Simply interesting and very well done piece. Worthy of your time.
Arnaudville is in Cajun country, in the southern part of the state. Morgan City is roughly halfway between Lafayette and New Orleans, if you take the Highway 90 route. Directionally speaking, that’s all I knew.
I was aware Arnaudville is just outside Lafayette, but I couldn’t have told you in what direction, even though I’d been there several times before. Compulsive use of my smart phone’s map apps has eroded whatever navigational confidence — and, by extension, awareness — I ever possessed of areas outside New Orleans, where I’ve lived for over a dozen years. And this part of Cajun country can be disorienting. Boats traverse rice fields flooded in winter for crawfish production, and the slow-running bayous look innocuous until you get trapped on the wrong side of one. In Arnaudville, I met a tourist from Arkansas who, upon entering the tasting room at Bayou Teche Brewing, announced, “We tried to Google this place and ended up in a muddy swamp by the levee over there.”
I was gearing up to feel a variation on that pain myself as I made my way from Arnaudville to Morgan City. It was the first in a planned season of road trips during which I’d compare the facts on the ground in coastal Louisiana with the facts as presented by the official state maps produced by government agencies. Paper maps.