Friday, October 25, 2013

America: Southland

I've been back for a few weeks from the major cross country trip that I took with my good friend (Mie.) We managed to hear some fierce ghost stories, see some great friends, and unbelievable scenery. We were very lucky to be able to take this voyage. Here's my attempts at capturing a slice of it through Instagram.

6:30 AM Driveway, Virginia: Cleaned the snakes, mice, spiders and mildew out of the car. Only about 3000 miles until our destination.

10 AM Asheville, North Carolina: I've been in the melting pot of Los Angeles for a while now; diversity of people is an afterthought. Maybe that's what struck me most about Asheville. I've always heard about how wonderfully progressive and forward thinking the city is, and maybe it is, but man it was homogeneous.

3:12 PM Ocoee River, NC/Tennessee border: Some Olympic signs pointed us to the river, so we checked it out. Feeling like a spider on a shower curtain. There was a bridge right over a stretch of churning rapids. We could see white water rafting crews setting off way up river, so we got a closeup as they navigated the rapids. I was mesmerized by the looks on their faces, some terror, some pure elation. I was snapping away, which led to capturing this crew and their major wipe out.

4:34 PM Bellefonte Nuclear Generating Station, Alabama: I cannot get behind nuclear power. Even after hours of discussion and attempted persuasion. I get it, you get a lot of bang for your buck. But the bang is practically infinite when there's a fallout. I have a hard time believing, with all of the inspired minds in the world, that clean energy on a massive scale is impossible. More than innovation, I have a feeling big money is the road block.

A little i102fly on the side of the road. I want to build a crazy flying machine.

7:05 PM Huntsville, Alabama: Cicadas everywhere. They were so loud when we pulled into a residential street that it drowned out our stereo CD Cicada Sounds Vol. 1.

11:12 AM Crystal Caves: Alabama: Had no idea that Alabama had caves, much less these magical sets. The tour was nice and relaxed too. They turned the lights out and for a minute we were praying this was not Deliverance Pt 2. We were able to walk back at our own leisure, enjoying the caves in solitude, definitely the way to go.

The entrance they say is the largest natural cave opening in the US, so batman has these gates to keep vandals out at night.

The Bayou, Mississippi: This is where the alligator comes out of the water and takes your camera. The sun sets on the swamps. I've listened to too much CCR, I love the bayou and the Creole slice of life.We passed through Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Biloxi, Miss: We drove through the gulf cities and saw many concrete slabs where houses used to be. I think this line on the building is where the water was.

8:54 PM Lake Pontchartrain, LA: This isolated mammoth storm descended on us as we were crossing the long bridge into New Orleans. Only blurry red lights all around us. I just kept having irrational visions of the water rising from either side, so I stayed in the middle lane, like that would help.

10:21 AM New Orleans, Louisiana: Garden District. The prettiest city in the US.

11:38 AM Lafayette Cemetery, New Orleans: Old but not that old ~ some graves from 1960s & 70s

1:21 PM / St Louis Cemetery No1, New Orleans: The statute where acidic Peter Fonda confesses all of his mother issues in Easy Rider. They had to film illegally, because the Catholic church forbids (or forbid, don't know if they still do) filming in their cemeteries. Movies with New Orleans cemeteries always used Protestant ones like Lafayette. This one was especially creepy because it is much older and holds the supposed tomb of a voodoo witch that is all marked up with ritualistic xes. I'm superstitious so I didn't take any photos.

6: 52 PM French Quarter, New Orleans: This is supposed to be the most haunted house in the US. A sadistic society lady brutally tortured her servants until one found a way of burning down the house. Looks like real estate office now. Spook factor is low, but I don't think I'd go inside. Fun .. or weird fact: Nicholas Cage owned it and just recently sold it. What do you want with this place, Cage?

8:05 PM Garden District, Louisiana: A haunted guest house, formerly an orphanage in the 1860s when orphanages were called Asylums.

8:15 PM Garden District, Louisiana: I was taking some slow exposures of the hallway when one of the managers walked by. He asked what I was doing, so I explained that I was a paranormal investigator. See any orbs? Anyway he told everyone in the hotel and later that night I had a line of people giving me testimonies. One woman said she had a demon chasing her, but she locked it in her old trailer. I didn't sleep at all that night.

6:23 PM Shreveport, Louisiana: I was disappointed by the food in New Orleans. I think I was trying too hard to find the best Cajun possible and kept striking out. Anyway, we were redeemed in the last Louisiana town before Texas. Two huge plates of oyster (for Mie), frog legs, blackened catfish, and étouffée. My last meal might be here.

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