Blighted Tin House on the St. Tammany Trace

Oh, I had a most lovely day on my bicycle. I got up early and drove myself and the Surly to Lacombe and rode up the St. Tammany Trace to Abita Springs. On my way I saw lots of other folks on bikes, a few runners, some walkers, and a kid on a scooter. The sky was perfectly blue and the sun was bright, and I just pedaled and pedaled and pedaled, listening alternately to birds and music. Such a nice way to spend the day! Once I hit Abita I was positively famished, so grabbed lunch and checked out some of the goodies at the town-wide garage sale. After a quick trip through the Abita Mystery House, I headed back to the car. I was feeling pretty lethargic, but a whole bunch of water saved the day. I snapped this photo just past the Mandeville Trailhead, of a blighted tin house on the Trace. It was the sort of scene that could have been planted there, you know, for authenticity’s sake. Is that why it’s still there and not torn down yet? Because I don’t think anybody’s coming back to reclaim it. What used to happen in there, and where’d the folks who used it go? Today, in this setting, I found it beautiful rather than the eyesore it would be if it were plopped down in, say, Central City. I saw a lot of other trash today, but didn’t feel like getting off my bike to take pictures: a rusted-out foosball table, folded twin bed spring frame, an electric wheelchair, either a dishwasher or a range (it’s hard to tell from a distance when the thing’s upside down), a whole bunch of tires, a kid’s bike, etc. Oh, and lots of turtles, cypress trees, marsh grasses, old gravesites, the Dew Drop Social and Benevolent Hall (the original building from 1895!), and a zillion Mississippi pines. It’s amazing how much more you can see when you aren’t spending half your time navigating and negotiating the ground you’re rolling over. 40 miles later I was back in my car, fantasizing about the next long ride. Lovely.

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