I had no idea how many people to expect for today’s 4th Annual Hike of the Lafitte Corridor. Last year we had 16 or 17, the year before that, the same. But this year we had better publicity thanks to the sponsorship of Massey’s Professional Outfitters. If we doubled our numbers we’d be successful beyond my wildest dreams.
But we didn’t double our numbers. We just about quadrupled them.
I was absolutely knocked out, astonished, amazed, flabbergasted even, by this response. How to explain it? I’d like to think everyone was drawn by the sheer force of my charisma, but even I can’t swallow that one.
Maybe it was the lunch at Massey’s.
Or maybe it’s an indication that this project’s time has come.
I gotta give props again to Massey’s. The only estimate they had was the numbers I gave them, and I low-balled it. As we started hiking, I gave them a call. (Up to this point all our arrangements had been made over e-mail. In fact, I didn’t even have their number in my phone — had to look it up on Google Maps.) “Uh, you remember the ‘wildest dreams’ estimate I gave you? Well, double that.” And to their great credit, they rolled with it like the pros they are. They quickly got more food for lunch and chartered a bus for the return shuttle.
Somehow we seemed to move much faster as a large group. I’ve got timestamped photos from each of the previous hikes that prove our smaller groups moved much more slowly. You’d have thought it would be the opposite. My theory is that smaller groups can stop and linger for discussion much more easily. Sixty people, not so much. So we just kept hiking.
I really don’t relish organizing events. But already my thoughts are turning to next year’s hike. Hopefully it will be even bigger, or at least comparable. I hope some of this year’s participants return and can see some progress made on building the greenway. The portion between Jeff Davis and Carrollton was the roughest patch, actually hazardous in places with high weeds and industrial debris. Next year it should be the easiest stretch, as that’s the first place we hope to lay asphalt.
PS: Of course no post on this subject would be complete without a link to the Friends of Lafitte Corridor. Go join now.
Update: Here’s two other blog accounts of the hike: Blazing (hot) trail by NOLA Cleophatra and Hot on the trail by the inimitable Dangerblond. Hmmm… I guess it was pretty warm out there… I didn’t really notice. But thanks for writing about it, y’all.