My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Extended New Year's Party - Part III: Paddliing the Canoe Trails Around Lake Fausse Point State Park

Our last full day at Lake Fausse Point State Park was mostly cloudy but warmed up as the day progressed. We paddled right out of our site, a point just south of the Bridge leading to the park.

Bill putting in behind our camp site
Paddling under the bridge that leads to the park entrance from the Levee Road
 There is a system of bayous and canals that allow you to circumnavigate the park. We paddled  on the bayou that runs along the west side of the Levee Road. After we arrived in Lake Dauterive, we paddled in it for a while and then took a little cut back to a canal.

Map of the canoe trails
 The houses along the Levee Road (named because it runs along the man-made levee along most of the Atachfalaya Basin.) all have docks and boats. In the old times, the bayous and canals were the streets for the Cajun  people who settled here after being driven from Acadia by the British.

A party barge along our route

A very old vehicle

Oil or Gas storage in Lake Dauterive


Bill and Bob in the lake
 The park has several primitive camps. One of them, site 5, is a canoe site but can be reached by a trail that also has backpacking campsites along it. The other primitive canoe sites can only be reached by water. The water is very low - it usually is close to the top step. This made it almost impossible to get out of our boats.  Bob struggled up the stairs, and I found a place I could land and pull myself up the steep bank for our lunch stop. Bill chose to remain in his kayak.

We met the park hosts as we were eating breakfast our first day in the park. We asked about buying firewood. John told us that there wasn't any wood for sale, but he collected left-over fire wood and had some we could come get.  Later, his wife,  Pat, invited us to supper, the evening of our last day in the park. These park hosts are from Michigan, but have the graciousness and party attitude of the Cajuns.  They have been hosting here for several years.

John took this picture. Pat is 2nd from left. Hazel- at left and Kelly - at right are locals who have also been park hosts here.
Each year, the park has a Mardi Gras Festival.  Click on the link for details. This would be a great time to find out how present day Cajuns Laissez les Bon Temps Roulez! (Let the good times roll.) But this park is always very family friendly and at any given time, you will find lots of people who live  less than 100 miles away.  And many of them will have friends and relatives staying in the park at other sites. You are very likely to be invited to join one of the extended families for a truly delicious meal and entertaining stories. Our meal with John and Pqt was also delicious. We had both pork and  ham, a wonderful potato casserole, green beans, salad, and cake.

Another wonderful holiday period with the gift of new friends while enjoying old ones. Bill was also a new friend but I think he'll be a keeper.