Sunday, August 10, 2014

Mr. Wilson's Swamp Boat Tour



Saturday was the day we had all been waiting for since we arrived in Southern Louisiana.  While we are living in what people affectionately call "the bayou," our home is technically in the suburbs of the bayou.  We got to visit the swamp for the first time this weekend and we are certainly going to return.

A lovely couple named the Wilson's gave us our first tour of the swamp.  Mr. Wilson is retired Coast Guard.  This jovial, southern gentleman opens his home to other Coasties like we're all a part of his family.  Most people don't pick this area on their military dream sheet because they likely haven't ever heard of it.  Mr. Wilson likes to show this place off because this is "real" Louisiana.  We will forever be grateful and look forward to returning for another trip.

Mr. Wilson
Enjoying the deck
When we first arrived Jim claimed he needed a "shower", so per his style he did a jack-knife right into the canal off his back deck.  It was, needless to say, immediately impressive and we knew we were in for a fine time.  We all loaded the boat after we'd loaded the day's gear and away we went.

The polka dot boat
The whole family was very excited to see Cypress trees and Cypress knees (thank you for the info. Mendy) lining the canal.  Spanish moss was hanging elegantly from the branches making it's own unique curtain along our path.  Friendly neighbors all waved and shouted hello from their back decks, happily welcoming the boat's interruption to their back yard fun.




The wildlife showed itself in all it's swamp splendor.  We saw blue herons and cranes.  We saw turtles and ducks.  We saw Gators!!  Though the toothy swamp beasts were not into being overtly photogenic during our visit.  Their eyes monitored their domain as we happily drifted on past.

Blue heron

Find the turtle?

Crane
Can you spot the gator eyes?
There was a squall on one of the bayous.  We visited several including 4-mile Bayou and Bayou Long. Certainly I missed parts of the description because I was soaking it all in at the time.  The rain let loose and we welcomed it, as it cooled us all down quickly.  Mendy saved us from being pelted too much by sharing her rain blankets, which was greatly appreciated.

For lunch we stopped by a bait and tackle shop that was rocking with Louisiana fun.  There was a live  band and the locals were dancing and drinking and smoking.  Jim introduced us to Leroy, who owned the place.  He and his wife were very friendly and welcoming.  We enjoyed a plate of Jambalaya from a huge cauldron and drank our beers with all of the other boaters.  Some of the parts of this tour are only accessible by boat, so if you're ever looking for a place to get away....

Leroy's spot

Dancing happened here:)
The kids ended their day with a nice swim at the Wilson's.  Little did they know that there was a small gator swimming a short bit down the canal.  My husband and I decided not to be nervous because Jim and Mendy weren't nervous.  It is apparently just part of living on the Bayou.



Jim contemplating another jack-knife
After our tour, I can say that I like the "real" Louisiana.  It is a fun-filled place that is very friendly and non-judgmental.  Though, I was called out for not being from here.  I guess my Yankee accent must have given me away.  Luckily my smile let them know Yankees have fun too.




    
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