Sunday, January 18, 2009

Saturday Paddlers - Guadalupe River

Despite their name, the paddlers chose a beautiful winter Sunday afternoon to revisit the stretch of the upper Guadalupe between the Seidensticker and Waring crossings. The weather was most cooperative, with the temperature hovering in the mid-70's, although it was a little breezy. The water was low, with the river running at 58 cfs, but adequate. Eleven paddlers in ten boats enjoyed the trip.

Note: Left click on any photo to enlarge.

Joline modeling her new line of fancy river gear, high heels and all. Thanks to Nancy for these two wonderful photos.

Jim (backwards), Miguel, Susan, and Mike lead the way.

On the lookout for beaver. Is that a glint in Mike's eye?

Jim and Nancy savor the sunshine.

Even Kathy had to agree that winter paddling can be fun.

Robert displayed his canoeing skills by somehow getting Henry safely down the river.

The paddlers, including Miguel below, portage at the second River Bend Road crossing.

The boats take a rest, allowing the paddlers to grab a late lunch.

Reiko entertains Joline and Nancy W., while Nancy G., Robert, and Kathy search for more food.

Guess who's coming to dinner?

Pursued by Mike, the uninvited guest "hightails" it back to its burrow.

Winter colors.

Robert looks confused. Has he somehow been transported to Arches National Park?

Reflections battle the shadows.

The paddlers remount their faithful steeds to challenge the noisy rapid next to their lunch stop.

Reiko follows the favored route, while ...

... Kathy shows off her "air stroke" and Nancy glides through.

Susan decides to blaze a new path, under the watchful eyes of Robert (on shore) and Miguel.

Miguel appears to be amused by Susan's use of the Vulcan mind meld on an uncooperative boulder, ...

... but then applauds her somewhat rocky progress.

An unusual look of accomplishment.

As the shadows lengthen, Miguel, Kathy, and Joline pause to view the last set of rapids.

Jim heads into the drop, while Reiko searches for divine assistance.

Nancy watches as Kathy works her way through the churning water.

Miguel and Mike look confident (for some unknown reason).

Her prayers answered, Reiko is ready for the challenge.

Is it The African Queen or On Golden Pond?

Successfully through the rapids, and with moss hanging from the cypress trees overhead, the paddlers head for the Welfare-Waring Road bridge. Nine of them then met at Popo's Restaurant for biscuits and dinner. Just Another Terrible Texas Winter Day!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Saturday Paddlers - Guadalupe River

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Saturday Paddlers have learned to adapt, if nothing else. After arriving at the appointed location for a holiday dinner only to discover that the restaurant was completely booked, the intrepid paddlers quickly regrouped for a dinner at Cappy's. A good time was had by (L to R): Susan, Reiko, Linda, Nancy, Mike, Claire, Lee, Joan, Joline, Kathy, and Henry's chair.

New Year's Day found the "Thursday Paddlers" on their traditional run on the Guadalupe River from Canyon Dam to the second crossing of Highway 306. Although the sun didn't break through the clouds until the river runners were loading their kayaks back onto their vehicles at the conclusion of the trip, the temperature did manage to stay in the low 60's for the duration of the journey and there was only a little wind. The release from the dam was about 71 cfs, so navigating skills were at a premium. The photo above shows a fly fisherman near the end of the trip, closely watched by a stone sentinel.

Susan finds a warm spot at the put-in.

Just add water, Scott.

Boats waiting patiently (unlike me) for the shuttlers to return.

Back to my paddling roots - the Lower Guadalupe.

At Horseshoe Falls, some elected to portage, while ...

Henry apparently decided to go through backwards, ...

and sideways, ...

and backwards, and then the other sideways, ...

... and finally forwards! Mike gleefully "congratulates" Henry for his unique run.

Susan runs the rapid without a problem.

Mike watches expectantly as Henry carries his kayak back for a second attempt.

The bow dips under, ...

... but pops right back up.


After a lunch break which included frozen margaritas and not-so-sparkling wine, the paddlers line up for a group shot. Left to right: Joline, Susan, Julie, Mike, Nancy, and Scott.

Scott and Susan at 2-1/2 mile dam.

Once again, some of the less daring decided to try the left hand portage.

Mike modestly celebrates his clean descent past the water wheel.

Julie enjoys the same route.

Some wildlife was observed, or perhaps did the observing.

The gander boldly struts his stuff.

You lookin' at me!

Two of the geese performed some fancy dance moves for the intruding photographer ...

... before gliding off peacefully.

Kayakers warily float past the Guadalupe River's own "old man of the mountain."