After Melissa got to feeling better after her surgery I put a Craigslist post for a rideshare to New Orléans, LA. I had flexible dates of about a week and decided to be ready when a ride came through. Yesterday I checked my email to find an offer of a ride for 11pm to go straight through to New Orléans. I wrote back that I would take it.
That gave me little time to get completely ready. With Melissa’s help I packed and got ready.
At 11pm my rideshare, Brian, showed up. We loaded up and headed off. I will say I am afraid of all night driving. I only had a couple of times where I got a bit nervous, but for the most part it was a very easy ride and went by really fast. Brian didn’t take any money towards gas from me. He said it was just really nice to have the company on a long trip. He is a chemist and was on his way to a conference.
Once in New Orléans I made my way, via the post Katrina shuttle bus (only $5), from New Orléans to Baton Rouge. It was a very comfortable luxury bus with free WiFi, but I was wayyyyyyy to tired to get online.
After I got to Baton Rouge I had to call the farm. Being Thanksgiving weekend there was no one to answer the phone when I had called the day before to say I was coming three days early. So I sat in the bus station putting quarters in the pay phone (I had not done that in years). Finally after several calls and messages I was told Prentiss, the owner with her husband of the farm, would be out to pick me up.
She is so funny and spunky. She showed up with all four of her kids. All of whom are under the age of 7. It is a beautiful drive back from Baton Rouge to the farm in East Feliciana Parish (this particular Parish is not considered part of the USA, because it and a few others were not bought as part of the Louisiana Purchase). She came into the bus station and held up a sign that said “HERE 4 MONDAY”.
Once back at the farm I got the tour. We, the WWOOFers, are housed in the former slave’s quarters. Very cool. This place is over 200 years old. And met all the current WWOOFers. All but one are leaving in the next few days and the next wave wont be here till the beginning of January. Prentiss then gave me a beer and sent me upstairs to take a nap. I had been up over 27 hours by that time. I was ready. I only slept about an hour and a half, but it was good.
I came downstairs and hung out talking with everyone before dinner. Dinner was amazing. Hutch made venison stew with Deer he had hunted himself with carrots and onions from the garden. Freshly made bread with garlic butter and homemade grits. incredible!!! That and a glass of wine and I was ready to go back to bed. Happy!
The next day I woke up to see how really pretty all the property is. I spent the next two weeks doing everything from Farmer’s Markets to laying drip irrigation. This is a property that is antebellum (pre civil war). So amazing. The WWOOFers are housed in the attic of the former slave’s quarters now refered to as the bunkhouse.
The entire two weeks I was here I ate the most wonderful freshest food available. Meat hunted from the land and vegetables from the garden with the dairy from a farm up the road.
The propierter took all of us to dinner and dancing at the Magnolia. A place in St. Francisville. So fun and such a family place to go.
On my one full Sunday there I went with a French WWOOFer named Karine. We borrowed the farm bus and went exploring. It was so fun to see her drive the large (especially by France’s standards) van. We went to the Mississippi River ferry then to Clinton and finally to St. Francisville, Louisiana where we visited a two hundred year old to present day cemetery. It is by far one of the most beautiful cemeteries I have ever seen. It is at Grace Episcopal Church and has Live Oak Trees with Spanish Moss everywhere. There are gates and statutes for full family areas. I just couldn’t get over with the haunting beauty of this place. I still get chills when I think of it.
Next stop a couple of weeks playing in New Orleans before heading to Miami…
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