False River was awaiting my arrival. My neighbor and good friend, Lynn Gabal Neustrom invited me and my two boys to her uncles camp in False Rive, located north of Lafayette, La. Lynne and I go way back. We have been knowing each other since high school. My first encounter with her was at Camp Windy Gap Young Life in Weaverville, NC. A Christian base camp that is surrounded with mountains and beautiful surroundings. I am empowered to know that we continue to practice our Christian beliefs together and ironically meet up again years later to know we are neighbors. God always works in mysteries ways.
This trip to False River from Lafayette, La takes an hour and fifteen minutes from my house if we do not stop. False River is shaped like an oxbow. Wikipedia's definition of oxbow lake is a U- shaped body of water that forms when a wide meander from the main stream of a river is cut off, creating a free-standing body of waterThe body of water is shaped like an U. Did you know that False River was once the main channel of the Mississippi? I didn't know any of this information till I did a little research on the area. During the American Civil War an expedition was sent from Morganza from the New York cavalry to scout False River for confederate recruiting officers. The soldiers were successful at locating the five officers in closets and under homes on January 31, 1865. False River is also known for its 10.5 mile long, "trophy lake", known for its stripped bass, boating, water skiing, and unbelievable views of antebellum homes I never knew existed.
We begun our travels late one evening. Like always, trying to successfully get Lynne and I out of our homes with all five children would be very challenging. It sure was. But, at our surprised we were not the ones with bumps in the road. My husband went back to the house and successfully landed the trailer in our ditch. To the rescue, Lynne's husband Tom and another neighbor created a pathway to get trailer out and we were on our way to her uncles camp, out of the ditch and safe and free. We took I-49 up to Port Barre and straight to New Rhodes, La where False River is located. We arrived around 11 pm with the boys. I was surprised to have forgotten how far down the driveway sits down...I was not taking the chance of falling in the lake.
Steve Gabal is Lynne's uncle. He has three girls and currently is residing at his camp until he gets approval that he will be a tour guide for the National Museum of Vietaman War. Mr. Gabal's camp is a camp. It is not this nice two story house, not a condo, literally, a camp. This camp lies at the end of the lake. The sunrises and sunsets are breathtaking and being away from the city life brought back the wonderful life I had growing up as a kid. The boys swam, canoe, boated, slid into water,fished and so much more. All at the camp!
The week I stayed here was such a relaxing getaway! The second night we arrived there we received a text from Lynne's husband that there had been a shooting five blocks from our houses at the movie theater. My husband immediately phones me also to see where our daughter was and to make sure she is safe. She was and she didn't even know this had occurred. I can not express how blessed we are to have not been in Lafayette that night. The kids did not have to experience all the media and trauma/drama of this horrific act that some stranger who was mentally ill and did this to our city and their families! What a sick person.
We decided to turn off the news and pray and stay a couple more days to keep the kids from the trauma. We did and it was the best idea we had. We fished, boated, got away for dinner for adult night for dinner. The sunsets and sunrises were breathtaking and I got to experience with a lifelong friend. Our kids bonded as well as Lynne and I grew closer. We all went to church at St. Mary Catholic church where Lynne was able to listen because they had a nursery. Everything that allowed joy and happiness in that week, occurred!
If anyone is looking to escape the busy city life and is looking for a relaxing fishing trip or water sports, False River is the place to go.