April 22, 2002 - Atchafalaya Swamp Tour

If the swamp is home -- where do you put the welcome mat? For one Cajun family, the answer was McGee's landing at Henderson.

Curtis Allemond steers his big boat through the waters of the Atchafalaya Swamp. "Most of the natural channels in the Atchafalaya Basin carry the names of Cajuns that lived on these waters in the past," he tells his passengers. "This one here is called Bay of Patin. My mama was a Patin."

To Curtis the Atchafalaya River is home. He was born on these waters, and it's his pleasure to share his home with others.

Every year, thousands see the basin, its swamps and channels, through the eyes of Curtis Allemond. They encounter the river's wonders, natural and manmade.

As he passes under I-10, he explains, "It is the second longest bridge elevated over water in the United States."

The river runs through Curtis's veins just as surely as his tour boat runs through the river. He spent a lifetime piloting tug boats along the Mississippi and the Intracoastal Canal. But he came home to the Atchafalaya.

"Put 20 years into something," he says, "and it's hard to get out. It's in your blood, I would think." Curtis is home now. Y'all come.

McGee's Landing tours depart from the western edge of the Atchafalaya Basin, on Henderson Levee Road.