Beach exercise

Beach exercise

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Atchafalaya Basin



We arrived at the Winnebago Louisiana State rally  on the first day possible so that we could take part in a couple of tours offered. In particular, we wanted to take the boat ride on the  Atchafalaya Basin swamp.  This is the largest river basin swamp is North America.  It is an ever changing environment that has seen many changes over the last several thousand years.  It is currently about 600000 acres about 20 miles and 150 miles long. One of the few roads that cross the swamp is interstate 10 and is  elevated on pillars for a continuous 18.2 miles.

Some of the latest changes to the basin was the introduction of levees (dikes) for flood control and the establishment of a National Wildlife refuge in 1984.  These changes have reduced the number of people actually living in the swamp significantly. 

We started our trip from McGee's Landing on one of those levees.  It is a kind of place we would have expected to find in this remote area.  After lunch in their restaurant, we boarded the tour boat for  guided introduction to the swamp.  It is a beautiful area that also has a fascinating history of human endeavors including the building of a railroad across the swamp and the harvesting of the native cypress trees under incredibly difficult conditions.  There is also the stories of those who chose to make their home in this rugged environment.  

Driving over the basin on the way to the rally, I had assumed that the area was very shallow throughout.  In fact, we were informed that while much of the area is shallow, the main channels can have as much as 60 feet of water in them. 

As you can imagine, there is an abundance of wildlife all of kinds.  Fishing and hunting are very popular activities in the basin along with just observing the wildlife.

Our guide mentioned that it can be very confusing navigating these waters and many a local and tourist alike have gotten lost in the swamp.  After our tour, I can easily see how this is correct.
The basin is a part of the much larger Mississippi Delta region and it is estimated that currently 29 square miles of the delta land mass are lost each year to the ocean.

I would say that this is a must see part of wild America!  




















14 comments:

Judy and Emma said...

One of my favorite places in Louisiana, but I've never had the chance to take a tour. I just remember getting lost trying to visit the NWR. :(

Gypsy said...

I have never had the slightest desire to see or take a boat ride in a swamp, but I always felt the name "Atchafalaya" is so beautiful and just rolls over the tongue like a fine Scotch!

Gail Houle said...

I would definitely want a guide going through. I'm much too skiddish to see what I might run into :)

Paul and Marti Dahl said...

That is too cool, I have to do this! Didn't know the swamp was that big but I do remember driving over that amazing 18 mile long bridge.

Luci & Loree said...

What great pictures!! Well, i missed that area, will just have to go back!

Paul and Marsha Weaver...OCT. 17, 2009 said...

WOW...what a wonderful trip. I love that area but have never been to the Basin.
Your photos are beautiful.

Kenny And Angela's Adventure said...

What a neat trip..

Rick Doyle said...

Thanks for a great tour of the swamp. I'd sure want a sturdy boat to tour around in that place.

Jim and Sandie said...

We've driven that bridge a few times but have never taken the time for a swamp tour. Must do that some day.

Jeff & Barbie said...

The pictures remind me of a tv show we've grown to like--"Swamp People." It is all about gator hunters in the swamps and bayous of Louisiana. ENJOY yourselves.

Peter + Beatrix said...

That is indeed an interesting area to see. Do they have boondocking sites down there? But I would be afraid of those alligators crawling up to our rig.

Rustedgranny said...

When it comes to that much wild, guided is a sound idea. Loved the photos you took, felt like I was there. Clearly I need to visit this area and see more than an airport.

E Squared and Mui said...

Haven't spent much time in the south ... yet! Thanks for taking us along on the boat tour.

Bob and Jo said...

Looks like a neat tour.