Saturday, May 1, 2010

Saturday Paddlers - Medina River Cleanup

Note: Left click on any photo to enlarge.

Eleven Saturday Paddlers participated in the Tenth Annual Medina River Cleanup, an event sponsored by the Medina River Protection Fund. Our group was responsible for Section 4. This 3.0-mile section started at Moffett Park in the town of Medina, and ended at the low-water bridge at Chenaults Lane. After the flooding of two weeks earlier, the river was running at a healthy 370 cfs or so. This brought the river up much closer to the overhanging branches in many spots, making for a more challenging run.

We were in three canoes and seven kayaks. In addition to those pictured below, David Plylar joined in the effort, but, as usual, was so much faster than me on the water that I failed to get a photo of him. But he was there!

Miguel, ...

Joline, ...

Kathy and I in the Dagger Dimension, which was put to use as a garbage scow, ...

... and Steve brought up the rear as the others pushed ahead. We were kept busy using the bolt cutters to remove wire from the trees and banks.

It had been a while since Don had paddled with the Saturday Paddlers.

Gary and Joan looked for flotsam, ....

... while Anne, Steve, and Susan concentrated on the jetsam.

After unloading our treasures at the Chenaults Lane crossing, which marked the end of our section of the river, we stopped there for lunch and margaritas. Although David had to head back to San Antonio, the rest of us continued downstream in order to get in a few more river miles. As it turned out, we also picked up a fair amount of barbed wire and other trash as we paddled through 3.7-mile long Section 5. But with the river running fairly high, it was a nice run with a few interesting features.

Medina River scenery, but without the usual twists and turns.

Joline was her normal shy self.

A sudden splash, and the next thing we saw was Steve's body floating past. We had to revive him with the promise of barbeque.

An old dam at the junction with Laxon Creek, and less than a half mile from our take-out, presented another challenge. Everyone except Miguel, Steve, and I portaged around this obstacle. Miguel made it through before we got there with the camera.

Nothing quite like paddling the best tandem whitewater canoe ever made! My lovely passenger wisely decided to walk around this obstacle.

Steve crashing through the wave at the bottom at the bottom of the drop.

Our decision to continue past our assigned section of the river, along with the time required to retrieve by foot the bolt cutters which I had accidentally left along the river bank in Section 5, made Steve and me a little late for the free BBQ dinner served back at Bandera City Park. Perhaps that explains Steve morose demeanor. Actually, although we missed out on the chicken and sausage, we had plenty to eat.

I'm not sure what triggered this expression! Perhaps Joline was letting me know what she thought about all of the work I had gotten her into that day. Or maybe she has spotted the dessert on my plate.

Gary with his best Steve impression.

Bob Brischetto, the cleanup coordinator, handed out nice posters produced by Texas Parks & Wildlife to the section heads. It was a nice touch, and the scene from the Devils River is quite lovely.

Musical entertainment was provided by the Mesquite Trio, augmented her by a fourth, and formerly known as the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Steve, Miguel, Kathy, and Joline relaxing after a productive day and a nice meal. Looks like they're ready to jump back in their boats and head down the river again. Well, ..... maybe not exactly.

The wildflowers on Hwy. 16 not far from Bandera were spectacular. Kathy and I had to stop for photos of this field of Thelesperma.

To view an additional 30 photos from this excursion, click here to switch over to my Flickr page, then click on "Slideshow" near the top of that page.