We left Henderson (LA) and headed south on highway 352 with the levee of the Atchafalaya Basin on our left. At different points along the highway, it was possible to cross over the levee. One such crossover brought us to McGee's Landing.
There is something about the Basin that fascinates me. It is certainly unlike the landscape of any other place in the country, but there is an attraction--a respectful attraction. For example, it is unique and huge.
And, it is source of income for people near the Basin. Estimates show that close to 22 million pounds of crawfish are commercially harvested annually from the Basin.
And those who live and work here know the vastness of the Basin. In the course of my conversation with Mr. Harry (soon to be introduced), I showed him our "business card," which has our blog and e-mail addresses superimposed on a photo of the Atchafalaya. As soon as he saw it, he exclaimed, "I know just where this is."
And while the opportunities for recreational travels are there,
I would definitely opt for a guide. And that is where the respect for the Basin arises.
Another type of travel on the Basin is shown here.
The airboats offer speed, but I prefer the slow travel among the cypress when the view changes every few feet. We have had three tours, and someday I want to go out and get some photos of a sunrise through fog.
Another levee crossover brought us to Basin Landing.
Mark Allemond's words begins my education:
Though the basin is constantly changing geographically because of silt deposits from the northern states, it is still a mosaic of small streams, lakes, bayous, and swamps which are dotted with giant cypress stumps, left from the logging industry of days gone by.... The Atchafalaya Basin Swamp has certainly meant something different to each person that has been introduced to it through the ages. To Jean Lafitte is was a hideout for treasures, for the South it was a geographic advantage during the Civil War, to the Chitimachas Indians it was their world, to the Cajuns it has been the last frontier and to the wildlife it is home. As for those of us who take visitors into its essence each day, it is our lifeblood; and it retains with it the stories of our ancestors, which we are entrusted with to keep alive for future generations to come.