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."