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Bayou St John (BSJ)

I have been back in New Orleans about a month or so. Great to reconnect w friends and neighbors. Also been great to reconnect with BSJ. Iv enjoyed taking my dog out for evening walks around BSJ. The Bayou is an amazing body of water just a few blocks from my house. Right in the heart of New Orleans.

BSJ is a very popular site in the city. Used as a casual meet up spot for picknicks, early morning walks, and fist dates. The area has a long history of human use. The native peoples called BSJ "Bayouk Choupik". This important transportation route and the piece of dry land along its edges was a common trading ground in South Louisiana. BSJ connected at least three major transportation routes, in what was otherwise a muddy back swamp.

BSJ connected to the Mississippi River via a short portage down what is now "Bayou Road through the Treme. The mouth of BSJ connects to Lake Pontchartrain, and eastward through The Rigolets to the Gulf Cast. BSJ also connected to Bayou Metairie and to Sauve Crevass to the Mississippi River, in what is now River Ridge. Bayou Metairie is no more, but its curving form can still be seen on maps as Metaire Road, which stands out in contrast to the grid like street pattern of J.P. Lastly BSJ also connected to Bayou Gentilly which reached eastward toward what is now New Orleans East and Bayou Bienvenue (I have so much more to say about Bayou Bienvenue at some other time). Although it has been filled in like her sister Bayou Metairie, Bayou Gentilly can still be found. The retention ponds in front of Dillard University are remnants of the old waterway.

Its amazing that BSJ has remained intact (to some degree) in a metropolitan area that filled in Sauve Crevass, hemmed in the river with levees, filled both Bayou Metairie and Gentilly, and turned its back on Bayou Bienvenue. BSJ is a treasure. And thankfully still heavily used by the people of New Orleans. It is one of my favorite waterways in the world.

Easy segue into my other favorite waterways: the creeks and rivers of the Pascagoula Basin. I will be leading three more weekly trips down these creeks and rivers. All the trips are four days and three nights on a spectacular river. Sleeping under the stars, eating great meals, and meeting amazing people. All the tours are fully outfitted with all gear, equipment, food, and me as your guide :)

As always if you have questions or ideas about the trips shoot me a message here w the contact form or on Instagram @bd_markey

Hope to see you on the river,

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