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A Sunset Paddle and a New Day


Sunset Paddling

Any weekend you get to enjoy paddling is a good weekend.  A weekend with a fantastic Sunset Paddle (with actual sunset) and a brand new paddle launch?  That’s a great weekend!

Last month’s Sunset Paddle with BREC Outdoor Adventure was scrubbed due to an unexpected and extremely stubborn thunderstorm.  That doesn’t happen very often.  This time around, we had an amazing sky with just the right amount of high clouds to really catch fire.  Come to think of it, a Sunset Paddle with perfect weather and a great sky also doesn’t come around too often.  It was great to have such a big group to enjoy it.

Sunset on University Lake

How do you top a perfect Sunset Paddle?  On any normal weekend, I would say you probably can’t, but this was no normal weekend.  When I arrived at Highland Road Park to head out on Bayou Fountain for paddle trail maintenance, my eyes were met with a distinct lack of orange plastic construction site fencing.  Where it had been, there was now a fully operational paddle launch!  Sorry, perfect Sunset Paddle, but you’ve been upstaged.

One Paddle Launch

It was amazing being able to drive right up to the launch, drop the canoe on the slide rails, and load up the gear.  I parked back by the road, and as I walked back to my waiting canoe, it hit me.  Way back on December 3, 2011, I walked to that very canoe in that very spot on the very first day I paddled/worked Bayou Fountain, just one lone paddler who figured things should be.  My, how far we’ve come.  It was a powerful moment, but there was work to be done, so off down the bayou I went.

The high water had collected a big blob of flotsam at Rackley Bridge, and with the bridge back out of the water, the blob had released and caught just a short way down.  It spanned the bayou and would be starting its uncontrolled expansion phase — it had to be broken up.  I didn’t have additional canoes to collect the litter, so for now it’ll end up dispersed along the edges for another round of chase-the-flotsam, but the bayou, like the spice, must flow.  An hour of breaking up the blob by pulling the long branches, logs, and lumber out and cutting them up was enough for now (and I worked it a bit more on the return leg).

Onward to Manchac

It was a great day for a paddle trip, and I tagged along with a couple kayakers who had slipped under the bridge.  (I’d portaged it downstream, but on the way back my canoe fit under.)  Together, we did a bit of light paddle trail maintenance along the way, and then they continued on down Manchac while I polished off a few more things on the way back.  When I got to the launch (there’s a launch!), more kayakers were there (who had not gone under the bridge, but I suppose I should give the launch its own post…

One Comment leave one →
  1. Penny Harper permalink
    2017-04-10 7:20am

    Thanks for all your hard work. I can’t wait to try out the launch.

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