It’s been a pretty mild summer down here in Texas and this weekend was no exception. After what has seemed like rain everyday for the past couple of weeks, me and a few buddies began getting pumped to hit the Guadalupe River while the CFS was over 100. We have always done a fair bit of dragging on this river and looking forward to having some of the best water levels any of us had ever seen on the Guad.
The groups of guys that were coming with me are the same ones I took on this river trip last year. Last year was their first time kayak-camping and all of them were immediately hooked. All of us were glued to the forecast and river gauges hoping for the best this upcoming trip.
Our plan was to hit the water as early as possible to be able to make it to a certain camp spot the first night. We left Austin around 6:30am and headed out. After a stop for breakfast tacos and ice, we were one our way to the river. We loaded all the boats and gear into one truck and trailer so that way we could make a speedy turnaround after dropping the pull-out vehicle.
As soon as we got to the ramp, we could tell that the water was up about a foot from the last time we were all out there, which was great news for us. There are a lot of places you have to port and an extra 6” of water will really help out a ton.
We hit the water just around 9:30am and we were off. The weather was perfect and the water was up. We did have a little cloud cover which helped us stay cool throughout the day.
Everyone paddled great and we didn’t have any flips the first day. Around 2pm we pulled over for Wine & Cheese Hour, which makes for a perfect late afternoon snack. Everyone brings a different meat, cheese or snack to share around while we take a break from the yaks. It seems to get better and better every year as everyone tries to one-up each other with different foods.
The water was flowing so good, we ended up getting to camp around 4 or 5pm the first night. We got our hammocks setup, started a fire and began cooking dinner and grazing the rest of the night. The clouds had moved out making for a super clear night in which we could really see a ton of stars. That is one of my favorite parts about getting out in the middle of nowhere is the sheer amount of stars that are visible.
We were soon in bed to catch some Z’s before our long haul day on Saturday.
The sun began creeping over the hills around 7:30am and we were out of our hammocks and packing up. After cooking up some bacon and egg breakfast tacos, we were on the water headed to the day two campsite.
With the water being up, we were flying down the river. Little to no portages other than the occasional low water crossing kept us on a good pace. To our surprise we only saw one other group of kayakers out on the water when they passed us during our Wine & Cheese Hour on Day 2.
As we got within eye shot of our campsite, we noticed there were some landowners hanging out in that spot. It was already getting late so we decided to paddle a short way back up river to a spot we had just passed. It had plenty of trees to hang hammocks, but the large river rocks made it difficult to walk around in flip flops and a lack of firewood made us work for every ember.
This couldn’t quell our spirits and we had a great time sitting around the fire, eating and swapping stories till the sun went down. We were all pretty tired from the 14mi day on the river and we had to be pretty early.
We woke up early on Sunday and decided to skip breakfast and get moving. Some of the guys had to drive 5 hours after we got off the river, so we wanted to get back to the vehicle asap. We didn’t stop for the 7 mi run in the morning and got the truck around 10am to start packing up for the way home.
We were all fairly exhausted and those truck seats couldn’t have felt more comfortable after sitting on a kayak for 3 days. It was a good time with some good buds and I can’t wait for the next one.