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I then paddled by the Half Moon Pits, large man-made lakes that were dug for the dirt needed to construct Hwy. 190. It was a little after 4 p.m., so I stayed out of the lakes in order to make the most of my time in the bayou with the Spanish moss draped from Bald Cypress trees and dense clumps of cypress knees lining the banks.
Right off the bat I saw an alligator slink into the water from atop a log as came around one of the first turns in the bayou. Soon after, I spotted raccoon on the bank, the first of several I saw on this short trip. There were many more alligators as well, including one that let me get very close to him as he lay suspended in the murky water with only his eyes and snout visible above the surface.
The highlight came when I spied something foraging on the banks while I was watching a nearby alligator. I thought that it was another raccoon until I saw that its fur was much too dark. While a cypress tree was between us, I slowly skulled my canoe toward the animal. Suddenly, a freshwater otter peeked out from around the tree and cautiously watched me for a few seconds. The then walked behind a thick group of cypress knees, stopped among them, and watched me a few seconds more before walking into the water, gradually descending below the surface as it advanced.
There were also plenty of birds, egrets, herons, kingfishers, black birds, etc. I enjoyed the loud, guttural cries of one particularly annoyed egret.
The entire length is about 1.5 miles, ending at a crude bridge used by hunters. After the bridge the bayou gets very narrow and with many obstructions. With only 3 miles paddled, there was a wealth of beauty to enjoy.
Bent Shaft Canoe Paddles
Paddler's Truck Rack