Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday Paddlers - San Marcos River

With our Dear Leader deserting us for an overnight paddle trip on the Colorado River, eleven Saturday Paddlers wandered aimlessly around Central Texas looking for water. Eight of us somehow miraculously stumbled upon each other under the I-35 bridge at Selma, where we combined most of our boats on my trailer and headed north.

On the road to San Marcos (photo by Mike).

We were met by three more paddlers at the Westerfield crossing on the San Marcos River. The river flow was a low 82 cfs, but at least there was water. We floated downstream to the bridge at Skull Road.

Kathy does power lifts as the group waits for Nancy to catch up after her refreshing crash and burn at the little rapid at the put-in.

Art appropriately dressed for the warm weather.

Scott's body floated by at our initial rest stop.

Anne, Art, Miguel, and Sandra enjoying the snacks.

The boats appreciated the rest.

A large Common Egret let us approach quite near before taking flight.

Miguel enjoys wildlife viewing of a different nature.

Cottonseed Rapid

Anne and Julie make their runs through the rapid as Mike looks on.

Miguel uses an illegal hand hold.

That's better.

No problem for Kathy.

Mike ready to record any disasters. And he captured the nice photo of Kathy above.

We stopped for frozen margaritas (and more snacks) next to the rapid.

I must have been thirsty (photo by Mike).

An apparition emerged from the woods.


After the short paddle trip, we headed to Lockhart to sample the town's speciality - BBQ. But first a short stop at the county courthouse, which was completed in 1894.

Standing in line in the "blast furnace" room at Smitty's.

Pigging out on the brisket (photo by Mike).

Well, the Saturday Paddlers are famous for their appetites.

For 15 more photos of this day's outing, click here to be sent to my Flickr page, where you can click on either "Slideshow" on the right or "Detail" on the left.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Antonian Reunion - Guadalupe River

Friday evening I hosted dinner for five of my Antonian High School classmates. Shown above are Carlos, Chuck, Ray, Zander, me, and Arthur. Conrad arrived after dining with his family, and Steve and Rick joined us later from the airport. The stuffed pork chops were delicious, as were the many (too many?) bottles of Zander Winery Syrah and Pinot Noir that were consumed. Most of the guys didn't leave the house until close to 5:00 a.m. Saturday morning, so I wasn't sure whether any of us would show up for the planned paddle trip on the Guadalupe River. After all, the official 41st reunion would take place Saturday evening.

In addition to the lack of sleep, we were faced with a river running at only 28 cfs. Nevertheless, five of us put in at Sultenfuss crossing (the Bergheim high bridge) a little before 2:00 p.m., with our destination the Edge Falls Road crossing about 3.8 miles downstream.

Note: Left click on any photo to enlarge.

Steve and Zander (the winemaker formerly known as Fred) in my Dagger Legend 15 canoe and Conrad in my Perception Corsica, an old-school whitewater kayak.

Rick in his inflatable kayak - not a pretty sight!

A combination of heavy shadows and a careless ISO setting on my camera resulted in some fairly dismal images for the day. Or was it just the subjects?

The water may have been low, but the scenery was typical Upper Guadalupe River beautiful.

Conrad was occasionally able to keep the kayak going in a straight line.

Zander and Steve approach a rock garden.

The group makes a short stop at Rock Pile Rapid for a snack and to view the local wildlife.

Rock Pile at very low water.

Our next stop was at Dogleg Rapid. Frozen margaritas and ice cream sandwiches were served before we ran the rapid.

Conrad led the way over the small drop.

No problem for Conrad and the Corsica.

Zander and Steve were up next. They play musical paddles above.

Looks like they're pretty well lined up, but perhaps a few inches too far river right.

Zander hanging over the edge.


Zander muscles the boat back into the channel.

Ready to proceed?

The margaritas take their toll - or maybe it was simply time for a refreshing dip in the cool water.

Men overboard!

Zander's unique bailing technique.

On their way through the rocks.

Rick followed in his inflatable.

A rest stop.

Free at last.

Our short run from Dogleg down to the take-out was uneventful.

For 56 more photos of this river adventure, click here to be guided to my Flickr page, where you may (or may not) want to click on "Slideshow" or "Detail."