TG Family Trip At Huntsville State Park

The entire TG family took time out to hike, paddle, fish, and swim at Huntsville State Park. We started the first three mornings with 2, 2+, and 3 mile hikes. Nate walked them all, celebrating his 4th birthday. Warm and humid as it was, swimming was the late morning/early afternoon activity of choice. Our time on the water was enjoyed paddling watercraft we personally chose for this adventure. Lake Raven was serene, we owned the swimming area, the paddling was delightful, the fishing was cathartic, the alligators were many, and the livin’ was easy.

Heading Out
Morning Hike
Keep On Rolling
Just AN 8FT Gator, No Biggie
Amy And Her Dog Lacey, Plenty of room on the Jackson Bite
Evelyn Enjoying A Paddle On The Hurricane Skimmer 116
All The Boats After A Paddle Session
Alex 2nd Place With This 18in Bass
Duane Takes Takes The Trophy With This 19in Bass

TG’s Paddle Guadalupe River from Comfort to Waring

July 2nd, the TGs took the opportunity to run 10.6 miles of the Guadalupe River from Comfort to the Waring bridge. Fortunate to catch a small rise from upstream, the gauge read a perfect 349 CFS when we entered the river underneath the I-10 bridge. The good flow allowed us to paddle, cruise, and run everything, except the dams and bridges, of course. Expecting some rapids, Alex and Duane paddled Jackson Kayak Coosa HDs and Evelyn paddled her Native Manta Ray 11. These proved to be good choices for us as they were made for this. Great Blue Herons, Belted Kingfishers, Green Herons, Ravens, Cardinals, very wary turtles, White-tailed Deer, cattle, and sheep graced the scenery as we paddled along. Majestic Cypress Trees ruled the impressive river corridor. What we didn’t see??? TRASH – YEA! With lunch and swimming breaks, the trip took us 4.5 hours. Truly, we had a great day.

Putting in under the I-10 bridge
Small dam
Easy portage on the left of this small dam
Great water flow
Cruising down the river
Duane stopping for a moment to take in nature
An island of Bald Cypress Trees
Wonderful Bald Cypress Tree covered tunnel
Texas Hill Country
Alex hanging out enjoying the day
A flock of sheep hanging out at the river
Deer grazing in the field
Ahh yes what a beautiful day
More Bald Cypress Trees covering the river
Waring bridge
10.6 mile trip in the books. Absolutely wonderful day, at Waring Bridge

TG’s Paddle the Blanco River

The TGs have taken advantage of the wonderful flows on the Blanco River several times this Winter and Spring. This was the run we made on May 15th, at 611 CFS. The trip was 6.8 miles long and, with the high flow, we felt like we had our kayaks on cruise control. Y’all need to paddle these Hill Country rivers while you can. They are amazing!

Hammer on
Evelyn taking on the good waves
Just went underneath Post Rd
Great wave train
Concrete plant bridge
So peaceful
Uhland Road
Train tracks
HWY 80
Cut out bank from flood water
CO RD 102
Take out at CO RD 102

Mothers Day On the San Marcos River

We celebrated Mother’s Day on the San Marcos River. The weather was perfect and the river had a terrific flow (258 CFS) and an even better flow after the confluence with the Blanco, which added another 1000 CFS. We set the cruise control and enjoyed. We saw tons of turtles, a Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Great Blue Herons, Red Tailed Hawks, a family of Wood Ducks, a family of Mallards, Green Kingfishers, and more. After our paddle trip, we had dinner at the Red Rock Steakhouse. Great Day!

Putting in at City Park
Underneath the railroad bridge
Amy running Rio Vista
Evelyn Running Rio Vista
Alex going under the pedestrian bridge
Amy and Evelyn at IH35
Alex at the Falls
Beautiful Day
Evelyn stopping at the old windmill
The mixing of water at the confluence of the San Marcos and Blanco Rivers (This Drastic color change is due to overnight rain)
On Cummings lake
The tower of Cummings Dam
Cummings Dam Portage on river right
Duane leaving Cummings Dam
CO RD 101 Bridge
Taking the the beautiful blue sky
Take out at San Marcos River Retreat
Dinner at the Red Rock Steakhouse

TG’s hang out at Inks Lake

The TGs spent a few days enjoying Inks Lake. The weather was a bit misty with some drizzle but, understanding kayaking is a water sport after all, we did get some paddling and casting done. Amy, with her dog Lacey, and Evelyn paddled their Native Manta Ray 11s. 
Alex was on the Jackson Kayak Bite and Duane was on the JK Mayfly. Both fishing kayaks paddled very well on the windy, open water and the stability for standing was solid, steady, and easy.

Duane watching the goose take flight. Amy and Lacey getting ready for a paddle across the lake
Alex in the Jackson Bite
Duane in the Jackson Mayfly
Evelyn, Duane, Amy, and Lacey

TG’s Paddle the Nueces River

The TGs headed West to enjoy the Nueces River. For kayaks we took a Native Manta Ray 11, Liquidlogic Manta Ray 12, and a Jackson Coosa. On Monday, Evelyn and I paddled from CR408 down to Chalk Bluff Park, where we had camp set up for two nights. It was wonderful as we were the only campers on the mile long frontage of the river. Alex joined us Monday night and we all paddled from CBP to CR405 on Tuesday. It had been a while since we paddled a West Texas river and the peace and relaxation the Nueces River generously gave us was needed and welcomed. We saw Great Blue Herons, Red-Tailed Hawks, Turkey and Black Vultures, a Black-chinned Humminbird nesting, a Vermillion Flycatcher (stunning), a Yellow-throated Warbler, Green Kingfishers, Eastern Wood-Pewee, along with 3 Aoudads, and a few Diamondback Water Snakes. The water was crystal clear, cool, and running 112CFS, on Monday, and 108 CFS, on Tuesday. The Nueces is a typical West Texas river as, at this water level, it runs fairly shallow (we did walk some) and has fun little Class I Rapids and wall shots. Peace here is abundant. FYI – any time you paddle in the desert, choose a section length you know you can handle easily. Being able to read current and depth is important. A big thank you to Sky Lewey who gave us all the great information we needed to enjoy her special river!

Day 1: Putting in at CR 408
Rolling down the rio
Duane pulling his kayak through some shallow water
Rugged terrain
Such beautiful scenery
Just below Hwy 55 bridge
Crystal clear water
Chalk Bluff, such beauty
End of day 1 paddle, taking out at Chalk Bluff
Alex camping out before the river trip
Day 2 put in: Chalk Bluff
Evelyn cruising by
Duane enjoying the day
Lunch time
Nice feet
Duane and Evelyn
All in the family
End of day 2 at CR 405

Alex and Duane paddle the San Marcos River from Luling to Palmetto State Park

Alex and I took advantage of our days off, camped at Palmetto State Park, and ran 12.4 miles of the San Marcos River from River Bend RV Park to Palmetto State Park. The river was flowing at a good 300 CFS. The trip took us 4 hours with lunch. Alex paddled a Jackson Kayak Liska and I paddled my JK Coosa HD. We saw many Red-Shouldered Hawks, Great Blue Herons, Green Kingfishers, Belted Kingfishers, a Pileated Woodpecker, Mallard Ducks, Cormorants, Caracara, Killdeer, Black Vultures, Cardinals, and more. We saw several wild hogs, a Diamondback Watersnake, and cattle! Overall, this would be a river trip for intermediate and higher skilled mainly because of 12 + mile length and Son of Ottine Rapid, which could be portaged. Scout the Palmetto SP bridge take-out before you put-in. It can be dangerous if you don’t have a good exit plan set up to avoid the fast water going under it. For this trip, we lost Evelyn to the Round Top Antique Show she attended with friends – oh, the choices we make. But, we all had great days off!

Put-in at River Bend RV Park Luling
Alex cruising the cut bank.
Setting up for some quick water.
Alex running Son Of Ottine Rapid.
Duane entering Son of Ottine Rapid.
Bovine shoreline.
State Park Bridge.
Taking out at Palmetto State Park low water bridge.

TG’s paddle the Colorado River

The TG Crew took advantage of the 70+ degree weather and ran 6.8 miles of the Colorado River from Fisherman’s Park to Tahitian Village – Bastrop, TX. Birding was good as we spotted Red Shoulder Hawks, Belted Kingfishers, Teals, a Piliated Woodpecker, Cormorants, American Coots, Black Vultures, Cardinals, and more. We saw two huge soft-shelled turtles and tons of hard shells. At a good flow of 1710 CFS, we explored the channels less traveled every chance we had available. It took us 2.25 hours with lunch. FYI – the wind can be a factor because the Colorado River is so open. At this water level, longer boats are nice for tracking and speed. There are very few obstacles. This is a good river run for beginners.

Putting in at Fisherman’s Park
Rolling under the HWY bridge
Tree covered area
Lunch Time
Beautiful day on the water
Alex at Tahitian Village takeout
A wonderful day on the river

TG’s Blanco River Trip – kayak testing Jackson Liska, Bonafide RS117, Native Manta Ray 12XT.

Blanco River testing the Jackson Kayak Liska, Bonafide RS117, and the Native 12 XT: We wanted to check out these three, traditionally flat water kayaks, on moving water to see how sea worthy they were on Class I rapids and moving water. We paddled from 5 Mile Dam to IH 35 on a day we had up to 20 mph winds, with the river gauge reading 245 CFS. All three kayaks checked the boxes for completing this run. We surfed them, ran them through rapids, and pushed them through a 20 mph headwind. We switched kayaks each mile giving each of us the opportunity to paddle all three kayaks. All were stable and maneuverable. The Liska slipped and slid over the rocky quick water very well, the 12 XT brought the fastest hull speed, and the RS117 tracked well with its tri-hull. So, what’s the verdict? If you own or are ready to purchase one of these fine kayaks, don’t forget to enjoy the rivers, too!

The Native 12 XT, Jackson Kayak Liska, and the Bonafide RS117.
Alex surfing the Bonafide RS117.
Evelyn running a small drop with the JK Liska.
Duane surfing the Native 12 XT.
Paddling down the Blanco River with three different kayaks.
Setting up to run a rapid on the Blanco River.
A good day was had on the Blanco River.

TG’s run the upper Guadalupe River.

We took advantage of the 75 degree temperature to run the Upper Guadalupe River from Bergheim Campground to Guadalupe State Park on Tuesday, 2-5-19. The river had a nice flow of 350 CFS, making the Class I and Class II run fun and enjoyable. Birds included a few Red Shouldered Hawks, Red Tailed Hawks, an Osprey, Great Blue Herons, Great Egret, and scores of finches, warblers, etc. We encourage y’all to take the time to paddle these Hill Country rivers while they’re running. The skill level for this section, at this water level, would be intermediate or better. The kayaks we used on this trip were the Native Manta Ray, Jackson Coosa HD, and Jackson Coosa.

Guadalupe River putting in at Bergheim Campground.

The great views just keep on coming!

Alex cruisin down the rio

Evelyn cruising quick water 

Travertine Falls. Can you say pretty? Yup, this is amazing!

Evelyn winds her way through Rock Pile Rapid.

Guadalupe State Park is the end of our Guadalupe River Trip. Great day.