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Bayou Fountain — August 1, 2015

2015-08-01

Bayou Fountain — August 1, 2015

Bayou Manchac and I-10 W

It was a beautiful day on Bayou Fountain.  The sky was clear, the breeze was blowing, and the trees were… floating?

After several trips with very low water levels, it was nice for once to look at the gauges on the PaddleBR Map and see the bayou back on the Bluebonnet gauge.  There was a slight current in the water and just a bit of breeze in the air, and it looked set to be an excellent day.  With the water a couple feet higher than last trip, the way downstream was easy and quick.

Under I-10.

Of course, this is still Louisiana summer, with all the heat that implies.  We did only minimal work on a couple mild problem spots on the way down.  Then, having made excellent time, we figured why not go on just a few disc golf drives longer and stop by I-10 again.  Years ago when we first worked through Bayou Fountain (before turning it into a paddle trail), the quick duck under I-10 was our victory lap.  This time, it was just a nice prelude to working back toward the park, but it does have good shade.

Bad Tree settling.

The water at the end of Bayou Fountain was only up perhaps a foot or so, but the Bad Tree had apparently settled somewhat as well.  That put a good bit more of the crown within reach, so another hour or so of sawing took care of another harvest.  It’s actually a bit fun to stand up in a canoe and saw on a branch while simultaneously hanging from it.  (Note: Hang from the fixed end and saw on the free end… unless you’ve got someone recording.)

Bad Tree pass

After an hour on the Bad Tree, it was onward back toward the park.  There was, however, one more tree that appeared to have fallen since last week.  The odd thing was that there was no scar on the bank to show where it had fallen from.  When we started dismantling it, the reason became apparent.  It had somehow fallen somewhere upstream and floated down to where it was now.  It is quite unusual for an entire tree to move after it falls, but apparently the water levels had been just right for maximum current in that area.

Where trees come to rest.

There was actually still a rather swift (for a bayou) current flowing around it, and as it slowly gave way, one branch or collected log at a time, the current became more and more annoying.  It’s hard to saw if your canoe won’t stay still, but we managed.  At one point a substantial segment of the tree washed downstream.  It was much too large to leave intact, so I chased it down and hauled it up onto the gunwales to saw it to pieces.  By the time I had fully metered it out, I was nearly a quarter mile downstream.  That’s a decent bayou current, that.

No tree.

After dispatching the tree and its collected logs, it was back to the park with only a couple of the customary trimming stops along the way.  It had turned into quite the lovely day for a paddle, and the workload wasn’t bad at all.  Next weekend is BREC’s Run Ride Row event plus a Demo Day from The Backpacker, so it’s all lakes all Saturday for us.  We’ll have another fun paddle (day, night, suggestions?) soon, but until then, happy paddling.

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