Wanderin’ South of I-10 from Jacksonville to Los Angeles, that part of the country below Interstate 10, is to be in Another America.
Nowhere is that feeling of being in Another America more evident than when south of I-10 in southern Louisiana. One of the last truly regional areas in the United States, south of I-10 in Louisiana is Cajun Country.
Written with a fountain soda in mind, the grooves of the song Green River always come to mind when wanderin’ south of I-10 in Louisiana.
Well, take me back down where cool water flow, yeh Let me remember things I love Stoppin' at the log where catfish bite, Walkin' along the river road at night, Barefoot girls dancin' in the moonlight. I can hear the bull frog callin’ me Wonder if my rope’s still hanging’ to the tree Love to kick my feet way down the shallow water, Shoe fly, dragon fly, get back to your mother Pick up a flat rock, skip it across Green River
~ John Fogarty, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Green River
Cajun Country is one of the last places in America to retain as much of its culture and personality as it has. It’s obvious the moment you get south of the Interstate and away from the cities. Get back into the bayous where there are no big box stores and no fast food, and you’ll see what I mean. There’s plenty of original food, music, mixed patois, and warm hospitality.
Explore Cajun Country
Wind your way down two lane roads through the rice fields between small crossroads towns. Walk into Landry’s Meat & Grocery in Catahoula and get ya some warm Boudin. When I was there I was the only customer in the store not wearing white rubber boots. Head over to Kaplan and ask around where Suire’s Grocery & Restaurant is. Get a couple of plate lunches just for yourself. That way you can taste a wide variety of the best and most authentic Cajun Country food you’ve ever had. “If you want country cooking, come to the country” they say at Suire’s. I recommend the Turtle Piquant, though you won’t go wrong ordering anything there.
Go down through the cane fields and find Bonamis Grocery and get a coke and more warm Boudin. Listen to the local duck hunters talk about da poodoos and how someone used it in gumbo. It’s just an old corner store that sells beer, firewood and white rubber boots. A whole shelf of white rubber boots. Delcambre Reeboks, one Cajun friend explained.
South of I-10 in Lousiana is the best place to slow down, relish your environment, and explore to your heart’s content. I could write pages more about Cajun Country, and hope to soon. I have a mess of images and some video to explain.
The images in this post were done one late afternoon on the Atchafalaya Basin Spillway Levee. It is a long, high, levee in southern Louisiana that runs up from Charenton near the Attakapas Island WMA.
An interesting article with a great 1969 video of CCR performing Green River can be found at Creedence Clearwater Revival’s ‘Green River’ at 50 – Our Essential Guide to Early CCR.
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