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Week #16, 18-22.December, 2005

New Orleans, LA to Somerset, PA: Driving back to World Headquarters


In order to wrap up the journey, Morgan took a Greyhound bus from New Orleans up to Memphis, TN where we had parked the car and trailer at the Children's Museum after our visit there. Early Sunday morning he arrived back in New Orleans and we motored the vessel to a launch ramp around the corner from the Orleans Marina. The launch ramp was clear of all hurricane debris, and the boat was effortlessly pulled out of the water. We spent most of the afternoon packing the boat to properly distribute weight on the trailer for the pending drive back to western Pennsylvania, the home of the River WaterWorks nonprofit organization.

After the vessel was packed and ready for the drive, we took a jaunt into the French Quarters and tried to be New Orleans tourists for a few hours. We walked around the bustling French Quarters eating food and taking in the sights. Here, Aimee is pictured to the left enjoying one of the famous beignets and a cup of chicory flavored coffee at the Cafe Du Monde, a notable and historic spot in the city.   Though much of New Orleans was deserted, it was heartening to see the French Quarters full of life.   Indeed, we had to lurk around the Café for fifteen minutes before we were able to snag an empty table.

We decided to drive back on the Natchez Trace Parkway, which we had first heard about while on the river and passing through the city of Natchez, MS. Here is a photo of us entering the Parkway, which is actually a National Park. The Parkway has its roots in an old footpath that travelers would frequent in the days before steamboats became widely accessible. Many traders would build flatboats in Pittsburgh or Cincinnati, load them up with lumber or other goods, and then float them down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. When they got to Natchez they would sell their boats and wares for cash to aspiring ventures in need of raw materials. Then, they would walk or ride a horse back to their homes in the east on the Natchez Trace. Find out more on their website,

The Parkway today is a 444 mile long, two-lane road that goes virtually uninterrupted from Natchez, MS to Nashville, TN. It is quite a scenic byway, with parks and information centers located throughout the drive. If you ever have the time, and are passing through the area, a drive on the Trace is highly recommended. The historical nature of the Trace was also quite a fitting way for us to return home after a long journey, as so many travelers before us had done. Pictured to the right is a shot of the picturesque Natchez Trace Parkway from inside of the towing vehicle, affectionately known as 'The Cougar'.

The Cougar, the Crew, and the BPV Libelula herself arrived safely back to the world headquarters of the River WaterWorks nonprofit organization in Somerset, PA and were greeted with a bit of snow on Thursday, 22.December, 2005. The journey was at this point truly complete. The BPV Libelula was placed in storage, the Cougar got an oil change and its own bay in the garage, and the Crew has gone on to other adventures for now. There will always be more rivers; we all know this is true. Surely one of these said rivers is quite close to you. The spirit of the river is swift as well as free, a never-ending cycle that flows into the sea.  





River Water Works    *   Boswell, PA 15531 * phone: 814.267.0167

River Water Works is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Corporation, Copyright 2004-2012

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