The heart and soul of Louisiana stirs in the bayou, where cypress rise over still waters and beneath a star-studded sky. Take yourself there: above the mirrored horizon rise stalwarts that are anchored to the river bottom. Under the overgrowth of Spanish moss, each paddle stroke brings you closer to the underworld, a river thick with stirred-up sediment, a place of alligators and an old mythos of supernatural forces. This is not Thoreau’s woods nor Muir’s mountains. But you will find here the same spirit of rugged self-reliance among the draped and decrepit bones of old cypress.