University of Idaho College of Law Public Interest Law Group

Swamp Tour by Carole Wells

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Jetta Hatch and I decided to be adventurous or adventuresome (something to do with adventure) and signed up for a swamp tour on Saturday morning. We were picked up by a van at our hotel and headed off to pick up the rest of our adventurous crew.

First we picked up David from Germany who was in New Orleans attending a physics’ conference. Next we picked up Claudia from Germany who was in New Orleans attending a physics’ conference. Finally we picked up Guido from Germany (but now lives in Switzerland) who was in New Orleans attending a physics’ conference. It was a large conference and none of them knew each other. They were very polite and did not speaking German in our presence. This was even after I told them that I love to speak French in the presence of non French speakers. It turns out that David also spoke French and Claudia spoke Russian. So, with Jetta’s Russian, we were quite a multicultural group.


When we arrived at Jean Lafitte’s swamp tour we were directed to our boat, a barge type vessel with plenty of walking space. The captain gave us a few pointers: keep hands and feet inside the barge, beware of overhanging branches and, most importantly, if we fall in the water, we are on our own. He suggested that we swim over to the bank. He made it clear that he will not be jumping in to rescue us.


We learned that alligators can eat turtles, shell and all – apparently their first stomachs have a killer acid that dissolves turtle shells. We also saw marsh cypress trees and their “knees”(roots) that help to keep the tree afloat.


By far, the most exciting part of the tour was seeing the large alligators snap at the “marsh”mallows that the guide threw in the water and the opportunity to hold a two year old alligator. It felt cool and smooth and had a very strong tail. Thankfully its mouth was taped shut with electrical tape and we were told to hang on to its strong tail so that it would not get away.


The trip was fun and the weather was great. All in all, a great swamp tour!






Written by jrdo410

March 20, 2008 at 1:56 pm

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