My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Farewell Paddle on the South Llano River

I ended my stay in Texas with a farewell trip to South Llano River State Park.  I birded, hiked, visited and finally paddled with various friends of a group of sixteen.  I've blogged about that trip here.  I birded all the way to the put-in and then had to wait on the rest of the group to arrive.

Summer tanager

Red-eyed vireo "preaching"
Eastern Wood Peewee singing
 Bob, Ann and I were the only ones paddling. The rest were either leaving, or birding. Natalie came to watch us take off and then planed to pack up and go to Austin to visit her daughter on the way home. Bill came to run the shuttle for us.  He followed Bob down to the take-out and then brought him back. Then he went back to pack up and wait for me.  He planned to stuff my things in the car for me.  (What a guy!)Finally, around 10:00 A.M., we were ready to do this short paddle -  I think it's about five miles.

Bob helping Ann at the put-in at the low water bridge in the park
We wound through the first chute and then pulled out so Ann could get her foot braces fixed.  After that we were able to paddle for over an hour before we needed a pit stop. We were also stopped several times by low water - the river was the lowest I've ever seen it.  This must be due the the on-going drought in the area.  But we still finished our paddle in about two hours.

River View
Winnie took this picture of me from a high bank near the start of the trip
Bob and view

Low water

Ann by cut bank

Bob struggling across a shallow spot

Some lingering blue-winged teal

Ann gets a drag from Bob

Finding a devil's trumpet along the riverside was a surprise
 But even low, the river was beautiful and we were a little sad to see the bridge.  I was surprised to see a new bridge that we could paddle under and the new parking area for paddlers.   I'm glad to see that more and more rivers are getting paddling trails with more amenities for paddlers.

Ann coming under the new bridge

At the take-out

I didn't take my canoe with me to Bison Range because there is hardly any paddling I can do by myself without running a shuttle.  There are a few lakes but I don't really like lake paddling. So this memory will have to last me until I go on a Boundary Waters Trip in September.