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Turning Basin Riverboat Tour in Jefferson, Texas

Turning Basin Riverboat Tour in Jefferson, Texas (photo by Tui Snider)
Reflections on the Jefferson Texas bayou tour (photo by Tui Snider)

Beautiful Reflections along the Bayou

Today’s photo essay features shots I took with my iPhone while floating down the Big Cypress Bayou in Jefferson, Texas. It was hard to restrain myself to only sharing six pictures with you because I could not stop taking photos. It was that beautiful! If, like me, you enjoy dreamy reflections, then a cruise with Turning Basin Riverboat Tours is made for you.

Turning Basin Riverboat Tour in Jefferson, Texas (photo by Tui Snider)
Reflections on the Jefferson Texas bayou tour (photo by Tui Snider)

East Texas History & Lore

Our boat was captained by John Nance, who kept us entertained with a mixture of historical information, local lore and facts about nature. After showing us a photo of a huge snapping turtle, John told us how a high school buddy of his earned the name “Stumpy” after having several fingers bitten off by just such a creature while noodling for catfish. (In case you don’t know, “noodling” is the term for catching fish by hand. Pretty crazy activity to do in snapping turtle country!)

Turning Basin Riverboat Tour in Jefferson, Texas (photo by Tui Snider)
Reflections along the Jefferson Texas bayou tour (Tui Snider)

Informative, but Spontaneous

One thing I love about the bayou tour by Mr. Nance is how spontaneous he is. You know how some tour guides read a script, and you get the feeling that their mind is off planning their grocery list as they drive their route? With John Nance, you can tell that no two tours are alike. He just starts talking, and sure, he probably shows the same photos each time, but the information he relayed was in direct response to our reactions. You could just tell that he is full of stories.

Turning Basin Riverboat Tour in Jefferson, Texas (photo by Tui Snider)
Reflections along the Jefferson Texas bayou tour (Tui Snider)

Cypress Knees

In some places along the bayou, the gnarly tree roots stick upright, in rows. These are called “cypress knees,” but to me they look more like curious prairie dogs watching from the shoreline. Oddly enough, scientists don’t really know what function these unusual root structures serve. There’s an interesting blog post all about cypress knees at this link: Cypress Knees, What Are They Good For? (absolutely nothin’?)

Turning Basin Riverboat Tour in Jefferson, Texas (photo by Tui Snider)
Reflections along the Jefferson Texas bayou tour (Tui Snider)

Snakes on the Water

One thing that freaked me out as we cruised down the Big Cypress Bayou was seeing my first water moccasin. I don’t have a snake phobia, but what made me shudder in this case is that the snake swam across the bayou! I’m from Washington State, and while we do have rattlesnakes up there, they don’t make a habit of swimming. On fishing trips as a kid, I always took comfort in knowing that I wasn’t likely to encounter a venomous creature while wading or swimming.

Turning Basin Riverboat Tour in Jefferson, Texas (photo by Tui Snider)
Jefferson, Texas bayou reflections with a turtle (photo by Tui Snider)

Turning Basin Riverboat Tours = Money Well Spent

At $8 a piece, I thought the hour-long riverboat cruise down Big Cypress Bayou in Jefferson, Texas was well worth it. The boat captain is entertaining, the setting is beautiful, and shutterbugs will be in photo-heaven. (Speaking of, there is a gorgeous photo essay about this same bayou tour over at Debbi Robertson’s blog entitled The REAL La Salle’s Riverboat Expedition. Check it out!) If you ever take a jaunt to east Texas, I highly recommend checking out the Turning Basin Riverboat Tours website and booking a trip for yourself.

Tui Snider
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Tui Snider

Tui Snider is an author, speaker, and photographer who specializes in quirky, haunted, and downright bizarre destinations. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction – but then, I moved to Texas!” Snider's writing and photography have been featured in a variety of publications, including Coast to Coast AM, FOX Travel News, LifeHack, Langdon Review, the City of Plano, Wild Woman Waking, Shades of Angels and more. Snider’s award-winning books include Paranormal Texas, The Lynching of the Santa Claus Bank Robber, and Unexpected Texas. Snider has several more books in progress, including a Field Guide to Cemetery Symbols and a book about the Great Texas Airship Mystery of 1897. Tui has worn a lot of hats in her life – literally – and is especially fond of berets. She enjoys connecting with writers and readers all over the globe through social media, her newsletter and her website: TuiSnider.com.
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Published inTravel Photo Essays

13 Comments

  1. Audrey Audrey

    Enjoyed seeing your presentation at the library in Denton! I have signed up to your newsletter and look forward to seeing you again. :)

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Thank you, Audrey! I’m so glad you enjoyed my presentation. Thanks for signing up for my newsletter. You can always just hit reply to any of them if you ever have any questions or suggestions and I’ll get back to you as as soon as I can! :D

  2. Danny Danny

    I love all the photos!

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Thanks, Danny! I’m quite a shutterbug, as you can see! :D

  3. CeeCee CeeCee

    You took those photos with your phone? Looks like a very pretty place!

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Yes, CeeCee! I only had an iPhone 3 at the time, but I just got an iPhone 6 and the picture quality is a LOT better! Now, I just need to go back and take more photos! :D

  4. Carol Carol

    Not sure I could have stayed in the boat if I seen a snake! Love all your photos. Are you on Instagram?

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Haha! Actually, Carol, I know of someone who jumped out of a moving boat when she saw a snake in it with her. And, yes, I’m @TuiSnider on IG. If you’re there and you follow me, I will follow you back! :D

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Yeah, there’s something very animal-like about them. I really wanna go back to Jefferson, Texas. Heck, I’d move there!

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