September 11, 2019
Dear Family & Friends:
While paddling through Lock & Dam No. 24, I was informed by the Lockmaster that my next stop would be Louisiana. I quickly corrected him and told him I was nowhere near Louisiana. He told me he was referring to Louisiana, Missouri. He also warned me to beware of deadly snakes in the River-cottonmouth, water moccasins and copperhead snakes. “Lions and tigers and bears. Oh my.” Guess I won’t be dragging my hand in the water anymore!
Twenty-six miles down river, I arrived in Louisiana.
Louisiana is a 200-year old city that sits on the Mississippi River. It was once famous as a nursery city founded by the Stark family. This family developed the red delicious and golden delicious apple. Over the years, the nursery business faded, and the population of the city has decreased from over 10,000 residents to less than 5,000 residents.
The business district is bisected by two streets-3rd street and Georgia Street, with a flashing red light as the only traffic control. Two big banks-the Mercantile Bank and the Louisiana Bank compete for business across the street from each other on Georgia Street. If I open an account tomorrow, which bank will offer me a motor for my canoe?
I had dinner at a Mexican restaurant (a first for my trip) and I called the owners of the Eagles Nest, the only bed and breakfast in town. John and Karen Stoeckly drove into town and set me up in room 10. They own and manage a bed and breakfast, bakery and winery in Louisiana. They gave me a wonderful tour of Louisiana and offered an interesting history of this great American city.
Louisiana was named after the daughter of the person who negotiated the Louisiana purchase. John and Karen drove me through the cemetery which has unbelievably great views of the River. The park at the bluff overlooking the city features a bust of Senator John Brooks Henderson. Senator Henderson was a confidant of President Lincoln. He drafted the 13th Amendment, banning slavery in the United States. John was the Sculptor of this bust.
I enjoyed my breakfast on September 11, cooked by Karen. John joined me for breakfast. After breakfast, John drove me to Orchlands for resupplies. He then returned me to my canoe parked on the River.
If you ever pass through Louisiana, be sure to stay at the Eagles Nest. This is a fantastic bed and breakfast run by two very kind and generous people. Better yet, you can purchase the bed and breakfast, bakery and winery located in four buildings in the center of town. Karen wants to retire.
John & Karen spend two months every year in Provence, France. John serves as a tour guide and Karen teaches French cooking to Americans. John is also an accomplished artist. His specialty is pen and ink drawing and watercolor. Check out his artwork at stoeckley.com.
In my last post, I stated St. Louis was just two days away. I miscalculated. I am still 100 miles away from St.Louis.
My daughter Lisa will be traveling until Tuesday, so you may not hear from me until then.
(you can click on photos for better resolution)
Hello Bill, I am enjoying your posts as you continue your marvelous downstream adventure. I mailed another edition of the Wabasha Herald Tribune yesterday, containing Your Wabasha blog post in Mike Smith’s weekly column River Currents. Best Regards, Preston