Louisiana research trip: the numbers (and the end)

To wrap up my posts about the trip and the research and my book, I thought I’d share some numbers.

My trip lasted 10 days, including 2 days of travel.

In those 10 days, I visited:

  • 8 specific locations connected with events in my novel
  • 2 wildlife refuges, where I walked 3 trails (I walked one trail 3 times)
  • 2 historical re-creation villages totaling 24 historic Acadian houses and buildings
  • 1 excellent display on the aquatic ecology of the Louisiana wetlands
  • 2 public libraries and 1 university library
  • 3 colleagues (2 writers/professors, 1 writer)
  • 4 experts in folklife and/or architecture and 1 wildlife scholar
  • 1 coffeehouse, 1 bar/restaurant, 1 Golden Corral and 1 Waffle House
  • 3 uncles and 2 aunts, 1 great-aunt, 2 cousins, both parents, and the graves of my grandparents and great-grandmother
  • 5 cemeteries
  • 2 battlefields
  • 4 churches
  • the Family Dollar in Cameron 4 times
  • the Cameron Ferry 6 times (that’s 6 times heading west, and 6 times heading back east)
  • 2 beaches (Holly Beach and Cameron’s Jetty Pier Park)

In all, I drove almost 1,150 miles.


At the libraries, I spent more than 16 hours reading from 19 books, and I wrote almost 4,000 words of notes.

I took more than 1,000 photographs.

I saw more than 30 alligators in 5 different locations, including 1 in the wild while I was all alone.

I also saw 2 marsh rabbits, 3 different kinds of snakes, a flock of coots, countless ducks, gulls, pelicans, and herons, dozens and dozens of turtles, and a nutria (just before it raced into the brush and disappeared).

I saw 2 people ahorseback in the roadside marsh.

I saw 2 airboats out in the bayou.

I had at least 6 moments of euphoric epiphany about my book.

I had comments of support and enthusiasm from countless friends and family, and a couple dozen requests for copies of the book when it gets published.

And I had one hell of a good time.

Published by Samuel Snoek-Brown

I write fiction and teach college writing and literature. I'm the author of the story collection There Is No Other Way to Worship Them, the novel Hagridden, and the flash fiction chapbooks Box Cutters and Where There Is Ruin.

2 thoughts on “Louisiana research trip: the numbers (and the end)

  1. The ‘one hell of a good time’ says it all.

    One of a days when I overcome my agoraphobia, this wee Scots wumman’ll go and explore Louisiana. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: