The last 90 miles of the Mississippi
South of New Orleans lies a weird but enchanted territory, said Jennifer Moses in The New York Times. Rural Plaquemines Parish is home to 23,000 people—plus Fort Jackson and several antebellum plantations—but “the land is barely land at all.” The entire peninsula was created by soil dumped by the Mississippi River, and the ground is saturated and striated, mere fingers of earth and clumps of marsh. Because the river now runs between levies down the center of the soggy peninsula, the land is actually sinking, so that its average elevation is 6 feet below sea level. This unique terrain draws many visitors, though, because the fishing is “the best anywhere” and the swamp tours are unparalleled: “You float under ancient trees, past cypress plants that look like they’ve been there since the time of the dinosaurs.” The food is great, too, and “though the whole place could be washed away in a hurricane season or two,” the locals sure know how to live.