Sunday, June 05, 2011

Speed On The Bayou

My afternoon was spent gliding through a little slice of North Louisiana I had not seen before. While it’s easily accessible, I suspect not many people have had this view of downtown Shreveport.

And when you turn around, this is what you see.

Cross Bayou runs into the Red River, and north of downtown it connects with Twelve Mile Bayou. My buddy Mr. Watercraft recently got two brand new Wave Runners, and he offered me a modern-day excursion into the wetlands.

Having spent an afternoon on these bucolic tributaries, I can see why people who know about this sort of thing say the waterways are woefully underappreciated and shamefully underutilized. What a treasure. We were committed to speed on this trip, which was easy to accomplish because the water in the bayous was like glass. But because we were hurtling along the surface at speeds approaching 60 miles per hour most of the time, photos were not so easy to come by. So, trust me when I say it was like being on a wildlife adventure. We saw herons, egrets, buzzards, turtles, water moccasins, catfish, gar, hawks and even a few cows. Flocks of birds flew along with us. For a moment or two, it seemed like a Spielberg movie. What a treat!

We roared all the way to Caddo Lake near Blanchard, and with the exception of a river cruise that went a few hundred yards into Cross Bayou, we only saw two other boats along the way. Truly, it was a spectacular Sunday afternoon.
We went so far so fast that we almost ran out of gas before we made it back to the boat launch. Fortunately, we were smart enough to pay close attention to our fuel gauges. When we emerged from the bayou into the river, we did take a little jaunt to the north and then turned back home. When we reached the casinos, I knew the adventure was quickly coming to a close.

I’m thrilled to have made the trip. Countless times, I’ve crossed over the bayous on highway overpasses and looked longingly at their tree-lined shores and wondered what it would be like to navigate their lengths. Now that I’ve done it, I can’t wait to do it again. Next time, I’ll go a little slower.

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