Memorial Day on the Sabine

On Saturday, May 29th, members of the Texas Sea Touring Kayak Club launched on the Sabine river from Texas Highway 63, a few miles below the dam at the southern end of Toledo Bend Reservoir.  Since we didn't get into the water until almost noon, we only paddled a little way down to a convenient sand bar, where we stopped for lunch.

In the photo at left may be seen my sweetie, Lisa Walker, in the pink suit.  In the background standing by a tan canoe are Sherry and Bruce Gillan, who lead the trip for the club.  To the right of Lisa in the water are most of the other paddlers on the trip, who were far too sensible to stand around in the noonday sun.  One is reminded, on days like this, of General Phillip Sheridan, who said, "If I owned both Texas and Hell, I would rent out Texas and live in Hell."

The water in the upper Sabine comes out of the bottom of the reservoir, and is delightfully cool on a warm day.  Many of us spend most of our paddling time on salt water, and for us it's a special treat to be able to cool off by jumping into nice, cool, fresh water.

After lunch, we paddled a couple of more hours down the river, stopping at a nice looking sandbar when it looked like it was about to rain.  It was.  It did.  We threw up the tents in a hurry, before the rain came.  After the thunderstorm passed, we had dinner.  Here is some of the crew at dinner.

The awnings in the picture are Moss Parawings.  The one in the foreground with the people under it is an Outfitter Wing, and is bigger than the two smaller 19-foot Parawings in the background.  Aside from the very desirable function of providing shade from the Texas sun, the Wings provide shelter from light to moderate rain, and protect the sand from the morning dew.

This is the camp setup on the first night.

This is Bruce and Sherry Gillan, standing next to Lisa in front of our tent on Sunday evening.  A very dark roll cloud behind them is receeding into the distance after having passed over the camp.  When we saw the roll cloud approaching, it looked like a squall line about to pounce on us, and everyone scrambled to gather up loose items and stuff them under cover.  It was a false alarm - the dragon had no teeth.

We had thunderstorms in the area all evening.  One just to the south of west produced this gorgeous sunset, which people are admiring.  What cannot be seen is the lightning which lit up the sky for several hours.  Someone mentioned that there were fireworks in Galveston that night, and I mentioned that I preferred the lightning, to comments of general agreement.

Kayak overlooking the Sabine at sunset.

Another view of the sky.  We sat up long after dark, enjoying the lightning, the sound of crickets and other night creatures, including the sounds made by the rolling of the dreaded and possibly mythical alligator gar in the river.

Lisa on the run Monday morning down to the takeout.  The Sabine has many sandbars which make excellent camping sites.

Copyright 1999, 2009 by Linden B. Sisk
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