Last January, you may recall, I traveled to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico for a birthday getaway vacay. When not lounging on the terrace, I visited Galeria Photo/Graphic in the Centro and learned about an upcoming summer juried exhibition called Interpreted Reality. I submitted to the show, got in (!), then went on a road trip with a friend, driving from New Orleans to SMA to attend the opening in July.
The drive from the border to San Miguel de Allende is a breathtaking odyssey, parts of it include the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range. Mexico has a great system of toll roads but they go around the city of Monterrey, sad face. Knowing that there was a Monterey, Louisiana I was a little disappointed to not drive through the city. (Ok, so the disappointment lasted about half a second as I was preoccupied with one spectacular view after another)
On the way back...I was navigating....we took a right...oops, i mean.. wrong turn
and ended up in Monterrey! Though I SWEAR it was an accident..~there are no accidents~.. I was not-so-secretly thrilled to get a glimpse of this worldly metropolis...because that meant that I was headed north when I got home, straight to Monterey, Louisiana.
If you search for Monterrey, Mexico on the innerwebs, you will surely find out it is one of Mexicos largest cities, both industrial and cosmopolitan with plenty of natural areas and parks. We drove in just long enough to find a spot for a questionable u-turn, so we only got a peek of the impressive outskirts. Grabbing the shot with the city name was the peak of the drive para mi.
Back home in Louisiana, it was time to hit the road again, this time to Monterey, Louisiana.
Monterey is located in the eastern central part of the state near the Mississippi River - east of Alexandria and South of Sicily Island for reference. It was exciting to travel to this unexpectedly new location on the World Tour, because it took me along both familiar and unfamiliar routes. Hwy 1 is a favorite of mine - sugar cane, random crop duster,
and the Morganza Spillway.
In contrast to the soaring Sierra Madres of Mexico, there are the Flat Floodplains of Louisiana. Though for what Louisiana lacks in elevation, the ginormous cumulus clouds make up for it.
For a moment driving north in Louisiana didn't seem much different from driving in north Mexico.
Hwy 15 takes you through the Red River State Wildlife Management area
Past the Old River Control Structure (to match Morganza)
And then to the unincorporated town with a post office I didn't photograph, Monterey.
In Monterey I photographed all the usual suspects.
The Water Tower,
the fire truck,
and then I cooled off at the church.
(I do have a tale about a Very Curious Monterey Resident at this church, but much like the Transylvania Bat, some stories are meant to be sung.)
I have to admit I was wondering what I was going to think of Monterey, Louisiana after my trek through Monterrey Mexico. How would it hold up? Turns out, like the rest of my travels, my favorite part of both Monter(r)eys was the journey itself. I was as awe-inspired in Louisiana as I was in Mexico, verifying once again that the World is as Large or as small as we want it to be, how we choose to perceive it is entirely up to us.
Til next time...
*Shout out to mi amiga /road trip partner Alex Bosworth for the use of her iPhone in Monterrey after my camera battery died*
all content (c) Natasha Sanchez