Cloud Shadows is the first in the Penguin’s Wanderlust series of travel books.
The first part of the book covers my first trip ever to Louisiana.
The second part was a Great American Road Trip from Louisiana across the continent to Vancouver Island. The route is shown in the map below.
Google My Map: Bringing RV Home Map
I wasn’t planning on going on the great American road trip but circumstances led to it.
My Christmas gift from work in 2013 was being told that I would be losing my job in the new year. In my fifties, I decided on a career change from Business Analyst to self-employed travel author. For my first major trip I decided to visit my brother’s family in Louisiana and then write about it.
So in April 2014, I flew to New Orleans for two weeks of southern hospitality. My brother lives north of New Orleans in a small town and lives in the country. I had never been to the state before. When I had visited him last he had been in Mississippi. Life was completely different in the swamps than what I was used to in Canada.
On one weekend I attended the T-Bois Blues Festival on an alligator farm in the bayou. The NOLA (New Orleans Louisiana) burners set up Burning Bayou Village. There I met Burning Basket sculptor Mavis Muller from Homer, Alaska. She goes to various festivals to assemble these baskets made from local materials to be set on fire as a celebration. The highlight of the festival was getting to spin steel wool for the first time.
Before returning home, I bought my brother’s 22′ RV for going to Burning Man. A couple of weeks later I flew south with my burner son to retrieve it. We drove the RV north from New Orleans, LA to Victoria, BC. We crossed eleven states in eleven days through Tornado Alley in tornado season. The trip was dominated by our concern for the weather.
We got home safely with the RV, noting that many tourist attractions like Yellowstone Park were closer to home than Louisiana. I was very happy to have been able to return to some places that my parents had taken me when I was small. Have you gone across the States?