The Horror

Part 2

Knee deep in mud.

"Going up that river was like traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world, when vegetation rioted on the earth and the big trees were kings. An empty stream, a great silence, an impenetrable forest. The air was warm, thick, heavy, sluggish. There was no joy in the brilliance of sunshine. The long stretches of the waterway ran on, deserted, into the gloom..."
--Heart Of Darkness, Joseph Conrad

While I wanted my turn to see a minor government bureaucrat I struck up a conversation with another petitioner. Somehow the subject of the outdoors came up and I inquired as to his knowledge of anyone who had explored the swamps of Louisiana. His reply both intrigued and incited forboding:
"Ha, no one really does that."

Of course I had to respond.

"No one? Surely someone must. There are maps, and all that land..."
"People who go out there don't come back, it's too dangerous, too easy to get lost. Not to mention the snakes and alligators."
"Well, I intend to. People have said that to me before about other places, and nothing has lived up to its reputation yet."

His voice took on a serious note.

"You can't do that, you're asking to die or get lost for a long time..."

We went on a little while before his name was called. Neither one of us could convince the other although I felt his concern for my safety was genuine. As I talked to people about my plans opinions ranged from curiosity on why would a person want to go somewhere so unpleasant to serious warnings that I would become the latest victim.

It wasn't long until we began setting out to see for ourselves what was out there. Paddling into the murky waters down narrow channels, overgrown with cypress. The nameless horrors that my companion had warned me of manifested themselves. In the early morning mists we heard a creature barrelling heedlessly through the vegetation. Peering into the foliage from the boat only afforded a glimpse of a large dark haired creature that disappeared as the swamp returned to lonely solitude.

But it wasn't until we had beached the boat and stepped out, only to sink to our knees in fetid mud and rotting foliage, we understood the range of reactions we had received. The unpleasant smells, the army of mosquitoes, the heart stopping appearance of a snake bolting from underfoot, and most importantly the apparently endless expanse of vegetation growing from the shallow water, all different, and yet all deceptively similar inviting us to become hopelessly lost.

The swamp doesn't immdiately please the viewer like the desert under sunset. The swamp comes with a host of foul smells; you can't just drive up to an overlook to get a taste of it. To see the beauty here you have to be willing to travel deep into the heart of darkness.

Thick mud.


A hollow tree...

The interior was really quite spacious.

The mud makes a mess.



See the world, they
told me...

bayou goula towhead

the sea test

the circumnavigator pt5
the circumnavigator pt4
the circumnavigator pt3
the circumnavigator pt2
the circumnavigator pt1
falling dream
the darkness
one hell of a mile 3&4
he will return
the believers
the horror pt2
the horror pt1
death valley

paradise of outlaws
the mountain climbers 1&2
brought to surface
one hell of a mile 3
the lost world
inner gorge
a ghost story
the riddle
slaying the minotaur
heart of darkness
public lands
organ music
two sought adventure
the virgin river
the road north

steal the world
the end of the world
el dorado
the valley of the kings 2
the valley of the kings 1
one hell of a mile 2
one hell of a mile 1
the mountain climbers rr4
heroes rr3
rainy roadtrip 2
rainy roadtrip 1
the transgression
sinister 2
sinister 1
new chapter

like sedona?
torn in two
bridge to nowhere
the door
hitting the wall
elusive 2
elusive 1
pick up lines

revisited 2
revisited 1
which way?
lost mines
in their footsteps
a dance with death

casting the bones
mountain thief
the deer hunter
strange temple
burial pt. 3
burial pt. 2
burial pt. 1
the apparition
return to hell
the lower depths
underground lake
stretch sewer
the hidden lab
shadow movements
meager rations
sw8: the conclusion
sw7: lost gold mines
sw6: the big tubes
sw5: gold!
sw4: el calderon
sw3: redondo
sw2: ghosts
sw1: westward bound
formaldehyde dreams
the underdark
in the beginning