Our last canoeing trip for Reinhard & Hildegard, before their return to a life of socialism, got off to a flying start with Cormac & Ervan dragging Chris out of bed 15 minutes after we were supposed to have met in the Spac lot. We picked up the other Spac ship passengers, Pam, Caroline, Mark, Cass, & Ian. Katie and Thomas, our fearless organizer, took off ahead, damn near literally with two kayaks on the roof producing extra lift at Scoupe speeds. The couples' car, with Hildegard & Reinhard and Rosana & Pete, and the beautiful woman car, with Cathy, Deena, & Marley, the trip mascot, were somewhere in between.
Spac ship, after pandering to eight different bladder schedules, some bad shifting out of Seguin, and serious grunting on the highway 46 climbing lanes, brought up the rear, arriving around 12:30. After waiting for the early arrivals to set up tents, and some glacial logistics, we got in the water about 2:00. Ervan & Thomas tried the kayaks first. Ervan managed to capsize during testing before touching any white water or beer. Since that was the only kayak capsize of the weekend, beer drinking was clearly indicated as a safety measure. Cass, Reinhard, Ian, & Cormac took their turn at fighting the beasties too. You want to go which way?
A leisurely three hours of drinking brought us to the Guadalupe State Park. Having gone less than 1/3 the way with only three hours of daylight left, we had to pick up the pace a little bit. That didn't keep Cormac and Chris from stopping for a good penis-flapping rope swing (plus a few more modest types) just south of the park nor did it keep the keg canoe from tipping, ouch! Somehow, all of the warm beer was drunk anyway, including a few rewards for the park denizens who helped recover the contents of said keg canoe as they went floating away.
Cormac gave the accolades for the day by telling Ervan what a canoe buff he was. Some number of people along the bank apparently agreed by the sound of their guffaws. Chris assured us multiple times we were nowhere neat Aintry.
The frequent shifting to try the kayaks caused lots of partner swapping and a good time was head by all. Chris & Katie and Chris & Pam seemed to be comfortable slow moving combinations. But both Chris & Caroline and Chris & Mark were on the fast track. Chris just gets around.
We dropped the kayaks off at GCL and crossed the river to our campsite just on the bluff. After fast paddling, everyone was tired. A quick supper was had by all and most retired early. Since we were car camping, a fine selection of mixed drinks was to be found instead of the usual bottle swigging. There was such a surplus of tents that some did not need to be set up and many were half empty. There was such a surplus of food and liquor that those who forgot to bring any of either didn't crimp anyone's plans.
The evening closed with one duo wandering off on a new friendship. Cathy, Deena, Ervan, & Mark laid on a blanket on the ground for a few hours of stargazing.
Sunday morning, half the crowd got off to fast start not realizing that pick-up was scheduled for 4:30, no matter how fast they paddled. Oh well, a fine time was had waiting at Rebecca Falls for the rest of the crowd.
The first set of falls with a choice of a 2' straight drop or a trick corner with two 1' drops managed to capsize a few canoes. The kayakers had fun running the falls multiple times along every course. On a Cathy & Deena capsize, Marley was dumped, but being fully canoe-broken, he swam to the next nearest canoe and hopped in with Pete & Rosana. Unfortunately, it too was sinking and Marley could only look on in despair as the water reached his belly.
When the slow poke canoers reached Rebecca falls and added a few more scrapes to the lot, everyone was together again and decided to try for an early pick-up since it was two hours yet. One more bend and a good set up rapids brought us to the take-out spot. Frantically waiving her arms in the middle of the road, Rosana flagged down a truck and by some bit of cajoling convinced them they had a cellular phone and knew how to use it. After arranging to be picked up an hour early, it was realized Cormac & Pam had not yet arrived. When Ervan rhetorically asked if they were coming, several people assured him they were.
A bumpy bus ride back, a kayak tie-down, and a short ride brought us all to Oma's Haus in New Braunfels for an end-of-trip face stuffing and waitress ogling. [Ervan, et al]
------------------------------ Thomas Notes:
Thomas had to hurry Saturday morning to return some '70 vintage Red Cross safety videos pushed on him by Whitewater. Thomas somehow failed to mention to Don, the kayak rental safety nut, that a canoe with keg ballast would be in arms reach of the people in the kayaks.
On I-10, about half an hour out of Houston, one of the pads underneath the kayaks came flying out onto the highway. With Katie screaming to forget about it, Thomas swerved for an exit and screamed into a U-turn to rescue the lost pad. "I can't believe you're going to risk your life running onto the freeway for a stupid pad." said Katie. Thomas would have too, not knowing how the value of the pad would increase once word of its loss reached kayak-renter Don. Fortunately, the high-speed traffic had blown the blue doormat to the side of the highway next to the entrance ramp.
The Bartells quoted a price of $4 a head plus tax for the campsite. Once Thomas pulled out the cash and started counting twenties into Mr. Bartells hand, the tax became included in the $4. Uh-huh; let's not run to spend the tax money the State of Texas collected on this deal.
Katie was overjoyed that the campsite had bathrooms with toilet paper and toilet seat covers. Katie says the toilet paper was soft.
With nightfall anticipated, even by the ever optimistic group, there was a successful push to the take out point. All arrived with plenty of daylight left.
Chris Miller gave tremendous moral support to his female companions the first day as they rowed his tush down the Guadalupe. Katie said the only thing he was missing were the grapes. On the second day, he and Caroline were the first to reach the last waterfall. They reached it two hours before anyone else.
Pam and Cormac lost a paddle, forcing Thomas and Pam to attempt Rebecca under the inept one-paddle steering by Thomas. Fortunately, the canoe repeatedly bottomed out as it attempted to go directly over the falls. With much pulling by Pam, Thomas, and the babe-in-waiting Deana, the canoe was moved ten yards sideways and positioned directly above the chute in the falls. Pam and Thomas jumped in, and... "We made it! We made it! What canoe pros!"