A chapel in the swamp accessible only by boat

Deep in the throes of office doldrums, you might find yourself aimlessly zooming in and out of Google Maps. Typically for me, this results in the discovery of a small island with a single road leading to a solitary post office in the south of Japan.

Recent explorations have led me down deep in the swamps of southeast Louisiana, virtually offroading around St. Amant in St. James Parish. And then, by some miracle among the reeds and sea foam green vector shapes, a chapel in the swamp appeared. I investigated.

Martha Deroch had a vision of Jesus kneeling by a rock along a bend of the Blind River. Under this direction from God, Martha Deroch had her husband help build her a chapel at the site of her vision in the swamp.

Though not too far from the interstate and sandwiched between the metropolises of New Orleans and Baton Rouge, the impossibility of roads in the area make Blind River relatively isolated. After an hour paddling from St James Boat Club to the south, the chapel is a welcome and entirely unique site. The interior is warm and comforting, the location amid the cypress swamp invites contemplation.

Before Deroch's initiative, there were no churches around. Her husband and neighbors helped build the chapel, complete with a resplendent Virgin Mary in a cypress tree and cypress knees below her feet. The property is now maintained by Deroch's grandson and welcomes visitors of all denomination, so long as they're game to paddle out.

Previously: Meat from a 20-lb swamp rat: taste test