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My Adventure With The Swamp Dwellers, Part 3.14159265… June 20, 2009

Posted by dianehuhn in Bayou Life, Big Fun on the Bayou, Friends.
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OK, so we rounded a bend in the canal and I caught sight of a dock and what looked the outline of two bayou beings of the human variety.

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The two bayou beings are first cousins, separated by 30 years, but joined by their deep love and respect for the enchanting south Louisiana landscape.

I learned that the older cousin is 84 years old, but I honestly wouldn’t have pegged him for more than 72 or 73. It might sound odd to describe the movement of such a man as graceful, but he just seemed to spring lightly about the dock. I could immediately picture him moving swiftly across the flottant while his younger cousin, nearly double in stature, would most likely be lumbering well behind on the verge of breaking through any second on his way to China.

As we chatted about the fish that had gotten away, I could not stop looking out on this view. Unfortunately, my photos just don’t seem to do it justice.

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I sat entranced by the wealth of history carried by this older cousin. He was born out here. Grew up hunting and fishing and trapping. Living off the land. Crossing the canal by pole. It felt odd to realize that this man and my father were born in the same year. Not that my father was a city boy. He did his fair share of hunting and fishing and exploring along the banks of the Grand River. But I got the sense that their lives were vastly different, but both much more tied to nature than their succeeding generations.

As the older cousin explained how, at 84, he still works trapping nuisance alligators (seriously, how cool is that???), an occassional bass would splash about toying with us and all of us would momentarily pause the conversation looking at each other to determine who would grab the fishing pole next to try our luck. First the younger cousin…

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then BW…

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then the older cousin…

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and I certainly couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try my hand. (Thanks for the pic, BW!)

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But alas there would be no bass upon our plates so we settled instead for a most delicious, old-fashioned, camp meal of boiled steak and potatoes prepared perfectly by the younger cousin.

Before we knew it, the day had gotten away from us and it was time for BW and I to bid adieu to my new friends…

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and book it on home while the sun took it’s leave at our backs.

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If you’re ever down the south Loozy way, I would highly suggest you arrange a tour with BW and make it a point to drink in this magnificent jewel for yourself. But, sadly, you’d better not wait too long. If we can’t get some real action moving soon to restore and protect the Louisiana coast, this treaure will be lost like so many before and a whole way of life washed away with it.

Alright BW…when are we going back?

For more scenes from this most amazing day, click here.

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Comments»

1. Bethany - June 21, 2009

Mmm, pi!

That last photo is breathtaking!

Love reading about your adventure, DH. Can’t wait to mosey on down and have one with ya!

I’m going to end every paragraph with an exclamation point!

!

2. dianehuhn - June 21, 2009

I would kill for some pi a la mode right now! You’re welcome down the bayou any time! We’ll have some excellent adventures of the Boudreaux and Thibodeaux variety! I so enjoy exclamation points to!!! Whenever I use them, I think fondly of a former co-worker!

3. Bayou Woman - June 21, 2009

What a great post! I don’t know what was wrong with me that day. I wasn’t in the photo taking mode for some reason. I didn’t even get a photo that did such justice to the older cousin’s handsome pony tail. I’ll look for a photo of you fishing. I might have taken one. I’m thinking I’ll copy and paste your post if you will allow . . . . . again Camp Dularge is eating up my blogging energy, seems like.

When? I think I wrote you an email with an open ended sentence . . . . much like this . . . . .

Swamp Dwellers said it was WAY too hot out there today, so they shut it down early.

dianehuhn - June 21, 2009

Thanks BW! I would be so honored if you used this. It was such an amazing day, but it seemed nearly impossible to include all the details about the fascinating history lesson we had. I can definitely understand why the Swamp Dwellers shut it down early yesterday. I was thinking about how insanely hot it must have been out there and how people survived in that environment before the days of generators and ac. I’m sure they’d think we were just a bunch of sissies. And thanks for the pic. It’s exactly what I was hoping for.

DH

4. blufloyd - June 21, 2009

Nice nice nice. If the rain would just stop I could be wading the small creeks and rivers around here in search of the mighty smallmouth. Find it odd that here in the middle of cornfields the water is treated as toxic, few natives have anything to do with it. I’d have a deck or dock if I lived on these streams but no one does. Yep raining right now.

Forgot the exclaimation point, sorry ! .

dianehuhn - June 22, 2009

I wish it would rain. Can’t even remember when it rained last. This Loozy heat is tough on a Yankee girl.

5. Bethany - June 21, 2009

I recognized you immediately from the Michigan crocs. 🙂

dianehuhn - June 22, 2009

Ha! I’m thinking it might be time to replace those much loved, but much worn out crocs when I head north next week. The t-shirt though, oh man, I can’t even remember how old it is. I’m positive it’s at least 9 years old. That thing has been on just about every adventure I’ve taken since. I remember when I bought it because it was a good $15 more than I would normally pay for a t-shirt. Guess I got my money’s worth. It will be a very sad day when it needs to be retired, but I think it’s got another good 2 or 3 years of service left.

6. Bethany - June 22, 2009

Heading north to Michigan? When are you going to swing by the 315/585 for a visit? Maybe a long weekend? Linds and I can promise you Wii, pizza, Photo Booth… it would be a grand ol’ time!

dianehuhn - June 22, 2009

Oh man, that has been weighing heavy on my mind. Photo Booth, Mario Kart, real NY pizza…good times, my friend, good times!

7. Bethany - June 22, 2009

Well, anytime you want to share the couch with Chavo and copious amounts of cat hair, you know you are welcome!

dianehuhn - June 22, 2009

The question is, will Chavo share the couch with the Blue dog?

8. Bethany - June 23, 2009

Hmmm, I don’t think Chav’s 77-year-old heart could take sharing a couch with Blue! I know: I’ll buy a house with a big back yard for Blue to run around in. And you can have your own guest room. Just wait right here while I go get it… 🙂

9. Julie - June 24, 2009

So glad I was busy last week and didn’t get a chance to read about your adventure until you had it all posted. It would have been torture waiting for each installment! Sounds like an amazing day and the pics are wonderful!

dianehuhn - June 28, 2009

But the suspense is half the fun!

10. Aunt Joyce - June 28, 2009

That was a great story. It had excitement, mystery and I felt like I was there with you. But, with the heat, I’m glad I wasn’t. Have a good trip home.
Love ya

dianehuhn - June 28, 2009

Thanks Aunt Joyce! Maybe I’ll get a chance to see you while I’m home and fill you in on some more of the details that I just couldn’t fit in to the story.

11. misty - September 20, 2010

Someone texted me told me to visited your website older cousin is my grandfather, as kids he would take all of his grandkids to the camp that was across the canal, have great memories of being out there. Now he takes my son to the camp that ya’ll visited, he is 85 an still going strong.


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