DAY 115 – THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31

BELLE CHASSE TO CARLISLE It was a cold morning. Not quite 50 degrees even, and I am in shorts. I started my run on top of the levee at the Belle Chasse Ferry Landing on the Scarsdale side. Maybe a mile in, though, I was stripping off my quarter zip and going sleeveless. The cool air was fueling my run, and I had found some speed. Tom ran second and we threw in a bit of cycling at the end to push us just past Carlisle, Louisiana all the way to Phoenix, Louisiana. Back to Carlisle a few miles to meet Albertine, have …

DAY 114 – WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30

VIOLET TO BELLE CHASSE We ran from the Arlene & Joseph Meraux Charitable Foundation at Docville Farm in the rain. Another ferry ride at Scarsdale, Louisiana—not our first nor our last—bringing us over to Belle Chasse, Louisiana. We marked our landing spot there at the docks and drove on to the Government Complex nestled deep within the town. Stepping out of the rain into the Plaquemines Parish Government Office, we were immediately greeted by James Madere, our gracious organizing partner and Special Projects Coordinator at the Parish. He took us right in to meet Parish President Kirk Lepine along with his Director of Administration Crystal Taylor, Director of …

DAY 113 – TUESDAY, OCTOBER 29

NEW ORLEANS TO VIOLET Tom ran from Audubon Park across New Orleans, Louisiana on Tchoupitoulas Street. It was very rainy in the early morning hours, but lightened up for our run. The route took him past the New Orleans Port and through downtown and the French Quarter then into Crescent Park and out of town toward Violet. We landed there on an oak tree-lined section of St. Bernard Hwy right at Docville Farm, a property of the Arlene & Joseph Meraux Charitable Foundation, but before our meetings we had time for some lunch and some wandering. The rain was still coming down heavily, but we attempted to drive …

DAY 112 – MONDAY, OCTOBER 28

NEW ORLEANS LAYOVER We started our day at New Harmony High School, part of the charter school system in New Orleans, Louisiana. Unlike some of the other charters, New Harmony isn’t a franchise with a strict, rules-based, college-aimed focus. This school is rooted in its surroundings, approaching interactions with students, curriculum itself and the entire focus of the school through the lens of New Orleans and Coastal Louisiana, how people live in this place, how people learn to survive even. The vision statement on their website says “students graduate as individuals who practice resilience and understand ecology—the interconnectedness of people, land, …

DAY 111 – SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27

KENNER TO NEW ORLEANS (AUDUBON) We had to drive around the highway to get to the Seventh Ward. It seemed to cut right through a neighborhood, abruptly disconnecting the landscape. We parked along the street and walked to the second story entrance of Angela Chalk’s home. The door was slightly ajar, but we knocked. A voice from the back of the house called out for us to come in, so we made our way inside and waited. The TV was on in the living room and all the lights were lit as we waited for several minutes, and then Angela …

DAY 110 – SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26

KENNER LAYOVER We spent the night in the Emergency Operations Center bunk house. This involved trying to fit two people on one bottom twin bunk for several hours before resorting to splitting up between two bunks. This also involved vision-impaired trips to the lobby bathroom in the dark, with badge key to enter and exit sections of the building. (I thought roaming the national forest in my nightgown was weird, but this may top that!) Over night the storm intensified into a tropical storm with widespread power outages and trees down throughout Kenner. We were probably in the safest building …

DAY 109 – FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25

NORCO TO KENNER It was a stormy day. We started our run at the Corps of Engineers station at the Bonnet Carré Spillway. It was dark when we started and seemed to keep getting darker during Tom’s run. I stopped for a bathroom break as I drove ahead and found that the power was out at the gas station. I knocked on the door and they let me in—navigating my way by cell phone flashlight. As we ran, the school busses were out in full force on the River Road. Their bright white flashing lights looked like lightning, but fortunately all …

DAY 108 – THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24

RESERVE TO NORCO (ST. CHARLES PARISH) We ran down the river from Reserve, Louisiana to Norco, Louisiana, running mostly east along this stretch of river. We thought the levee trail would be paved the whole way to New Orleans from here, but there was still a good bit of gravel to navigate. As we approached the Bonnet Carré Spillway, we found that the road on the back side was closed to through traffic. I ignored the road closed signs and ran the two mile stretch to the Corps of Engineers station at the far end of the spillway. Now the road is greatly damaged …