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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Double Bayou Paddle

I started a weekend of paddling adventures with a trip on the East Fork of Double Bayou.  This used to be a very beautiful stream that went from a mix of East Texas Woods and cleared fields to a coastal plain before emptying into Trinity Bay.  But Hurricane Ike took out a lot of the trees, especially the ones that grew along the banks with open fields behind them, so this trip wasn't as beautiful as my memories of it, and the water wasn't as clear. But it was still a lovely trip with beautiful clouds and great company.

While in Corpus Christi, I had invited one of my very favorite friends, Winnie, and a new friend, Gail, to come for a long weekend at Natalie's house.  They wanted to attend  the HASK meeting which featured Natalie talking about her marvelous, and long-awaited book, Canoeing and Kayaking Houston's Waterways, followed by a day of exploring Galveston and two days of paddling.


Us crossing the Houston Ship Channel on the Fred Hartman Bridge.

Natalie wanted to take her dog, Zootie and I have to make special arrangements to borrow a kayak so we decided to paddle our canoes on the Houston Association of  Sea Kayakers paddle. This was to be an up-and-back trip, so we all met at Job Beason Park in the little community of Oak Island.  This was the coastal town   at the epicenter of Ike so was severely damaged. But the Ike money made it possible to rebuild the park into a nicer facility.


Getting boats ready

Getting more boats ready

Me near the put-in/take-out- Trinity Bay is down the channel behind my paddle

The trip was optimistically advertised as a Colder than %$#% Trip.  I even put on long underwear when dressing for it.  But I was too hot way before it was time to put in so went down to just a pair of nylon pants, a long underwear shirt, and a light nylon paddling jacket. The jacket lasted about 15 minutes into the paddle and I was wishing for shorts by noon. The temperatures hit 66 but the sun, only lightly covered by clouds, basked us to higher temperatures. But none of demanded our money back for false advertising. Actually this was a free paddle led by a club trip volunteer  leader.


Water and sky and colorful craft

"What are those funny things in the water"

Getting to the wooded portion of the bayou

Bob commiserating with Zootie after Natalie bumped into a log , causing her to fall in

Our biggest adventure on the trip was getting out of the boats - and back in- at Double Bayou Park, our destination and lunch stop.  The bank was steep and extremely slippery. We had to have people stationed on the bottom to help people out of the boats and then people on the top to help haul them up.  After we ate, Winnie, my friend that came from Corpus to stay with us for the weekend, and I gathered up short pieces of downed wood and stomped it into the bank so give us more purchase.  But we provided lots of entertainment for the boy scouts that were camping at the park.


The area under the front of the kayak was like wet glass

Lunch time - we shared the picnic shelter with boy scouts

Me getting lots of help getting back in my canoe
 After we got back and loaded up our boats, most of us repaired to Channel Marker 17 where I ate some delicious oysters and continued having good conversions with old and new friends. Finally Natalie, Gail, Winnie and I followed Ann back to here paradise across from Fort Anahuac Park for a dessert of scones and tea. Then it was time to head home, dry out our paddling clothes and prepare for anther lovely paddle before Gail and Winne headed back to Corpus.

Sunset as seen from Ann's back yard.

When I started taking pictures, I found I'd left my memory card in my computer back at the house. Natalie and Winnie graciously let me use their pictures. So that IS Natalie and me in the van with the canoes.  Winnie and Gail were right behind us with kayaks on top of their vehicle. That's why you are noticing much better pictures than usual. Thanks so much guys.