BHPC Trip Information

Upper Grand River Flats, Atchafalaya Basin April 13, 2002 - by Hulin Robert

The Bayou Haystacker Upper Flats trip on January 19 turned out to be under less than favorable conditions.  Rain - turned cold - people wet - people cold - cotton clothes - bad raingear - paddling against a current - paddling against a strong wind - clumps of water hyacinths hindering the paddling.  A bad experience. 

Anxious for club members to experience this delightful area under more favorable conditions, on the spur of the moment, I scheduled a trip there for April 13th.  After scheduling the trip I discovered that there was a trip to La Branche wetlands on the same date.  Since the two venues are some distance apart I did not cancel.  It turned out that over half the participants were from the West side of the basin. Denis Swords from Lafayette, Melissa Bonin and Emile Legendre from New Iberia. Additionally there was Juliette Navratilova from Baton Rouge and myself.  That was it.

Grand River was overflowing its banks.  The concrete boat launch was completely covered with water and parts of the parking lot were a few inches under water. The sun was shining and the temperature was about seventy.

The twenty-minute upstream paddle to the cut was arduous and the calm water of the cut was a welcome respite.  The fresh green leaves of the buttonbushes and willow trees lining the banks were restful and pleasant to the eye.

We leisurely paddled through the cut with no wind and no current. Unlike in January it was completely free of water hyacinths.  When we reached the end there was a statuesque Great Egret guarding the entrance to the lake.

Groves of trees that are usually islands were standing in water.  Water, water everywhere and not a place to pee.

The blue sky spotted with white cumulus clouds was a perfect background for the moss-draped cypress trees in their new spring foliage.

After a short lunch break we paddled around for about an hour enjoying the scenic beauty, which provided a degree of peace and tranquility seldom experienced in today's world.

Clouds turned dark, a slight breeze played on the water and the return pace picked up.  When we reached the river the ride to the landing was short and easy.

Everyone agreed it was a beautiful day, a great trip and we all hoped to do it again.