After getting our gear stashed and the rig ready to roll, we drove down to Lake Martin to meet up with Shawn to do our swamp tour. We parked on the gravel lot and met Bryce another tour guide who kept up a lively banter, talking about the dogs, bogs and life on the bayou.
We boarded our little swamp boat with about a dozen other tourists. Shawn was knowledgeable and funny. He gave us a lot of history and background of the area, his take on being Cajun and an encouragement to protect wild areas while we still have them to enjoy.
We only spotted one gator on the cruise but he was a pretty good size. The weather had turned cold and all the cold blooded creatures were going dormant.
PJ asked about life jackets and Shawn’s response was if the boat capsizes, stand up. The water in the swamp is mostly less than 4 feet deep. It was amazing where he could fit his boat between trees, sometimes bumping over logs and scraping bottom. The propeller must be tucked up in the back because it never seemed to hit any of the obstacles. PJ and I sat in front, so we got the best of the bumps when they happened, it was my favorite part of the boat ride.
Tons of different birds. Great herons, blue and white, night herons, anhingas, ducks, bald eagles and a bunch of others. Cedar and tupelo trees. It was an enjoyable and educational outing.
It was after 3:00 when we got back, so we made a quick sandwich and set our navigation for the city of Beaumont, Texas to visit our good friends Chuck and Sharissa. Hard driving on interstate 10 with a few bathroom breaks tossed in. Passed through Lake Charles, LA around sunset and the scene was kind of post apocalyptic with the firy sky and the refineries below.
Arrived in Beaumont at 6:30 and relaxed with our friends. Sharissa had cooked up some turkey burgers and portabello mushrooms and we sat and caught up on where our lives have gone since seeing one another last. To help get the dogs aquainted, we leashed them all up and took a long walk through their lovely neighborhood. The house is awesome, large and roomy with a tropical oasis in the backyard pool area complete with waterfalls and an outside living room.
Lexi is parked up on the side of the house and we got to sleep on a king sized bed. Glorious luxury. Tired and grateful, slipped into a deep relaxing sleep.