella Bayou.

Now, this is nice!

Maybe I can beat this train to Opelousas?  But, then, do what?  There is no decent shot there.

This is the best that I could do.

We are at North Court Street here.

I know, this makes Schriever seem super interesting.

UP 7070, presumably power for the UP turn out of Livonia, was at the Acadiana Railway interchange yard in Opelousas.  I took no photo of it, as it was very poorly lit, and I didn’t think that I’d get a good photograph of it at all even if it moved, because it would be coming out of the sun.

It was time to head to the Acadian Railway shops.

These old locomotives could tell some stories.

I wish to see the 1015 in action.

That 1500 is the last locomotive to wear the Gateway Western paint scheme.

I guess that this is enough.

The sign at the Washington State Bank said that the temperature was 101ºF, but there was a cloud system moving in and blowing plenty of wind and cooling things off, as “Too Late For Love” by Def Leppard played, followed by “Separate Ways” from Journey.

When I was in old-town Opelousas and started coming southward on Louisiana Highway 182, suddenly, the sky got very windy, and a big cloud system moved in almost like it was from the east, which was weird; I had the windows rolled down for most of the way to Lafayette.

I stopped at Patin Road near Carencro to photograph this storm.

This is interesting.

This is more interesting than the trains that run these days. 

This may be the future of my photography, if there even is a future for my photography.

This is more likely due to climate change.

It’s also due to trains becoming really, really boring.

I need a safe distance between myself and people, but, of course, I need to be near-enough to them.

I am a big-picture guy.

This is my thing.   This is my work.

Okay, that’s all for Patin Road by Carencro.

At 18:51 CDT, I was at Whataburger on North University Avenue, for the second time on this day, ordering a Sweet And Spicy Bacon Burger and a Buffalo-Ranch Chicken Strip thing; rain was pouring down.

Apparently, Gabrielle is not interested in me, perhaps because I autistic info-dumped in my response to her; oh, well, such is life.

Here is the eastern end of BNSF Railway Lafayette Yard.

I began eating the food as I sat by Lafayette Yard on the northern side of the yard.  While there by the yard, I was thinking about how I witnessed the first of UP and BNSF at and near Schriever 20-25 years ago, and now I am familiar with where in Lafayette those trains passed and how frustrating it is that I got here right as this place got as boring as it is.

I was thinking about how all of those cool UP trains that I saw in Schriever, with older power that is not used anymore, would have used that bypass track, and I could have gotten some shots of them.

Here came an eastbound train into the yard.

Yes, the light definitely isn’t great, but it’s also neatly peculiar.

This is basically a new shot for me, as I don’t think that I’ve done this view before.

Oh, cool, there are some building-material loads!

This is Hardie Backer cement board.

Here it is going under the Ambassador Caffery Parkway overpass.

Let’s have a look to the north.

Hey, that is interesting!

Let’s view these cars of cement board again.

Damn, this would be so cool if not for the damn graffiti.

Those are CN family boxcars, which are cool, but nearly all of them are badly graffitied.

This is such a damn shame.

Wisconsin Central railroad boxcars are – or were – cool.

That’s enough for this.  Let’s go east and get a couple of more shots before calling it a day.

Here is another CN family boxcar, this one with GTW reporting marks.

The only trains that I see on the bypass track anymore or Amtrak trains, but, back when UP ran trains through here, they would use this track.  I photographed only one UP train here, back in 2014 when my foothold in this area first came to be.

That is all for the pictures for this day.

I was angered by so many people driving without headlights on.

I just wanted to go to the house, take a shower, maybe eat a little bit of lentil soup, and go to sleep.  I passed by the Cajundome, invoking memories of going there for at least one IceGators game when I was in high school.

I think it was with Key Club – I remember Moon and maybe Paul R on the trip, but maybe Paul R was not on the trip.  Maybe I was just thinking about him associated with the trip, because he was from Lafayette; sadly, he got sucked into QAnon crap.

It has me thinking of the Lafayette mystique from high school, of Condon and LeBlanc; I want to look up LeBlanc, as I wonder what happened to him.  Whoah, apparently, he died?

I thought that I should learn “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” by Panic! At The Disco and “Into the Great Wide Open” by Tom Petty on guitar.

I was thinking about another pretty young woman about whom I have been thinking for a year.  Dammit.

I arrived at the house at 20:16, very tired and very dirty, with still a faint hint of light in the sky.  I played guitar briefly, for first time in months and possibly the first time in 2023, due to hearing what I heard on the radio, I guess.  I just played a few songs and chords, not even finishing the songs, before going to sleep.

That’s all.


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