BHPC Trip Information

January 26, 2002

E-mails 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!

Albertson's 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.

The 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".

Bayou 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. 

Everything 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 PM. 

All 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

 The Best Shuttle Ever?

Mud That Eats Shoes

Hoyt's Self-Rescue Techniques

This is what we came for - paddling through a cypress
swamp - no land just huge trees.