COVE & BAYOU GRAVENBURG
January 26, 2002
began flying about this trip- the list of participants grew longer
and longer. Was it because of us or because no one had ever
been there before? Great! Now who was going to guide
this exploratory trip? The Hager's pulled friend Chuck Cantrel
out of their bag of tricks at the last minute. Thank you Chuck!
parking lot held more shuttlecraft than we have ever seen in Baton
Rouge. All participants met us at 7:30 AM and were ready to
head west by 8:00 AM. Chuck met us at the Henderson exit and
took us on a VERY scenic route to the Sandy Cove boat launch (We
should have known something then). After only five rights
and sixteen lefts we were finally there.
Low and behold more boats met us at the launch. It was the
Lafayette Paddling Club and the Houston Canoe Club contingencies.
Holy mackerel - twenty-six boats, thirty people and Wrong-way Naquin.
Best shuttle ever is seventeen people in the back of Ann Ingram's
full size truck coming back from the Ruiz boat launch.
temperature warmed up to 52 from 40 at 8:00 AM with a mostly sunny
sky. Chuck led us south on Lake Fausse Pointe Cut until we
reached the only portage. This reported "easy" trail with
little to no mud on it was a character-building event for some of
us that don't particularly care for mud that eats shoes. All
boats and paddlers received the benefit of an Atchafalaya "mud pack".
Gravenburg is a finger lake surrounded by a cypress forest full
of Spanish moss. We enjoyed bird life such as owls and osprey
before taking a lunch break. Hoyt entertained us with his
self-rescue techniques. We pushed on southward after lunch
through a natural cut into Buffalo Cove. This is what we came
for - paddling through a cypress swamp - no land just huge trees.
We picked our way through the forest watching the wildlife and hoping
we were headed in the direction of the next cut that would take
us back to the Lake Fausse Point Cut and the Ruiez Landing.
Our expert guide found the cut with the 3-4 mile and hour current.
was going perfectly. Then our guide, Chuck, turned right and
headed north up Lake Fausse Point Cut into a southbound current
going 2-3 miles an hour. Wait! Ruiez is the other way!
What are we doing? The further we paddled upstream the louder
the undercurrent of mutiny became. This group can go the distance!
After an hour's paddle, with no break, we were back at the portage
ready to do it one more time! Hark, Chuck turns south into
another, lack-luster cut which led us to Ruiez Landing around 5:00
kidding aside, Chuck did a fantastic trip for us, and we really
appreciate his time and commitment. We also want to thank
everyone for coming on the trip and for making it a fun paddling
day. Hope to paddle with you soon.
Ann & Bill Hager