Sunday, September 7, 2008

Weekend on the Brazos River

We loaded up Friday and headed to Rainbow, Texas for a weekend of camping, fishing, and yaking on the Brazos River.

We stayed at Camp & Fish a primative little campground right on the river. We got there around 9 o'clock Friday night and setup the tent in the dark. The sky was full of stars and the only noises were the crickets and the sound of a pump on a gas well in the area. We sat and looked across the river and the beautiful night sky for quite some time. Knowing that we had to get on the river early to avoid the heat we started around 6:15 Saturday morning. I prepared the breakfast, instant coffee and chocolate donuts or a cereal bar (I ate the donuts).
Here's our camp:

The paddle was very eventful. We started out paddling upriver so we could float back with the current. We paddled for several hours stopping and fishing and Patty searching in the shallow flowing water for rocks. She even found a blood red heart shaped rock.

On the return trip the fun began. We paddled against a 15 to 17 mph wind (so much for using the current). We crossed several shallow areas. Patty floated right across one so I tried it too. NOT!!! So, I get out and drag to an area deep enough to get back in. When I went to get back in I stepped into the yak, slipped, and SPLASH I was in the river. Oh well, off again. We paddled for a while went through some light rapids and then came to a swift running spot. I went through first and got sideways and almost went under a tree. Then Patty came through and wound up under the tree. Her rods were in the rodholders sticking up and got hung in the tree. She immediately tried to turn around and untangle them. I saw her doing that and started to tell her don't do it when KERPLUNK she flipped the yak and went in the drink. She popped up, flipped her yak back over and grabbed hold of it. I immediately paddled to her to help. I got over there and was holding onto her yak and sitting sidesaddle in mine with my stakeout pole holding us. THEN my stakeout pole came out and we were moving quickly with the current. And then it happened (since I was sidesaddle and floating backwards I didn't see it happening). Remember George of the Jungle "look out for that TREE" it hit me in the back of the head and KERPLUNK I was in the drink with Patty. Fortunately it was only about 4 1/2 feet deep. We grabbed our yaks and waded to the sand bar to take inventory.
Items lost:

  1. digital camera

  2. rod holder

  3. seat pad

  4. cereal bars

  5. fishing pliers and holster

  6. and we later realized Patty's hat

We paddled a little further down river and there was Patty's hat. It had floated up into a tree so I went over and rescued it. Then I attempted to catch up with "Speedy". She had paddled way down river. I caught her and gave her hat to her. Then she took off again. After paddling for about two miles I told Patty none of the things we were seeing looked familiar. I asked a guy on the river which direction to Camp & Fish and shonuff we had passed it. During most of our trip back we had a buzzard flying over us. Patty blamed him for not helping us find our takeout point. On the return he landed and began walking around on shore at the takeout place.
Here he is:

After getting back to camp we put on dry clothes, packed up, and headed to the Loco Coyote for some lunch/dinner and then headed home. In spite of the loss of the camera we had a great time on the river. Now we're looking forward to Oktoberfisch on the Llano next month.

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