To come to a close on this courthouse after so many lovely specimens feels both a little sad and somewhat anticlimactic. It’s a testament to all that’s bad about 70’s architecture. It’s like a medical office or maybe an old dorm. Are those bars on the windows? Or are they serving another function I’m just not hip to? Who’s going to do a second or third or fourth story job on this place? And I’m pretty sure the parish jail is on top because I saw fences with concertina wire up there. And why put them so close to the communications array I can also see up there? I have no earthly idea. Ultimately, that didn’t even matter. What was important was that this was the final courthouse in the state. With this parish, Louisiana would be complete.
The cache was outside an old, rundown, (and most importantly) closed motel on the way to the courthouse, a small round canister in a tree. I walked around the remains of this hotel, thinking to myself about the changes in highway culture that no doubt began this place’s decline and the pandemic that no doubt was the nail in the coffin. It couldn’t have been closed that long. The AC units and their valuable copper had not been looted by anyone, and the mattresses I could see through the few windows that weren’t boarded up looked pretty new. Shelley (somewhat predictably) ran through my head. “[D]ecay of that colossal wreck” indeed. I signed the log and beat my retreat. With that and the courthouse seen, my work here, both in the specific and general sense, was complete. Once lunch was acquired, I began the long journey home.
The long westward drive took me back to visit an old friend in much better straits than when I first saw it. Cameron Parish, still bearing scars from the hurricanes before my first visit, was much healthier than when I saw it last. The ferry that was not running the last time bore me across the river. I stopped on the shore of the Gulf and took some time to do an Earthcache. Once I crossed back into the holy borders of Texas, I saw the ships, cargo; tanker; and otherwise, making their ways into and out of the channels. The miles yielded to me until, in the fullness of time, I returned to my own home, and slept in my own bed.
And the next morning, when I awoke, I chose my cache for the day. I logged the Louisiana County (Oops! Parish) Challenge.
And that is how I finished my fourth state, the Land of Swamp and Celebration.