Diaries of a Climate Nomad — Louisiana

Exploring the inconvenient places people would rather forget…

Russ Linton
The Environment

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Derelict house in Coushatta, LA — One of many burnt-out structures scattered around the area. Photo by author.

“What’s that smell?”

Our second day in Louisiana and I was already having flashbacks. We’d traveled to New Orleans years ago in the wake of Mardi Gras. Though the quiet streets were recovering from the raucous celebration, I enjoyed the city’s artsy vibe and the Creole aesthetic.

What I couldn’t appreciate was the smell.

An odor of urine pervaded the streets. It would recede only to creep up on us again like a rogue wave. I don’t know if the source was actually pee (though I had watched a drunk take his aim in an alley the night before) or if there was some other less cringe-worthy explanation.

So it was oddly disquieting when years later and hundreds of miles north in a rural thicket outside of Shreveport, I found myself pondering the same question.

What is that smell?

This time the smell wasn’t urine, but flatulence. Farts. Rotten eggs. I checked my shoe first. Then I turned to Google to find out the cause.

I found an article titled, “Mysterious smell lingers across Northwest Louisiana,” dated two years ago. Disappointingly, residents around Shreveport had already posed the same question.

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Russ Linton
The Environment

Nomad, science fiction author, former cryptocurrency miner, trailblazer. Find out more at https://www.russlinton.com