My fiance had a school assignment to explore uninhabited parts of River Road, from Baton Rouge down to the Houma House Plantation. This also sounded like a job for yours truly, so we went on an excursion along the Old Miss. We were not disappointed.
Our first stop: A decrepit shack being slowly reclaimed by nature.
But first: an uninhabited, unidentifiable animal more rapidly being reclaimed by nature, with butterfly.
Like the tableau above, the shack was an example of beauty with decay.
Lookin' in the front door (and out the back door wall):
Looks like this couch would have been cute if it had been rescued in time.
Next, a site recommended to me by a reader: the ruins of Cottage Plantation.
Unfortunately, it's surrounded by an electric fence, so this is the closest shot I could get. Here's a vintage postcard showing what it used to look like.
This image was provided by Amy Shutt, who I got in touch with after reading the story of the plantation and the ghost story of the plantation on her blog, here. But when I noticed the name of her online shop, day-lab, I realized she and I had been in touch before, in my previous life as a magazine editor. Now we're planning to meet up and go on an abandoned mission.
More from the reader, Gerry, who tipped me off to this site: "I cannot find the link now, but I had found a story about a "brick reclamation" project in which some bricks from there were used in another building in BR in the 1960's."
I bet that really confused the ghost.
And sadly, I discovered some abandoned (former) animals.
I say these are abandoned, and not just roadkill, because you'll see both sets of remains include flea collars (above, it's at bottom center; below, it's at bottom right). Below is what looks like a dog skeleton with some mummified skin (bottom left of bag contents) and scattered fur, which was inside a trash bag also containing what looks like used cat litter. I guess some sicko had these animals in a bag and/or a box and tried to chuck them into the ditch, but they didn't quite make it.
After that, I'll spare you the shot of the now-uninhabited armadillo carcass we found later at the roadside. It was the first one I've seen up close; I hadn't realized they were so...meaty.
After peering at this carnage for several minutes, trying to determine what it all was and what had happened, I turned around to realize my companion had vanished. No one was visible anywhere in any direction.
Nothing here but some buzzing insects, the brutal August heat, and those doughnut marks on the road. I called out, to no response. Turns out he was over the levee, where I knew I'd find him.
The levee's looking pretty abandoned at this stretch, too.
Among our finds here were the shell of a big-screen TV, booze bottles, burned logs, and one can of Jack Mackerel, empty.
And through these trees is the reason River Road exists, the original highway, the Mississipp.
More to come in part two of Uninhabited River Road.