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I Sawed the Signs

2017-09-06

New Signs!

Sometimes paddle trail maintenance days are extra fun.  This time we pulled a few miles of poison ivy down and replaced it with some freshly carved and painted cypress signs.  Oh, and there were a few trees down, too.

With the ribbon cutting about to hit the calendar at last, we wanted to add a bit of signage right by the launch.  Conveniently, a rib injury during my eclipse trip to Missouri meant I had to temporarily pause my paddling, so I had plenty of time to cut, carve, and paint some new cypress signs.  On Saturday, it was back on the water, and what a day it was.

One long cane.

Some morning kayakers (who protected a spot for us until we got the trailer there) told us about a tree down just upstream of the launch, so after mounting the new signs, Mike and I turned right and headed to work.  The tree was… not small… and was all the way across the bayou, so over the next few hours, we dismantled the entire canopy (most of which was already resting on the bank) until we were down to the trunk and the debris behind it.  (Mike is showing off a particularly long piece of bamboo that could easily start a jam practically anywhere along the bayou.)

All clear.

After hours of work (and meeting the people who live in the house by the fallen tree), everything was good to go.  There’s still a locust trunk under there and the rest of the main tree trunk, but we’ll trim those back some more once the water’s lower.  With the way now clear all the way to Siegen/Burbank, we headed back downstream.  The big tree had pretty much run Mike flat, so we dropped him at the launch, and I headed on to work the downstream leg solo.

Now with more tree.

The recent high water and my rib-related respite had combined to leave a few things to work on the 4-1/4 miles from the launch to Bayou Manchac.  There were two more (much smaller) trees down, plus a few easily dispatched jams — basically nothing major.  It took a bit of sawing, some log herding, and some light pruning of a couple tight spots, but the second half of the day actually seemed easier than the first half.  (You can see where the trunk of this tree just broke clean off.)

Or less.

By the time I was back at the launch, I was getting a bit worn, myself.  Still, I made a quick side trip back to the first tree and cleared the few additional bits that the trunk had caught from upstream.  Then it was time to load up and head home, but not before a few artistic shots of the new signs to show off at a meeting on Tuesday.

Signs.

That was it for Saturday, but there was a bit more paddling to do this week.  Wednesday evening was the last Sunset Paddle of the season with BREC Outdoor Adventure.  The weather couldn’t have been better, with practically cool temperatures and wind that died out for the upwind leg before returning to help blow everyone back to the park.  It was a beautiful evening.

One more sunset.

So, what’s coming up next?  Well, this Sunday, September 10th, is BREC’s Pets N’ Paddling event benefiting Friends of the Animals.  Then the next week is demo day with The Backpacker (and we’ll be doing a Ward Creek bank cleanup with volunteers from LSU that Sunday).  Then it’ll be BREC’s Kayak in Colors event rounding out the September set.  In October, it’ll be the ribbon cutting of the great Highland paddle launch, with BREC’s Pumpkin Paddle Parade and our third-annual PaddleBR Paddle-In Movie near the end of the month.  (I feel tired and excited already.)

 

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