May 26, 2008 -- "River Rat Maps"

From False River to Pass Manchac, there are more ways to get lost on Louisiana waterways than most folks can count. River Rat Rob is here to help. He says, "What started me doing maps was getting lost out here on the water a lot."

Rob grew up on a river. When he moved to Port Vincent in 1999, he saw a need. Getting to stuff by water is 'way different than by land, and he wanted to make the water route easy to find. So he came up with the River Rat Rob Map.

"I try to fix it where anyplace that's on the water, they know how to get there," says Rob. "All our bars, restaurants, marinas, boat launches, public fishing piers, anything--how can you find anything that's on the water."

Even the idle zones are clearly marked, along with the mileage from point to point. He even has a satellite map with all the bayous and backwaters marked.

Why does he do this--other than being himself directionally challenged? Rob says, "This little 30-mile circle we have here between these five parish areas, there's so much that we have here you won't see, I don't think, anywhere in the United States."

Rob sells his maps for $15-20, but he has one that he gives away free. It goes to area 911 responders. With the map, cell phone and GPS technology, they can send help even if you haven't got a clue where you are. Scenery and safety -- from the River Rat.