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FONTAINEBLEAU STATE PARK, NORTH SHORE OF LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN, LOUISIANA —

The really strange thing, at first, was how the camper changed from a thing I was working on, in a place, to a place of its own, where I live and do things, that itself is in a different place each night. The little wall by the bathroom door, which I pass as I flip off the lights and go back to the hallway, used to be the same wall I gripped as I jumped down onto the barn floor to grab my drill. The little countertop is the same one I leaned over to patch the rotten spots in the corners. The windows, which now give a dark view of a streetlight and a 40-foot motorhome, used to look out on the wood piles and lightbulbs and tractor in the barn. Every once in a while, though it’s happening less often after a week, I’ll look around in here and be thrown by how I’m in the same space that was up on sawhorses for months.

I blew out of Mobile on I-10 after a restful couple of days with some good family. Slept in a soft feather bed and ate in restaurants. Now I’m stopped in Louisiana. Tomorrow maybe I’ll go down the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, so long it disappears in a streak of light over the flat water, and skirt New Orleans to grab breakfast in Cajun country. That sounds like it would be nice. I’m drinking Abita and listening to B. B. King’s Midnight Believer. By some miracle this park has WiFi, though it’s very slow. I bought two new books today, after finishing Lonesome Dove last night. Maybe I’ll start one of them. Got some steak, string beans, and a potato for dinner.

Cold weather is coming in. Supposed to be around freezing all over the Gulf Coast tomorrow night. I’m going to try to get to Austin by this weekend and do some maintenance and recovery. I also want to buy a small radio to keep in the camper. I’d like to be listening to New Orleans jazz on WWOZ right now, and it would be nice to follow local news reports. And weather—though it seems like nighttime lows of 40 have been steady the whole trip. It was -19 this morning in Casper, Wyoming, an all-time record. At least I’m not there.

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