Feb. 23rd, 2014
by Terri Morgan
I wish I could say this trip started out like any other trip, but it didn’t. This was my first trip as Trip Leader and I was late. When I finally arrived most everyone was in the water except Dave who helped carry my kayak to the boat ramp. I told them to go ahead since I still had to park, pay and gather my things.
Participants were Terri, Joe, Dave, Cindy, Paul, Donna and two guests, Victor and Corrine. The group took off and had rounded the bend just as I was leaving the boat ramp. I put it in high gear and paddled like a madwoman to catch up; leaving a wake that would make a power boat envious. It reminded me of those bathtub windup toys that my nieces and nephews play with.
There were a few boats out and about with people fishing and some were fishing from the bank. Once we got away from the main lake, the bayou narrowed and people were non-existent. Birds sang their happy tunes; cardinals, wood thrush, kingfisher, wrens all were serenading us as we paddled up the bayou. The trees were bare, sky was overcast and it was a bit eerie at times.
At one point we came across a huge pine tree that had fallen across the bayou. Joe tried his luck sawing through branches but there were too many and they were too big. So we put it to a vote to either turn around and paddle back, or to go over the fallen tree. It was about an even split and with a little encouragement, we managed to sway the vote and portage over the tree. Paul and Victor sat straddled on the tree facing each other and they pulled all the boats over one by one. Except for Paul and Victor, no one got wet. I’m sure glad they were on our team. I was tired just watching them. After everyone was hauled over the tree, Paul and Victor got back in their boats and we continued on upstream.
We stopped a short time later and had lunch on a nice plateau overlooking a bend in the bayou. After stretching our legs and refueling our bodies, we piled back in our boats and continued onward.
The bayou was getting narrower the further up we paddled. We finally came to an area where we could not travel any further as someone had put rocks across the waterway and laid a small pine tree across the bayou with big styrofoam blocks tied to it. I noticed a washing machine tub sitting in the water next to the shore so I paddled over to see what it was and inside the tub were two small catfish. Looking up the bank, on a small outcropping, there were fishing pole holders. The captive fish were either bait or someone’s dinner. This is a great idea for a bait bucket.
We decided to begin the trek back. We came to the fallen tree again and graciously Paul and Victor hoisted each of us over one by one. After everyone was over the tree and just when we thought we had it made, Paul’s canoe got away from him as he was attempting to get in and he went in to the water. Kind of like when you see people with one leg on the dock and one on the boat and the boat is easing away. I know that water had to be cold as he was breathing rather rapidly. He turned a few shades of white too. We finally got him back in his canoe and got situated and were on our way.
Dave took a “shortcut”, which turned out to be an oxbow, which offered a different route and another area to explore. On the way back and as the day had warmed, the turtles had come out and were sunning on logs waiting for their photo op. More birds were on the water and more people were out in their motor boats trying their luck at fishing. It was neat to see the pelicans on the docks and the mottled ducks splashing in the water near the take out. It was a great trip and fun to visit with everyone. Thank you to our guests, Victor and Corrine for joining us and we hope to see you again at future paddles. Thanks to Joe for filling in and thanks to Dave for his guidance on leading a
trip for the first time.
Joe Coker's photo album of this trip can be viewed here
|The author, Terri Morgan