Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Ultimate Thule in Louisiana

There's an expression, 'Ultimate Thule,' used historically to refer to some place that it beyond the known world; most often thought to be in Iceland or Greenland.  As a matter of fact, the U.S. Air Force once had Thule Air Base in northern Greenland, less than 800 miles from the North Pole.  So Thule, the concept, evolved into Thule, the place.

When you go to the ends of certain roads in Louisiana you can sort of get that sense: proper dry land is supplanted by a thin road going into the salt water marshes with only fishing shacks or occasional businesses around.  And, if you persist, brave traveler, you may reach one of the two Ultimate Thules of Louisiana: Grand Isle or Cameron.

For the most part, the temperature is warm most of the year; but it may be windy.  Both of these communities are known to be vulnerable to hurricanes when they come.  Tragically, Cameron lost 300 of its residents due to Hurricane Audrey in 1957; today, there are only about 450 persistent souls remaining.  There's still a sense of doom having happened here; but Hurricanes Rita and Ike did their part as well.  All in all, it's sort of depressing, like you have gone to Ultimate Thule.

Grand Isle has been hit by too many hurricanes to remember them all.  It's primarily a place for people to go for fishing and to drink beer.  Some partygoers even report seeing mermaids.  Then it's time to lay off that Bud Lite stuff.  Grand Isle is interesting and festive, but ephemeral.  It's best to consider that, if there's threat of bad weather, you bail out and head for Houma.

Coastal inhabitants understand this as a fact of life.


Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

Cameron sounds bleak; not a place for tourists to go.

Duckbutt said...

I worked out of Cameron in 1965. It was bleak and rough then.

TexWisGirl said...

was not familiar with the meaning of that term - just the AF base.

Insane Penguin said...

Are the mermaids guaranteed to be sexy after an evening of serious drinking?

Mike said...

There are some Ultimate Thules in the city of St. Louis. If you go there you might not come back.

Cloudia said...


Coastal is best-al

ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
> < } } ( ° >

Bilbo said...

All of a sudden, Disneyland-on-the-Potomac doesn't seem so bad. Well, maybe.

Anonymous said...

Those sound like godforsaken places.