I awoke at daybreak at hit the road. I was just 6 miles from downtown Baton Rouge.
I made it to a McDonald’s and stopped to buy a drink and use the internet. I uploaded entries and photographs.
I swung by a gas station and purchased some water. I met a man named Sean and was able to give him a cold bottle.
It was a tough trek. Nicholson Dr, the road I took into town, had no shoulder. I “off-roaded” the jeep for most of the time.
By late morning, I was in town. I ate a really good breakfast burrito at a small vegetarian restaurant. I heard beautiful music from a park and moseyed on over.
I rested. The music was peaceful. It was coming from surround speakers within the park. Harps, and all kinds of rhythms and melodies. I laid in the sun and enjoyed being lazy.
Mass was at noon. I loaded up the buggy and made my way to the St. Joseph Cathedral.
I met Rick! He was a really cool guy. We talked about all kinds if things. One time he visited East Africa. When he arrived, he fell to the ground and felt like he was home. I offered him some money and he accepted. He also gave me a pair of his sunglasses. Rick told me he saw me in the park earlier and then apologized to me. He told me he had judged me. I forgave him.
I told him I had heard beautiful music and decided to rest on the grass. He laughed, and told me he works near that park, and when you hear the same Enya cd on loop everyday it gets annoying after a while. I though that was funny. Perspective!
Rick told me he was really glad to have met me, and was amazed that I had walked from Florida. He told me he used to be Catholic, and offered to walk me to the cathedral. When we got there, Rick walked up in front of everyone in the pews, right up onto the altar. He got down onto the ground and said a prayer. On his way back down, he muttered, “of all the things I thought I would do today,” and then left. Just like that, he was gone.
After Mass I met a man named Herman on the street. He asked me for some money. I gave him some. We talked for a bit. He is an artist and does drawings. I gave him a few other things and we parted ways.
I went to the YMCA of all places. They let me in for a nominal guest fee. I was hoping to use the steam room but it was out of order. The hot shower and being able to change into clothes alone was worth it, but I also got a full body workout in. It felt good.
I grabbed a fruit smoothie and headed over to the state capitol building. There was some kind of youth rally going on. I enjoyed talking with everyone.
Along the levee, I met kids from the Mentorship school. I think they asked me 99 different questions within the span of two minutes. It was really funny! We had a good time. Their teacher was actually from Boston, and we chatted for a while.
It was now late afternoon and I needed to make a decision. My original plan was to double back to the ferry at Plaquemine, but for some reason I decided to seek a ride over to Port Allen.
After some phone tag, this guy came and picked me up! He asked me to withhold his name. He was really cool, and we talked about all kinds of things through the rush hour traffic over to Port Allen. He gave me his card and told me if I needed anything while in the area to call him. He also gave me a large bottle of water!
I headed over to the levee and dipped my feet in the Mississippi. Someday I will swim it.
I walked the levee north through Port Allen. Suddenly I was in the middle of some sort of event! It was National Day of Prayer on the levee, and I was invited to join!
Lots of people spoke and led the crowd in prayer. There also was a series of musicians who were awesome! Two missionaries from the Mormon church sat down beside me. They were really nice to me! There was even jambalaya after prayer was finished!
The sun set on the bayou, and long story short, I was put up in a motel! I helped the roadies pack up all the sound equipment. It was a late night. I fell asleep around 10 feeling thankful. What a crazy day.
Re: swimming in the Mississippi River