Yes, we are still in Lacombe, Louisiana at the refuge. We have been busy with several projects...so we will catch you up.
We have been busy with the boardwalk at Ridge Trail at Bayou Sauvage. Not only replacing boards that are rotten or soon to be rotten, but also replacing some of the toe rails as you see in this picture.
Some may think, piece of cake...but let me assure you it is NOT.
But it is something we have down pat now and are quite good at. It is physically demanding though. We are now at the end with only 4 more toe rails to go.
Then there is always the unexpected waiting to be found while traveling through refuge land.
Another project was to somehow straighten the rails in this area. They were leaning away from the boardwalk as well as insecure.
My plan was used (every now and then I can be useful). We asked Dave to come help us, he is seen standing in the photo...Wallace is down below tightening all the nuts that have gotten loose over time. We used tie straps to bring the rails together, and worked down the line. Worked like a charm, and we finished in one day.
Time for a day trip.
Drove the back road over to Biloxi where we treated ourselves to a Whataburger.
A nice day for sure.
We have replaced 40 boards at Ridge Trail and have 4 toe rails left to do.
There has been some restoration going on here as well, trying to get it back to pre Catrina days. It is looking great.
Then we set up a booth for Bird Migration day at the zoo in New Orleans.
We helped teach how to use binocular, and it was a big hit.
There are always boundary signs in need of repair. Not only do we need to replace the bent sign, but this channel post is bent and twisted which called for a tool to pull the post up.
We took care of a whole section of road at our Lemieux location, replacing several signs. One of the signs had been knocked down...the post rusted out at the bottom, so the whole thing got redone.
Another project, this one at Atchafalaya which is west of Baton Rouge...a long distance from here.
ALL the volunteers were used here...we spent all day and still did not finish up. Our job was to sand down all the metal rails, most of what you can see here. The bridge goes over the water where there is the same thing on the other side.
This shows what it looked like before and after the sanding. Here I am with this refuge manager, Danny Breaux. When we sanded off the rust, the green paint showed through.
Danny was the only one to work on the outside of the railing. He wore a halter that protected him from a 40' fall into the water.
We will be going back sometime in January to finish this project.
I chose to work the front as this is where first impressions are formed. Here I am applying the primer. Danny wants it painted green...what do you think? Personally, I like BROWN.
We were treated to an airboat ride out where there is a massive project underway to restore another area back to the way it was before Hurricane Catrina. The huge lake will once again be dried up and grass planted again. Most of it is under contract.
This is our latest project. Completely overhaul this fishing pier at Bayou Teche, another one of our refuges where we have to travel a good distance to get to.
We recruited more help here, as we did not know what to expect, and we brought our own tools!!!
Here is the four of us after we screwed in the last of the pickets. Dave and I put in all the pickets but 8 that went under the handicap area. I have on my knee pads as I was on my knees attaching all the pickets at the bottom.
The finished project!!! For the most part, the lumber was pre cut for us. We had help from two other guys. Chelsea and Brian, employees also helped. Brian told us what he wanted as per rules. One of the guys (friends of BT) had removed most of the boards and had attached stringers before we arrived the first day. The four of us spent the night at Mandalay, another one of our refuges, in the office where there is a bunkhouse. We had a great time, all our meals were provided, and the beds were comfortable. However, we worked the next morning in the wind, cold weather with misty rain, and were finished by noon. It is great to work with a big crew! AND, I think Brian was impressed.
This is Chelsea and Brian from Bayou Teche.
Brian is assistant manager and Chelsea is a temp.
We wish all our visitors at Bayou Teche, happy fishing off your new pier.
I am now recuperating from the worst sinus infection which is going around in the area!!!
Thanks Tom for getting us going again...I hope you ALL enjoy getting caught up.
Until next time...