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Adios, 2022. Here’s to 2023.


Manchac Launch
Well, that was a 2022, but we’ll leave all that as a story for some other time.  It’s time to celebrate the passing of 2022 and the imminent arrival of what will (hopefully) be a much better year.  We’re likely to be a long time waiting before BREC is allowed to reopen the Highland paddle launch and restore access to Bayou Fountain.  On the other hand, after all the usual delays, the Manchac Park paddle launch onto Bayou Manchac is finally showing significant progress!

Read more…

Ida’s 52 Pickup


One fallen tree.
Hurricane Ida left a mark, and Bayou Fountain did not escape unscathed.  Over the weekend, with the water back down enough to easily pass under Rackley Bridge, I went for an “adventure paddle” to check out the conditions (and start working to deal with them).  I successfully made it all the way to the litter boom on the upstream side and Bayou Manchac downstream, but there were some issues.

The first fallen tree downstream of the launch was just a few hundred feet down, and it was a fairly large one as seen in the photo.  The second tree was just behind it.  And so it continued all the way down.  How bad was it?  Well, were you ever asked to play the card game “52 Pickup”?

By my count (your results may vary), there were 52 trees down along the 4.5 miles of Bayou Fountain paddle trail.  I’ve started working them from the upstream end so there can be good paddling while I continue, but I only spent four or five hours on cutting so far.  It’ll take a bit more than that to polish everything off… and then there’s the matter of almost another 50 fallen trees or parts thereof that are down in the bayou but not actually obstructing.  I won’t be bored for a while.

While I’ve managed all this time with loppers and an 18″ hand saw, I’m thinking it may be time to add a battery electric chainsaw I can use for the large above-water cuts.  I’ve had single cuts take over half an hour on large-diameter trunks, and there are… more than a few… trees down.  A battery electric chainsaw could be quite helpful for occasional use such as Ida’s leftovers, and it wouldn’t have the drawbacks of a gas-powered saw.  On the other hand, it would cost just a smidge more than a $25 handsaw.  Would anyone, perhaps, be interested if I whipped up some cedar plank paddle maps on my CNC laser and put them up for a “Help Nathaniel pay for a chainsaw” sale?

Cedar Plank Paddle Map
Well, anyway.  I’ll be heading back out to continue playing Ida’s 52 Pickup on Saturday morning (departing the Highland launch at 8am).  If you happen to be really adventurous and want to join in the fun, there’s plenty of fun to be had.  Otherwise, Bayou Fountain is open for paddling, and I’ll keep working my way through the trees until it’s once again an easy paddle all the way.


Coming Soon: Dropping the Boom on Litter


A boatload of litter.

The crazy high water we’ve had since April has begun to drop, and we’re getting ready to drop the boom on litter on Bayou Fountain.  The trees that have fallen during the high water are finally becoming reachable, and we worked 12 hours last weekend dismantling them.  We also collected a literal boatload of litter to use in a promo for a soon to be announced cleanup day.  More details to follow as the plans get rolling, but it’s going to be a blast.


Still paddling along…


Just a quick note to say that we’re still around.  We’ve been keeping Bayou Fountain clear, volunteering with BREC for City Park Lake cleanups, and generally working behind the scenes as this strange, strange year has continued.

We’re planning a bit of a rework and relaunch for the web now that things are, at least for now, getting somewhat back toward something resembling normal.  Stay tuned.

It’s Our Fifth-Annual Paddle-In Movie!


Paddle-In Movie sign

Registration is now open for our fifth-annual PaddleBR Paddle-In Movie!

What: “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
When: Saturday, November 2nd
Where: Out in the middle of University Lake

Get your Paddle-In Movie tickets here!

While our Paddle-In Movie tickets are available at no charge, we need to know how many people are coming so we can have enough themed snacks and anchor space to go around, so please get your tickets in advance.  Spacious canoes perfect for movie watching (also kayaks) are available for reservation.   If you have your own canoe, kayak, or paddleboard, you’re good to go, just get your tickets.

Tickets will be delivered by email.  If you sign up for a boat reservation or just movie tickets and you discover that you cannot attend, please text or call the number on the tickets to let us know so we can let someone else join the fun.  (It makes us really sad when we turn people away and then end up with empty boats and leftover goodies.)

We’re looking forward to an amazing movie night out in the middle of University Lake with our PaddleBR Movie Dock.  Extra special thanks this year to our friends at BREC who are helping us make this the best Paddle-In Movie yet.

Get your Paddle-In Movie tickets here!

Litter Picking on the Lakes


A few weeks ago, our friends at BREC asked if we could do a cleanup on City Park Lake.  We weren’t about to say no, and so, we went out on short notice and spent a slightly wet Sunday picking the lake clean (as clean as we could get it — there’s always more).  We ended up with 21 bags’ worth, plus a tire.A Little Litter

Included in the haul were 84 vintage pull-tab cans — the kind used from around 1975 through the 1980s.  We figured they would make an excellent visualization of the concept that litter does not just go away, you have to deal with it.  Of course, that meant that we had to make a portable display case to show off a selection.

Vintage Litter

Naturally, as soon as we finished City Park Lake, we couldn’t help but notice that little Lake Erie (of BTR), the small lake in the loop off the east side of City Park Lake, really needed some attention, too.  So, after catching one of the locals and getting their gracious permission to park in front of their place, we headed out yesterday for another lake day.  It only took a few hours this time to pick seven bags’ worth, and just for fun, we stuck a 360° camera on a pole in the middle of the lake to make a pan-it-yourself timelapse video.  Check it out above (and on a phone, you can spin yourself around to keep an eye on us).



Bayou Fountain… Street?… View


Street View!

Ever since we started working to turn Bayou Fountain into a paddle trail, one thought we’ve always had was that it’d be really great to get the bayou added to Google Maps’  “Street View”.  Well, guess what we just did…

Read more…

Project ReWard — Now With Bigger Paddleboards!


Project: ReWard

While we’re out there cleaning up, maintaining the Bayou Fountain paddle trail, and working on getting gear together for a unique and interesting project we’re working on, here’s another work day from our most recent winter/spring project.

The first crane mat in the video was exceptionally large, even for crane mats on Ward Creek. Obviously, there’s really only one thing to do with a giant floating crane mat you’ve just pulled off the legs of a bridge — hop on and see if you can paddle it. The answer to that is, yes, you can use an epic crane mat as a stand-up paddleboard, but no, it doesn’t really maneuver well or move fast. (Special thanks to Mike for paddling over to give me a lift back to the bridge.)

Stay tuned for more from Project ReWard, Season Two.


Project ReWard — Season 2, Episode 1


Project: ReWard

Every winter we choose another larger than usual project to take on while the weather’s cool.  Our previous winter project was Project ReWard, where we made a major assault on all the bridges and problem areas on Ward Creek in order to start preparing it for more paddling access.  With a new BREC paddle launch (or two?) on the way (we’re told late this year), we wanted to revisit Ward Creek for another round.  So, here we are with Project ReWard — Season Two. Read more…

Work To Do, Weather Or Not


With severe weather forecast for the weekend, all our plans were scrubbed.  We were looking forward to just taking the weekend off to relax and recuperate a bit, but what we got instead was an adventure and a very long day. Read more…