Sunday, April 19, 2009

Saturday Paddlers - Guadalupe River

Left click on any photograph to enlarge.

With Dear Leader attending a music camp somewhere in the swamps of Louisiana, the paddlers had to rely upon Susan and me to plan this weekend's trip. That must have been enough to make the skies open up and actually rain. The much-welcome precipitation and dire weather forecast for Saturday resulted in a Sunday paddle. Fortunately, our timing was great, and we enjoyed the bubble of water moving downstream from Kerrville.

Nine kayakers and a hyperactive dog made the run from Comfort to the second crossing on River Bend Road, the location of a new county park. This added a little over 2 river miles compared to our usual take-out at Seidensticker Crossing. It also provided us with a great place to park our vehicles, the James Kiehl River Bend Park. The river flow of 71 cfs, although still about 30% below the median for this time of year, was noticeably higher than it has been for some time, and we moved along at a good clip.

On the shore of a new world, known to some as Comfort, Reiko raises her paddle to claim sovereignty on behalf of the Saturday Paddlers and vertically challenged people everywhere. Nancy is anxious to commence the search for gold.

At the dam a short distance downstream from the put-in, I use the higher river flow to build up some speed for the drop. Larry is ready with his throw line, just in case, while Tom hopes to capture any disaster with his camera.

Lift off!

The nose dives as I throw my weight towards the stern.

There's a kayak down there somewhere.

The boat explodes out of the water.

Next up is Pablo in his long boat.

Despite perfect form, ...

... the kayak wants to roll.

Pablo somehow keeps the kayak upright, and lives to share a laugh with his fellow adventurers.

As the group readies for departure, Steve decides to have another go.

Over the edge.

The famous yellow submarine.

Coming up for air.

Kathy's brother, Steve, who commuted all the way from Houston for the trip. He doesn't get to view the river bottom when paddling the Buffalo Bayou.

Larry and Tom coming around the bend.

Frozen margaritas will do this to a group.

Reiko and Larry in the chute.

After the short portage at Seidensticker, Susan and the group pass under the old (1906) iron railroad bridge.

Pablo with a non-paying passenger.

Nancy glides by.

At the take-out, I get to use my new toy to carry boats up to the parking lot.

Reiko directing traffic.

Note: If you've read this far, you may want to view 27 more photos from this outing. To do so, click here to be magically transported to my Flickr page, then click on "Slideshow."

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Saturday Paddlers - Guadalupe River

Left click on any photo to enlarge.

Returning to one of their favorite sections of the upper Guadalupe, nineteen paddlers and one dog enjoyed a beautiful day on the river. According to the Spring Branch gauge, the water was flowing at about 54 cfs. The pleasant trip started at the Edge Falls Road crossing and ended at the State Park.

Susan, Lizette, and Amy are impatient to get underway.

Reiko puts on her boxing gloves, as Kathy and Steve wisely keep their distance.

Kathy decides to attach her skirt.

Linda hits the gap in her new boat, followed by Miguel and Kathy.

Bing always seems to know where the fish are hiding.

At the lunch break, my shirt says it all.

This group kept the bartender busy pouring almost-frozen margaritas.

No one was hungry or thirsty.

Pablo directs Milo to his next meal.

Even the boulders enjoyed the sunny day.

Joline points out the correct route to Nancy and Claire - now that really would be upstream!

Steve stayed upright most of the day.

If you actually read this far, you may want to see seven more photos by using this link to my Flickr page, then clicking on "Slideshow" in the upper right.