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Project Clearwater — Expedition 39

2014-09-27

Project Clearwater — Expedition 39

Onward!

Sprinting down the bayou and back to the park?  Yeah, we can do that now.

Last year, I volunteered as crew for Ascension’s hot air balloon festival.  I got to work with one of the shape balloons, and it was quite enjoyable.  (It’s also hard work, but if you know me at all, you know that just makes it more fun.)  This year, I was out there again, which really cuts into your free time while it lasts.  Good news, bad news:  winds aloft scrubbed the Saturday morning flights, so suddenly I had a window to hit Bayou Fountain.

Standard Low Water

After rushing home and swapping my balloon-working gear for a canoe and wet gear, I headed right to the park and made it just about at my usual time.  The bayou was low, between 6 and 6-1/2 feet below the bridge marker.  I’m going to call this “Standard Low Water”, as it seems to be about where the bayou settles out most of the time when there hasn’t been rain for a while.  I’ve seen it slightly lower than that, but not much.  In fact, when the bayou gets to Standard Low Water at Highland Road Park, it tends to be the water level in Bayou Manchac near Alligator Bayou that dictates whether you’ll drag in the last mile and a half or so of Bayou Fountain.

Some work, but not bad.

With no recent rain of any significance, very little had shifted on the bayou.  There were some slight catches from branches or a log or two, but nothing of consequence.  I dispatched the small problems with all due speed and continued down the bayou, and while I would really have liked to get the remains of the poison ivy tree turned out, there was no time — and I need to replace the winch cable, anyway.  With the afternoon hot air balloon events looming, making sure there were no serious problems and getting back to the park quickly was the name of the game.

Canoe, ahoy!

It was a quick run down to Bayou Manchac and back, but I did stop for just a bit to chat with another canoe heading down the bayou.  I didn’t stay *too* long, however, as I still had to load up, get home, unload, clean up, grab a bite, and somehow make it through the crazy traffic back onto Lamar-Dixon for the afternoon and evening balloon bits.  Then there’s the morning balloon bits and a century bike ride tomorrow.  Should be relaxing…  (Rachel would likely have told me trying to pack so much in a weekend is crazy, but since she couldn’t join me for any of it, that doesn’t count, right?)

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