Monday, February 23

The Hardhat Diaries: Woods Re-entry

I told myself that nothing would change when I had kids. God how laughable that is. I barely have time to breathe and be what the internet says is a good mother and do my job and everything else. Let's not even talk about the state of my house on daily basis. I'm fairly confident we could build a fifth dog out of the fur in my living room.

Momma, you're so embarrassing.
BUT ANYWAY, since I do still have my job that means going back to the woods. How wonderful it felt. If 2011 me read this she would have an absolute fit: kids and the logging woods? So let's pretend I just took this trip, instead of the reality that this trip was nearly three weeks ago.

My woods re-entry was a gradual process: I first went on a day trip to middle Georgia to grab a quick story. Man, it felt good. The weather was perfect, the equipment was new and my interview went great. Two weeks later I left on my first official trip since August, heading to Arkansas and Louisiana, places Woods Barbie knows well.

Much to my relief, my now much longer hair still fits up under my hardhat in a nice braided bun, my real denim, high waited work pants still fit, and even though I had to do an emergency steel toes purchase, I can still clomp around in them.

On the story gathering front, there was nothing Earth shattering to report. The stories were all good, lots of young guys in the mix. Fun equipment to watch in action, if you're into that sort of thing. I also got to sort of trespass to get some photos of a biomass plant being built. I saw a coyote trying to find it, which is worth reporting. Obviously, my boss was super supportive as per usual on these endeavors.

I spent the bulk of my nights in Monticello, Ark. and Monroe, La. Monticello is a great town and any time I am in southeast Arkansas, I prefer to stay there. The food is just out of this world. I make a point to go to local favorite Ray's each time, but this last time I also went to Bubbie's, another favorite with the locals. Monticello-ians are serious about their onion rings! These things were impressive to say the least.
Ray's double with rings
Bubbie's double cheese add lettuce with rings
I had an absolute blast playing around Natchitoches, La. after my last two appointments before heading home. As Louisiana’s oldest city, it has all the charm of New Orleans without the grubby meth feel.
Cobblestone streets, two story balconies and river front views, made this charming Louisiana city a wonderful pit stop.
The ironwork was beautiful!
If it wasn't so far away, I would love to come spend a weekend at one of the B&Bs. I had lunch at Mama's Oyster House and can see why both of my loggers that day told me I just HAD to have lunch there. My fish po boy was delicious. Made me wish it wasn't the middle of the day and I could enjoy a large hurricane and some blues.

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