Lost in Louisiana


Bored last Saturday and looking for something to do, Neil and I decided to drive north from his home in Baton Rouge to the Tunica Hills for an afternoon hike.

Everybody in Baton Rouge seems to know about the Tunica Hills hiking trails, but there?s no signage to indicate how to get there. When the highway we were on abruptly ended at the main entrance to the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, it was clear we’d missed our turn.

But before we turned around, we figured we might as well check out the prison’s museum, which is just outside and to the right of the entry gate. The museum is full of artifacts from the penitentiary?s long and gruesome history, including a mockup of a cell and the old electric chair once used in executions.

On our way out the door, the curator kindly pointed us in the direction of the trails we were looking for. We almost missed the turn again, and were beginning to seriously doubt the curator?s directions halfway up a narrow, winding dirt road through the hills (mountains, by Louisiana standards).

Finally we reached the trails and were a little disappointed with what we found. Our unintended detour had left us short on time, so we took a quick walk and headed home. The prison proved to be the more interesting stop of the afternoon.

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