Thursday, October 7, 2010

CAPITAL CITY

Thursday 10-7-10 is a rest day in Baton Rouge. We rise early and clean our bikes before breakfast. We then ride to a bike shop to get spare tubes for Shirley. She has encountered 3 flats since we began. We then rode to downtown Baton Rouge. Louisiana's state capital, which has an interesting mix of old and new architecture. We cycled the trail on top of the levee which separates parts of BR from the Mississippi River. The trail also took us to the campus of LSU. In 1699, French explorers saw a red cypress pole that marked the boundary between the Houma and Bayou Goula Indian tribes. The French called this tree "Le Baton Rouge", the red stick. One of the state's most colorful governors was the infamous Huey Long, "The Kingfish", who ruled every corner of the state like a banana republic dictator from 1935 to 1945. He even shamefully appointed his brother as the State Treasurer. Huey was shot to death on the steps of the capital building in 1945. Apparently there is no clear understanding about whether the shooting was an assassination or an accidental shooting by his trigger-happy body guard. Huey Long was the inspiration for a book titled, "All The King's Men." Some believe that his ghost now inhabits the old capital building which resembles a castle. This area is cajun country with the mysterious swamps of the Atchafalaya Basin nearby. Many believe these swamps are also haunted. The South does love its ghost stories.
We are having some photo glitches and are really tired so we will try to add them later. Sorry!

2 comments:

Anne said...

We have been gone on a trip and are just now catching up with you. What a great trip you are having! Someone it seems like it should still be September here with the warm temps and abundant sunshine and most days I don't pay any attention to what the actual date is, much less the day of the week. But suddenly I notice you will soon be at the LA/TX border! Yikes! We had hoped to meet you there but alas it won't happen - are in the middle of a big water line project at our house which will hopefully insure we're never without water if we encounter well problems. Were at the mercy of the guy with the Ditch Witch and now Burl is doing the rest of the work. We know you'll continue to have a great trip and can't wait to hear all about it when you return.

Norb and Ann said...

We hope you had a great trip and yes, we are moving along. We are sorry you have bigger fish to fry, but we understand and will eat some gumbo for you. The traffic has been way too heavy at times, but we are staying alert and looking forward to some quieter roads ahead. We have met some great motorcycle people and have thought of you guys.