Well, this has been a trip! We haven’t had a moment to write a blog post, which is good for the trip and bad for the blog. Our newest friend Kevin (uncle of a friend from the Appalachian Trail) picked us up from the River about a week ago and took us to his home in New Orleans, Louisiana. We stayed in a house that he and his family are rehabbing. It was an awesome house with southern trees, a music amp with microphones, and fantastic neighbors wandering in and out of the house, cooking food and playing music. The first night, the music theory, which we’ve been learning from Brett, came into fruition and hit its climax. We played music with Kevin and his wife Tiffany until the early hours of the mid-hours of the moon while doing a good number on the kegerator beneath the stilted house. That was the same level of the house that three horses inhabited. We feasted throughout the night on the random grub that kept appearing on the countertop. As anyone would, we stayed for another three nights, ambling about the French Quarter, Frenchman Street, Bourbon Street, and whatever other streets we could find. That town had rhythm unlike any place we’ve been. The way people speak, the way they walk, the way they drive, dance, make music, drink, eat, and everything. We were directed to the cheap taverns, the best quarters, and everywhere had some new live music pumping through the souls of everyone. The streets were full of brass howling and calling us to dance, meet, and be. Kevin and Tiffany, along with their kids Mark and Tera, were some of the most hospitable people we’ve met yet. Their neighbors were all great, too. They cooked for us, advised us of the best places to be and introduced us to more and more people. They all taught us an incredible amount about misconceptions of the town, how the culture developed and how it remains as strong as it is. There is almost a tangible adhesive that brings the citizens together. We were blessed to have been a part of their home, family, culture, and lifestyle. If you get a chance to meet people from the crew, ask them individually about their experiences in New Orleans. You’ll be laughing and will stay engaged for over an hour.
One thing we all got to experience together was a Haiti festival, celebrating the Haitian culture. Music from Haitian bands danced, celebrated, and sang late into the night. We met the MC of the event. He was enthusiastic about our efforts and adventure. So, he invited us on stage to talk to the many people at the festival. Six of us got up there and talked about the charity and the trip. People screamed for us, clapped, and, afterwards, threw us money and bought shirts. What a success. We made more money, possibly, than we would have by hosting our own event. Timing was perfect. It was meant to be.
Although we were not happy to see our friends on the shore, waving as we paddled farther south, we knew our trip was close to the end and the River called to us like the music in the streets did for four nights before. So we went, but we’ll be back on another open invitation.
We can’t make as many miles down here as we could farther North. The current essentially stopped. We make between three and four miles per hour, but we only have a few miles left. Tonight, we’re in some thick woods, cooking an eight pound red fish over hot coals. Robert Poche and Bruce Comeaux stopped by our site with beer and a fish they caught this evening. We’re nibbling off of it, toasting every few minutes to the trip and our last night in the woods. We really have grown together. We’re closer, stronger, and have come to depend on each other more and more. It feels good for everyone. It will be sad to leave the River, but, like any long trip, the trip doesn’t stop at the terminus. We’ll keep raising money, passing the winter months together in Colorado.