Last month was a busy one, and as I mentioned in a previous post, I had a visit from this gentleman, Dale Stewart. Hailing originally from Lake Charles, LA and having grown up in Lafayette, LA, his bayou country roots run deep. Now living in North Carolina, Dale finds himself being drawn back to his home state.
Dale is known as a naturalist, conservationist, and explorer having paddled remote places like the Amazon River, living with indigenous people along the way. Most recently, in 2012, he paddled the Native American Water Trail of Tears. Starting in Chattanooga, Tennessee, he made a solo paddle from there all the way to Ft. Gibson, Oklahoma. The four rivers that make up this water trail are the Tennessee, Ohio, Mississippi, and Arkansas rivers. He’s written a book about that expedition titled “Four Rivers – One Man’s Journey Retracing the Water Trail of Tears”. I will let you know when it is released.
Dale is quite a story teller and mesmerized me with his vivid descriptions of the scenes and events surrounding some of his travels. I guess I’ve never met a real, live explorer before who has even been featured in documentary feature films broadcast on networks like National Geographic and Discovery Planet, just to name two. It’s his Water Trail of Tears expedition that most intrigued me, though, and is the very reason his heart has turned toward home with a focus on the Houma Indians.
I’m pretty sure he found me through this blog and contacted me to see how much I knew about the Houma and to see if I could possibly help him get in touch with them. Well, it just so happens that I married a Houma Indian and all five of our children are “card-carrying” Houmas, so yes, I know a few of them and a little about them. I proceeded to set him up with interviews for his upcoming radio show series about the Houma Indians and how the wetland loss has impacted their lives.
He recorded enough interviews for his series on his Asheville-based radio show called “Nature’s Edge”. But before it was all said and done, he wanted to interview me for the show. Well, I finally agreed, and I’m posting that radio show for you here. (And I’m just going to go ahead and put this out there and see how y’all respond: My friend Kim has been after me for several years to record podcasts to post on this blog. Now that I’ve been doing the Hunt, Fish, Talk “live” radio show for three years, I am a little more confident that I just might be able to do that.) Now, back to Dale . . .
His radio show is now syndicated in quite a few cities and is gaining popularity among outdoor folks. He recently interviewed two folks I’ve seen on a recent episode of “Doomsday Preppers” . . . Survivor Jane and her husband Richard, known as the survival gardener. Now, how cool is that? Those interviews are available on the Nature’s Edge website, too.
Dale is planning a trip back down here so that he can paddle his kayak down our waterways and see the coastal land loss for himself. And if he can convince me to get back on my old fishing kayak, I just might accompany him on a leg or two of his journey. I’m looking forward to great things from this man; and hopefully, when it’s all said and done, there will finally be a documentary of some sort about our native people and wetland loss, helping our message reach people across the country.
Meanwhile, you can listen below to my recent interview with Dale (commercial-free!). I hope you enjoy it! (Man, I need to figure out how to talk without saying “uh”, “um”, and “you know”!!)