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Trials and Tributaries in the Big Thicket April 17, 2009

Posted by tracybarnett in Texas.
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A kayaker can easily lose her way in the labyrinth of the Big Thicket's cypress-tupelo swamps. (Tracy L. Barnett photo)

A kayaker can easily lose her way in the labyrinth of the Big Thicket's cypress-tupelo swamps. (Tracy L. Barnett photo)

BIG THICKET NATIONAL PRESERVE —Ranger Leslie Dubey lifted a paddle and dipped it into the still brown waters, her kayak gliding as noiselessly as the great blue heron that just slid across our path in these cypress-tupelo sloughs.

Two decades spent probing this once-impenetrable wilderness and interpreting it for visitors have made Leslie a true Big Thicket denizen. So naturally, when I followed her into the bayou on a sunny Saturday in March, I left the navigation to her and focused on the scenery, alternately shooting photos of the ancient trees and glassy water and trying to keep up. I was mindful of the danger for my cameras should I hit a snag and tip overboard, but the risk of personal danger had not yet occurred to me.

 Soon enough, it would.

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A misty morning at Indian Springs Campground

A misty morning at Indian Springs Campground

A tapestry of history and nature —Centuries of mystery and lore shroud a forest so impenetrable that pioneers went around it.
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Sour Lake celebrates its history as the birthplace of Texaco.

Sour Lake celebrates its history as the birthplace of Texaco.

The Sour Lake Saga —The healing mineral springs that put this Big Thicket town on the map as a 19th-century resort for the rich and famous are long gone; all that remains is a toxic lake, compliments of Texaco. But  Librarian Sherry Williams is determined to give the town its due.
The once-popular Indian Village of the Alabama-Coushatta Reservation is now a crumbling ruin.

The once-popular Indian Village of the Alabama-Coushatta Reservation is now a crumbling ruin.

Indian Village Defunct: Blame it on Abramoff —Once one of the biggest tourist attractions in East Texas, the Alabama-Coushatta reservation is now home to a crumbling ruin. What in the world could Jack Abramoff  have to do with it?
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Comments»

1. Maria Hilda Pinon - April 22, 2009

Amazing how close to home and how undiscovered it is…. the first picture is a breathtaker…

2. Alabama vacations - December 2, 2010

It should be titled – waters less traveled.. beautiful photos you have.. Bookmarked..


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