Long day -- and if the weather permits two more long days, we'll be in New Orleans Wednesday night. (A quite different New Orleans experience than I'm accustomed to, of course.) 

We're camped on the river's last island (at least before the river splits apart near its mouth): Bayou Goula Island, its called. Tight quarters, but it will only get tighter. The river is trimmed in by levees on both sides now, with almost no batture. 

Thats a reminder that our geography is changing, one among a few, though they are subtle still. The big one are our new companions: ocean-going freighters, tall and wide and slicing through the water, now share the channel, since we are past Baton Rouge.  

Which reveals an obvious fact, though one I rarely consider: we are headed to an ocean. The water doesn't stop in 200 miles; it flows on into the Gulf Stream. It swirls around to the many countries named on the freighters' hulls -- Singapore, Panama, Malta. That fact makes the river seem both bigger and smaller at once.