Miles and Mussels and Muscles #5
Brazos River, Hwy 290 to SH 159
August 4, 2018
by Natalie Wiest
Bruce Bodson posted a trip on the Brazos that was to be “only” 14 miles and “not overly long” so a bunch of us took him up on it. Bruce has posted an excellent trip report, including photos, but of course I can’t resist adding my $.02 also, so here goes.
John Rich had expressed an interest in the paddle, but hesitant to do it in his big canoe with the likelihood of little current, and a headwind. So I volunteered to help him paddle the red barge down the river, and off we went on the adventure.
Not noted in trip description is the Class III put-in; and Class V takeout. Read, challenging, but well worth the effort. Here is the group at the base of the put-in at the Highway 290 bridge.
The Brazos has very tall banks of soft eroded, and eroding sand with some intermittent wide sandbars and gravel bars. Here are typical views, including snags from recent flooding.
Notice the threatening clouds in the distance. We had one brief shower but the storms otherwise went around us.
The one promised obstruction was a bridge that had collapsed into the water. Here is a short video clip of our fearless leader shooting across that downed bridge. And a second of David and Derrick.
And here he is shooting at us:
While we were at the sandbar we hunted for mussels. I’ll leave it up to Bruce to give a description of which ones these are, but here’s an idea of what we were looking for:
I believe everyone’s favorite activity of the day was our float and soak in the river, sans boats. This was incredibly comfortable on what was otherwise a hot day.
My wore-out paddling partner John.
Good thing we had that rest and relaxation as the takeout was very challenging. All worthwhile for a very fun day on the river.
The last fun part of my day was getting pulled over by a state trooper as I drove off from the shuttle. Couldn’t figure out why he was pulling me over – turned out he was just checking to see if we were OK. Let me guess negative things sometimes happen and vehicles are left as evidence at overpasses and stream crossings. They had already run my license plate numbers, and called/left message on my home number checking on me. They must have noticed that a senior citizen female from Galveston owned the vehicle and what on earth would such a person be doing under a highway bridge this far from home? We got a chuckle out of that but in any case we know there are folks looking out for us.
Thank you Bruce Bodson, and John Rich, for a very fine day on the water.
- Natalie Wiest
Brazos River gauge 8111500 near Hempstead: 675 cfs for the day
The author, Natalie Wiest