Norman Reedus Explores the Bayou On His Latest 'Ride'
Photo courtesy of AMC
As the first season of "Ride with Norman Reedus" is winding down, fans are realizing the show probably won't be renewed due to low ratings, so these final couple of episodes are bittersweet, much like Norman himself.
On Sunday night's show, Norman headed to Louisiana — which he calls a "great American enigma" — to explore the Bayou, Bourbon Street and everything in between. Traveling through the spooky swamps outside of Baton Rouge and exploring NOLA's Voodoo culture seems fitting for an actor who has spent the last six years slaying zombies on "The Walking Dead."
For this week's jaunt, Reedus enlisted his friend Brent Hinds of the band Mastodon to join him as he traveled from Lafayette, LA through the Atchafalaya Basin to Baton Rouge and then followed The Great River Road South to New Orleans. Here's a look at the highlights:
Two Sisters Tacos, Lafayette
Before leaving Lafayette, the pair fueled up at a "hole in the wall taco joint Brent found while on tour," Two Sisters Tacos. They ordered The Paula Special, a whole-wheat quesadilla with scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, potatoes, salsa, cha-cha-churri and cilantro, and The Wake and Bake Burrito, made with smoked pork, cheddar cheese, salsa, black beans and scrambled eggs. Their total, with coffee, was under $20, which helped keep their trip as economical as it was adventurous.
The Atchafalaya Basin
After catching some crawfish and racing them, as one does, the guys made their way through the Atchafalaya Basin, the largest wetland and swamp in the United States, via Interstate 10. There, they hooked up with Captain Tucker at Basin Landing and Marina. Tucker brought them out on an airboat and stopped mid-swamp to call over one of his old friends — an alligator. Tucker is known as an alligator whisper of sorts in these parts. He claims there are alligators in the swamps that he won't see for years but when he does see them again they come right over, like a dear old friend.
An airboat tour, just like the one Norman and Brent took on the show, costs just $49 per adult and most include an alligator sighting or two.
Hollywood Casino, Baton Rouge
In Louisiana's capital, they made a stop at the Hollywood Casino, an old school riverboat casino on the Mississippi. Before they were able to dock, the riverboat casinos would ride up and down the river, avoiding anti-gambling laws, and kept patrons at the tables for a few hours at a time. During their time on the boat, Norman and Brent were particularly partial to the "Wheel of Fortune" slot machines, thanks to their boyhood crushes on Vanna White.
Abracadabra Tattoo, New Orleans
After a quick stop at Middendorf's to stretch their legs, use the restroom and chat up a guy who had a completely electric bike, they made their way to Abracadabra Tattoo in New Orleans. At the start of their trip Norman and Brent made a pact to get matching tattoos in honor of Lemmy from Motorhead, who died last year.
While there, Norman reminisced about his first tattoo, a lizard he had etched into his leg at just 12 or 13 years old which he admits now was "probably one of the worst ideas in the world."
What better way to follow up a visit to a New Orleans tattoo parlor than a meeting with a Voodoo expert. They met Sallie Ann Glassman at the Island of Salvation Botanica where she helped them make an emotional candle offering to New Orlean's most famous citizen, Marie Laveau, which was all about "empowerment and healing."
Elizabeth's New Orleans
The next morning they found another quaint breakfast joint, Elizabeth's Restaurant in New Orleans where they gorged themselves on the Boudin Balls in Creole Mustard Sauce and the Eggs Florentine with Fried Oysters before taking a ride with the all female motorcycle club, the Caramel Curves.
As their second day in the Crescent City came to a close, there was a serious lesson for anyone who ever wanted to be famous. Norman couldn't walk more than two or three feet in the French Quarter without being mobbed by fans. Though he took it all in stride and even traded his own trucker hat for one that belonged to a fan, the ordeal left both men exhausted and Brent learned one thing for sure, he definitely doesn't want to be a famous actor.
The guys were looking for The Boondock Saint, a bar named after one of Norman's movies, but they never found it and decided to duck into a much less crowded bar instead before heading home the next day.
Next week, on the "Ride" season finale, Reedus will end the show on a high note as he travels through the the Florida Keys with legendary actor and "Easy Rider" star Peter Fonda, and we can't wait to see every minute of it.
More by Christine Bord
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