Louisiana Trail Riders

"Dutt" (on horseback) and Jamaire, St. Martin Parish, 2015.

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Louisiana Trail Riders

by Jeremiah Ariaz
Southern Cultures, Vol. 27, No. 1: Human/Nature

“Though I had been to many festivals and parades in my eight years in Louisiana, this was a distinctly different affair.”

While riding my motorcycle on Louisiana Highway 77 in 2014, I encountered a group of nearly fifty people on horseback. They commanded the narrow, two-lane road that runs along Bayou Grosse Tete, and I pulled off to the side for them to pass. As they rode by, I retrieved my camera from the saddlebag of my bike and took a few photographs. People waved, hollered, lifted drinks, and tilted hats, giving themselves to the camera. A gentleman I’d later meet, Henry, motioned to me from the end of the procession, encouraging me to join them. I was immediately aware of the rare opportunity I had been granted, turned my motorcycle around, and began to follow, occasionally pulling ahead to photograph the loose procession of riders.