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Following Louisiana's & Mississippi's Historic Railroads

Finding the Lumber Mill Railroads

Following the Historic Rails of Mississippi

Riding Away from the Elusive

 For the first time in a long time I'm excited about something to do with RRs.
Getting excited by yourself is well ....  you know.
But, nevertheless .... exciting.
"Exciting" can have a catalytic ingredient, "elusiveness".
I once knew this fella who obsessed over this girl. 
She would have nothing to do with him for a year.
"Coy" does not cover it.
It drove him crazy.
Finally she decided to open the gate, but only on her terms I am sure.
It did not end well for him.
Or maybe it did since he finally found a sincere mate.
Knowing this example of the harm being elusive can can bring has helped me along the way.
That lesson can be applied across the board from car buying to personal relationships to railroad chasing.
But, I still mess up.
Chasing and photographing a night time train from Baton Rouge to Alexandria is my latest lust.
Just in time I have  found a picture I took back in 2009 in Hessmer, below Marksville.
It may satisfy the urge for a while.
But, this write has nothing to do with that.

Neither does this picture of the approach to the old bridge at Melville.
I had never known the name of that road beneath it was "Trestle", how fitting.

This doesn't either. It has more to do with explaining the history of the route from BR to Alex.
This is the Torras Peninsula Loop.
The train doesn't go that way, but trains did at one time.

Now this is important though no part of this outing. Yes, an outing is upcoming.
As you all know I just celebrated a momentous birthday.
Thanks for the cards.
A more generous person gave me a  "spike". 
No, not to drive though my head.
It is the long one measuring 8 inches.
The longer of the two known spikes is 7 inches.
The  Patout Tram RR short  spike is 3 7/8 inches long.
The PTR rail height is about 2 3/4 tall.
The long one in question was not found near one of the two mainline RRs in the area, 
the SP and MP / NI&N.
I'm thinking it is an old "nail" used in barn / house building.
Any ideas would be welcomed.

 Now on with the supplemental local ride I did to prevent excessive elusive lusting.
I'll begin with something sad and end with something happy.
The other way is not acceptable in my world.
L&D RR's old CF7, 1501 is ... I can't say it.
For those who need to know what innards of a great old engine look like ...
Here you go, but you should consider this need seriously. 
It's not normal, it's nutz.

Could " '03" be next?

Her ..... lie in the yard. It just isn't right.

I did not linger. 
Since I was out that way I went by the Port of Iberia to see if there was anything RR going on out there.
I figured I'd see something at the pipe yard.
No, very distressing, but maybe I was not at the pipe yard?

I think this is the pipe yard siding, maybe not, no action to report.

 Back out on the Avery Island Road, rice cars were stacked.
Their time is coming fast.
Right across from Adras Rd. is the road to Lee Station, a historic place on the Iberia and Vermillion RR. which spanned the lower plains between I&V Junction and the happy to finally have a 
railroad town of  Abbeville.
It would become a part of the Midland Branch of the Southern Pacific, soon.

This is the road you should take to the port.
It is south of the rail crossing on Avery Is. Rd.

Heading down the  Lee Station  road, an old homestead has always caught my eye.
I was not using the big camera this time so I had to settle on these less than great shots.
Still they will give you an idea.

The house ...

the barn ....

And this strange circular building. I'd say it was for square dances but they are done in square buildings.

Lee station road crosses Bayou Petite Anse or Small Cove in English.
French settlements often use "cove" as a part of their names.
First the road enters the bayou's back swamp.

 This is what I'd expect from "down along the coast" where there are true bayous.
Many times you'll find a waterway mis-named as a bayou.
Bayou's rise and fall with the tide of a nearby large body of water.
Their mouth's, being named such, often carry "bayou" north away from the influencing "large body of water".
Sometimes the explorers, I suppose, just thought a sluggish waterway should have the "bayou" handle.

 I arrived at the railroad. This is looking west toward Delcambre (Dell Come)

This is looking back east  to the nearby I&V Junction.
I did not venture farther in fear of prosecution.
But, there is the bayou bridge out there.
Building the original bridge was a pain.
Solid ground could not be found and the process went on forever.

Railroad Rd which connects Lee Station with Delcambre is now  non-continuous, 
a bridge being out or something.
That is historically a real bummer.
I will bet it will not be repaired as there are few people living along it and 
there are alternate routes, one of which I took.

I went north and sped (65mph) west on La.14 bypassing Erath (E  Rath).
My gps had been bumped and I didn't know it.
I was not following any direction, just my nose. 
Anything in front of me is where I'd go.
I once did that but no more, until now.
I thought I was going north.
Everything was straight. It was very weird.
Then I saw the Kaplan water tower to he left. 
I had a faint moment.
Then I saw the problem
It corrected, I headed north. 
This must have been deemed.
I discovered a long known place by  accident.

It was the original location from which the local people who settled  Kaplan came.
A long ago contact's father had written a book about this place.

I found it ironic and poignant that rail ties stood in the field supporting a fence.
They were probably  from the abandoned railroad that had stolen the population from this place
and introduced them to the evils of the modern world.

Some Cossinadians did not participate in the pilgrimage or came home at a latter date.

Then a mystery. In the middle of this field was a bridge.
It was not a farmer's bridge although a farmer could have bought it from a scapper.

I could not make this line across the bridge a former major thoroughfare.

 La.13 will take you through rice country.
I was now in Acadia Parish heading to Crowley.

At Crowley I decided to cross the bridge that crosses the railroad.
Gaining altitude I had a brain storm.
Shoot the route of the old T&P/ OGNE.
That's it as it bends south to begin its loop through the fields to Rayne.
The original route was to be from Opelousas to Crowley but all hell broke out and Rayne demanded
to be a part of the route thus creating a loop below the Southern Pacific to the lucrative rice mill 
business in Crowley.

I kept the little camera popping as I approached the easterly view of the Crowley BNSF passing track.

Most RR photographers shoot west into Crowley.  Being a contrarian has served me well.

On N. Street, south of the main line, is this large concrete foundation.

I really wanted to call it the T&P depot but it isn't.
It is probably  a rice something.

Two tools I lust for, a Ditch Witch and a little excavator.
My wife would never let me play with them because she'd be on them creating more flower beds.

Moving toward La.13, this has to be where the railroad water tank was.

The La.13 bridge I crossed is ahead.

Then down the old mill road. 
My oak  stands alone in the rice field.

I needed a break out of the sun and out of sight.
Maybe a train would come along.

Little did I know they were ignoring me.

Looking toward the tracks.

Then I turned around as they turned around.

Tin Men. I knew it.
I was feeling an Oz moment was upon me.

Refreshed and in a wonderful mood being in the company of such jovial gents, 
I moved on to The Yard where it is impossible to get a good shot.

It was deader than this old Santa Fe.

It was nearing AMTK time so I wandered around for about 45 minutes.
Cops became so familiar with me they repetitively passed waving and shaking their heads.
I even tried some artsy shots to pass the time.
Use a mirror to read what is on the building.

Baker Brick offered up a subject.

I surmised this is where the BR had been  tweaked to the new specifications if they existed.

I don't think,  as it was created,  that it made that turn but kept straight toward me.

The heat was becoming a factor. Can you tell?

Another boxcar shot was ordered up.

This is a previously unnamed crossing of the Alexandria Branch of the Southern Pacific.
OO might have named it the Walmart Crossing.

I retired to the depot area and became enthralled with the old parking lot chain fence.

At 6pm I gave up.
Exiting town on Teurlings Rd. I spied Mz Utah coming up from Breaux Bridge.
She was the only moving  train I saw all day.
Notice the "KCS" car. It hit me like a bolt of lightning. 
A message to pursue the Baton Rouge to Alexandria run now used by the Kansas City Southern was clear.
I believe in messages especially when dealing with elusive lust.

There she went edging up because the Amtrak was coming and she could be on her way.
I had no energy to return to the main line for the show.
 I was done.

I'm ending this one with the usual shot taken from the old wooden bridge on what was once referred to 
as Larrabie Pit Road.

Nope, I just got a call  from the Tin Men saying that they  wanted to say bye.
Ain't me to argue with no Tin Men.
They've got cousins everywhere.