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Lake life

Up a creek with a paddle

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There are several things that I don’t gee haw with in the outdoors.

For you young whippersnappers, “gee haw” means “work together well” and the term goes back to when people actually use to farm with a hand-held plow pulled by a mule. If you don’t know what a “whippersnapper” is, you are on your own from here.

Back to the story. Things that I don’t gee haw with: poisonous snakes, lightning, poison ivy, big mean red wasps and….kayaks or pirogues. All can cause me harm. I don’t go outdoors to be harmed.

Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 7.26.45 AMThat last item – kayaks or pirogues – may seem a little out of place. And it’s even more strange when I proudly tell you I hold a pirogue  world record. That’s right. About 30 years ago, I got in a pirogue. I immediately set the world record for going from dry to wet. I’m not sure if the little boat turned over or just sank. It doesn’t matter. I haven’t been in one since. And it’s not on my bucket list. In fact, I’d rather try to float in a bucket. I rode briefly n a canoe one time more recently, but could get no help with the paddling because my friend in the front was sitting so high in the air his paddle wouldn’t reach the water.

But back to the story again.

Despite my aversion to small boats, they are growing in popularity and do look like a lot of fun. They offer what I’d call a chance at Back To Nature 101. They make no noise. They glide almost effortlessly through the water and they take you places a regular boat can’t go. They are also growing in popularity for group paddles, where you can combine having fun with friends, yet still have the freedom to wander off by yourself for a while as everyone sets out for the same type of adventure.

Union Parish is a gold mine for kayakers and canoers, the latter not being a real word, but you know what I mean. Three trails — one on Lake D’Arbonne, one on the Ouachita River and one on Bayou D’Arbonne — are marked and documented in a brochure that promotes small boating in the area. These are great trails to explore, but there are literally hundreds of more spots to go give this kind of outdoor adventure a try.

No kidding, it’s a great way to get close to nature and the water. And it’s a great way to introduce kids to boating. Make sure the youngsters always have on a life vest because there is a chance of ending up in the water, which even makes it more fun for kids. And its really easy to take along fishing gear and catch fish along the way.

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The brochure I mentioned earlier was a cooperative venture between local kayak enthusiasts and the agritourism program at the LSU AgCenter. You can download a copy of the brochure at:

Click to access 15-DArbonne-Country.pdf

Or you can pick up a copy in most area tourist bureaus or from a member of the D’Arbonne Kayak Club, like Stephanie Herrmann at the Union Parish Library. You can follow the club on Facebook at:



One thought on “Up a creek with a paddle

  1. Thanks Kinny! We also have a group page on Facebook called “Paddling Union Parish” where we talk about and share paddling adventures throughout the parish!

    Posted by Stephanie Antley Herrmann | June 1, 2016, 12:3611:22 am

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