Sunday, December 11, 2011

Canyon Lake - New Stairway

Work continues on the house at Canyon Lake. These images show the construction of the new stairway leading to the second floor bedroom.
Note: Click on any photo to enlarge.

Oak treads and risers on the second run.

The complete stairway, prior to the installation of banisters. The scaffolding is for the drywall work and painting in the entry way, which is now two stories tall.

The second landing was raised about 13 inches, leaving enough headroom for a new doorway to the garage. This allowed us to remove the old doorway, which led from the garage to the utility room, and to convert that room to a bedroom.

The oak flooring obtained when the 1960 addition to the Kings Highway home was demolished by the new owners now has a second life. It replaces the dreary, old carpeting. The wood flooring also provides a nice foundation for the Fisher piano given by Dad to Mom when they were dating. I can almost hear Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C Sharp Minor, Op.3, No. 2. Well, maybe one of these days!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Canyon Lake - Deck Construction

Note: Click on any photo to enlarge.

The construction of the entry way deck for the Canyon Lake house is progressing quite nicely. The deck will make the access to the front door much easier than the old stone stairs, especially for us older folks. Thanks to Nelson for the "fan" design concept for the stairway up to the deck. This design was implemented nicely by Jimmy Guerra.

The stairs open out towards both the entry gate and the pool.

The view from the entry gate.

Looking down at the deck from the second floor walkway (on left), and another view from the gate (on right).

The deck will connect nicely to the existing porch.

The curved section of the deck above the old stone stairs is quite attractive. Thanks again to Nelson for that idea, and to Dan and Jimmy for bending that two-by-six.

The view of the underside of the deck from under the porch.

Views from the pool.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Saturday Paddlers - Guadalupe River

Note: Click on any photo to enlarge.

Emboldened by their semi-success a week earlier, the Saturday Paddlers again ventured onto the Upper Guadalupe. They were hoping that the recent break in the year-long drought would enable them to paddle one of their favorite stretches of the river -- from Zoeller Lane to the Sisterdale bridge. The water was flowing at 36-38 cfs, according to the Comfort gauge. This proved to be barely adequate, and some walking and dragging of boats was required. But if the water was marginal, the fall foliage and clear skies made up for it.

Kathy discovered that her Hydroskin Farmer Jane wetsuit was up to the task. She was able to paddle her sit-on-top kayak in the cool weather and still stay warm.

Joline's hat protected her from the sun.

Dude navigates for Mollieo, followed here by Phylis.

Did I already say that the fall colors and weather were quite nice?

A hawk perched on a tree at the top of the ridge kept an eye on us. It may have been the one which we heard fussing at us earlier.

Leslie beyond the limestone overhang.

We stopped for lunch at our usual gravel bar. Enjoying the treats are Mollieo, Kelley, Kathy, Phylis, an alert Dude, Leslie, ____, Susan, Miguel, Joline, and Nancy.

The boats also enjoyed the break.

Joline skillfully balances a cookie on her knee while enjoying a treat. I need to get one of those chairs.

Bald cypress reflected as we paddled.

Susan and I paddled ahead after lunch. We were able to retrieve my shuttle vehicle from the put-in and get her on the road back to San Antonio before the others arrived at the take-out.

Yes, there was a fair amount of walking involved at this water level. Here Susan navigates at the bottom of what is normally Violet Rapid.

A parting shot of the scenery we enjoyed all day.

Note: For an additional 18 photos of this outing, click here and then click on "Slideshow."

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saturday Paddlers - Guadalupe River

The record drought has taken its toll on the upper Guadalupe River, and has forced the Saturday Paddlers to look elsewhere most of this year for paddling opportunities. However, a couple of rain showers this month lead the optimist among us, otherwise known as Dear Leader, to give the river a try. For two consecutive weekends, the group was given orders to explore some of our favorite stretches of the Upper Guadalupe. The plan this time was to make the run from Bergman Crossing (at Edge Falls Road) to the State Park.

Click on any photo to enlarge.

The river was running at 29-32 cfs during our trip. The photo above, taken from the Edge Falls Road bridge, shows the low water level. Many more boulders than usual were fully exposed. We were regaled at lunch by Susan and Reiko with stories of a more exciting (well, for Susan anyway) exposure the previous weekend.

A view upstream, taken while I was waiting for everyone else to return from the shuttle.

Joline pretends to paddle (and gives instructions) while I push the canoe through a shallow channel. Thanks to Mike for these action shots.

Reiko apparently decided to walk the river rather than use a boat.

Susan "explores" during our lunch break.

Susan, Ann, Reiko, Joline, Cynthia, Scott, Doug, Atusko, and Mike enjoying lunch. Gary is wearing his cloak of invisibility.

Cypress trees kept an eye on us.

Mike rests on the large cypress next to our lunch stop.

Cynthia, ...

Otusko, ...

... and Doug head downstream after lunch.

Note: For an additional seven photos from this outing, click here, then click on "Slideshow."

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday Paddlers - Lower Guadalupe River

And now for something completely different! After several months of the San Marcos River being their only choice for moving water during our record drought, the Saturday Paddlers looked closer to home. A decision was made to try the Lower Guadalupe River. More specifically, the stretch of river pioneered by the Sacrificial Lambs back in May of 2009 (click here for a description of that trip). We would launch our boats at the downstream FM 306 crossing and take out about 5.5 miles later at Rocky Beach.

The last time we had paddled this section was in March of last year, when we were blessed with a water level of 579 cfs. That trip featured some exciting rapids and several swimmers, as detailed in this report. Even though the water level this time would be only 73 cfs, that would still be more than the 69 cfs experienced by the Sacrificial Lambs. So we knew that there would be enough water to avoid a lot of walking and dragging of boats. And with a starting time of 10:00, we felt confident that we would miss most of whatever tubers were brave enough to float the river at such a low water level.

Don navigates past the 4.5 mile dams, or what is left of them.

We enjoyed our favorite lunch spot at the confluence of Mountain Creek.

My remaining photos were shot at Bear Creek Rapid, which has been renamed by the tourist industry as Devil's Playground.

Shari slides through the final drop.

Bill and Cyndi enjoying their first outing with the Saturday Paddlers.

Sisters Margaret and Gayle. No, not nuns.

Joan having fun.

Joline displays the latest fashion in eyewear.

Larry showing off his power stroke.

My apologies for not catching Sandra in action, not that there was much at this low water level.

For an additional eleven photos, click here and then click on "Slideshow."