En Route to Houma

These images were taken outside of Houma, Louisiana during the Spring time earlier this year.

My roommate in New Orleans at the time and one third of this summer's bicycle ride, Rush the 21 year old college drop out Jagoe, and I were travelin' there daily for a Craig's List labor job. An hour and fifteen minute commute, we were leaving the still sleeping city at around 5:30 in the morning trying our best not to spill the Cafe Du Monde on our laps as we traversed the bumpiest streets ever formed. At times it seemed worth it though as we got to watch the sun rise ore the swamps and see the first ripples form on the inlets below.

Upon arrival in Houma we geared up in our full body Tyvec suits, strapped on our respirators and tool belts, and waddled into a new government housing unit each day for eight hours of sheet rock removal. We were trying to combat what was never addressed 3 and 1/2 years earlier, mold damage from hurricane flooding. The work was awful but the pay was good and the classic experience even better. Rush and I were working with people who had traveled from all over and some who had grown up just down the road, all of us looking for something that would keep us on "this" side of the unemployment line. The most classic example of migrant workers was a pair of young men in their mid twenties who had made the trek all the way from the region surrounding Detroit, MI. On the way down they had smoked about two packs of cheap cigarettes apiece that they kept in gallon sized ziploc bags after they rolled them from the bulk loose tobacco. They were pitching tents at the nearby campground, working by day and chasing armadillos by night. Neither of them was a particularly good worker but they were doing what they needed to get by.

The landscape that lined our drive solidified the range of ironies we encountered in our Houma experience, the opportunity and hope present in this troubled riddle. Rush and I were tired by the end of each day but made the commute back to New Orleans feeling lucky to have a place to call our own.

1 comment:

Katey Schultz said...

lovely, shane. just popping in to see some pics, and where you are on the road...like the barn, too. ~ks