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By gerald
#1288330
I will be paddling the Neches River just below Lake Palestine the week before the Neches River Wilderness Canoe Race. This will be a leisurely picture taking and course study trip. Since it is 22 miles it will not be a fishing trip--only paddling. The pace will be fairly easy, but it will still be an all day trip with a short lunch break along the way. This is assuming there is enough water in the river to float the boats (we're having a drought!). It will get hot. I'm posting this just in case anybody wants to come along and see a section of river that few people see. It's scenic, not too difficult, but requires a good variety of paddling skills. I really enjoy this section of river. I'm sure others will also. There's been a lot of changes in the last few years so I doubt that it will remain like it is for many more years.
One other person has indicated to me that he wants to go along. For such a trip we have to have at least two vehicles so we can shuttle from end to end. More people is fine. That way we can leave somebody with the boats while we go back and get all the vehicles. Usually we'll have all of them at the end except for the shuttle vehicle. We can load two boats on one vehicle and go back to get that vehicle. Any number of ways to do this. It's no biggie.

Ask questions here if you have any.

The race is on August 1. The leisurely paddle will be either on july 25th (sat.) or the 26th (sunday) depending upon the consensus.
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By FishingSETX
#1288363
Sounds like an awesome trip. If I can get off work, I may tag along. might be hard as we are leaving tomorrow to do 44 miles on the lower neches. 4 days 3 nights!!!! I'll post up as time gets closer.
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By FishingSETX
#1288418
You would have been more than welcome!! This is just a trial run for things to come!! I want to eventually do the trinity from livingston to ?. I definatly am going to do the Devils. And there are many many more I want to do!!! Did a 1 night 2 day trip last summer on village creek just to see what works and what doesn't!!

22 miles in a day must be a pretty stiff pace!!! we are doing 44 in 4 days!!
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By gerald
#1288570
FishingSETX wrote:Y

22 miles in a day must be a pretty stiff pace!!! we are doing 44 in 4 days!!


Not really. We'll take at least 6 hours. Probably more--maybe 8 hours depending on who comes along. It will be a leisurely pace. I'll take a lot of pictures. I'll leave nobody behind...(and hope nobody leaves me behind!) Generally I'd say that a nice day trip with a little fishing and exploring would be about 10 miles.
By Kayak Kid
#1288619
The Aug, 1 trip sounds like a real adventure, but I will unfortunately be chasing brownies around Angle Fire NM. Keep me posted of future river trips.
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By gerald
#1288669
Kayak Kid wrote:The Aug, 1 trip sounds like a real adventure, but I will unfortunately be chasing brownies around Angle Fire NM. Keep me posted of future river trips.


July 25th! The race is august 1st. I like to do the course the week before the race so I'll know the twists and turns. You'll certainly be cooler in NM. I don't schedule these races so I just do the runs when they happen--even though it's hot. I will hopefully schedule some nice river trips during the cooler times of the year. You are very welcome to come along....and I will post them.
By rodloos
#1288807
I wasn't sure where Lake Palestine was, just looked it up and it doesn't look to be *too* far of a drive for me.

I might be interested, if I can convince myself I can handle that much paddling. I guess I need to be getting out more regularly getting in shape, but this heat drains my energy/motivation to get out and paddle sometimes.

If you finish the 22 miles in 6 hours (3.67 mph), that might be a faster pace than I could keep up and wouldn't want to hold you back, I can reach that speed but don't know how long I can keep it up.

Guess I'll have to get out more often with my gps so I can see just how fast/far I could go, sounds like a fun trip seeing new water.
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By gerald
#1288859
Rodloos: 6 hours would be the minimum I'd expect pretty fair paddlers. Probably more like 8 hours is what we'll see. This will be an all day trip. We'll start early in the morning and go till we get to the end. NOT at a hard pace. If you get too hot just jump in the water. It will require that you take water, gatorade (or equivilant), and pack a lunch to eat at some nice location along the way. It's also a good idea to have a few snacks for energy while you paddle. The only way we can make this an easier trip is to do it later in the year when it's cooler. However--the East Texas River Runners (or whatever their name is) cut and clean the course for the race. It will be as open as it will ever be. No rapids to speak of, little bit of swift water. Paddling skills to maneuver around logs, trees, stumps, strainers, and sweepers are nice to have. Sometimes you'll go under logs--sometimes you'll go over the logs. Usually a few short and easy portages.

The race pace is a little faster. The pros do it at around 3:30 and up. My best time has been 4:38 (when I won the senior division--a very strong division). The longest time in the race is generally a little over 7 hours. Any longer than that and they'll pull you out of the water at which ever checkpoint you come to because they want to go home before dark.

Let me emphasize--this will be a leisurely pace, starting in the morning but it will carry on into some heat of the day. It IS 22 miles, so you can't just float. Plastic boats that paddle ok are a good boat to use. I would expect anyone that comes along to be confident that they can make this paddle. Only you know your skills and condition. I will NOT run off and leave anyone and a slow pace won't bother me at all. I want to take pictures! Besides all that--Ron and I are old buzzards...
By rodloos
#1288994
I have no experience whatsoever with rapids or real high current, but I could hopefully learn to watch ahead for trees/strainers. Since I have not built a boat yet, I'd be using my Native Ultimate, but I hope the course isn't heading over some 6' waterfalls or anything like some of your race pictures I saw :) . I will of course be wearing my pfd.

I'll try to get out and measure myself paddling more in the next few weeks to be sure I can handle it before I fully commit, but I'll go ahead and pencil it in on my calendar for July 25th. Sounds like fun.
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By gerald
#1289184
Relax. No memorable rapids, no waterfalls, no really swift water. Biggest thing is just manuevering around some logs, trees, stumps, etc.. The only problems to plan for are that it is hot and 22 miles. That's all.

They say there is one alligator but they feed it before the race. I've had a cottonmouth chase me and try to get in the boat. And I believe there is a reason why the locals don't want to be out on the river in the dark. They get nervous and start looking around--watching the brush. I HAVE heard strange rustles in the brush near dark....
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By gerald
#1289378
DarrellS wrote:Work permitting I'm in.

I have heard stories about things that go bump in the night around that area......


...something to do with chemical spills and mutant--things....

....ignore the lump on my shoulder. It's nothing...
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By FishingSETX
#1290522
Got back a day early. Turns out 44 miles isn't a bad 3 day trip. Will post a full report later.

Better hope they get some major rain up that way!!! The river down here is about 6 ft low and the current was SLOW (about 1-1.5 mph the first two days).

Never been on that stretch of river. Hows the log jams and such? If the river down here was 1-2 ft lower, we would have had quite a few portages!!!
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By gerald
#1300524
Saturday--the 25th. I'm thinking I'll drive straight up from work on friday evening, spend the night in a motel in Palestine, and try to start out at daylight. The alternative is that I just drive up early saturday morning and be there at daylight, but that's a long trip. Probably do the motel thing.

Of course--all this is dependent upon whether anyone goes with me. We have to set up a shuttle of some kind. If I was an iron man instead of a wizened old weanie I could paddle down the 22 miles and back up. No need for a shuttle that way.

If you're going Ron, and Darrell maybe, and anybody else, we need to set this up well in advance and know what we're going to do and where. If anyone wants to stay in the motel with me that's fine. We just need to get this set up. It's a little bit hard to find the start just below the dam if you've never been there.
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By gerald
#1300640
There's plenty of campgrounds around up there. There are some on the lake up above the dam quite close to where we will launch. You CAN camp down where we are going to launch but there is no water or electricity. It's primitive. I might eat in Palestine and then drive on to there and sleep in the van. I'll know for sure what I'm going to do by next weekend....but I'll be there.
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By gerald
#1304782
Ok...this is the current plan. Ron and I will meet at the bridge over the Neches River on Hwy 79 between Palestine and Jacksonville at 7:00am, saturday, July 25th. We'll drop a vehicle there and drive on to the start below the Palestine Lake dam. Blackburn Crossing Dam--I think. Hopefully we'll get started on the paddle by 8:00am. Water is low but the course has been cut and cleaned. This should be a very interesting paddle.
If there are others, capable of making this paddle (heat and distance), and who want to go along, please let us know. This is a picture taking trip. You can be a star!
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By gerald
#1305683
Use google and search for campsites in that area. There are some I know. Pretty sure there is one right near the dam on the lake where we will launch. We will launch below the dam. Kind of hard to get there if you don't know the way. As you go toward the dam you'll see some kind of maintenance buildings on the right. You turn right there and follow the dirt road down. It's a mile or two. There is primitive camping at the launch point. Not bad--just no water or electricity. I'm going to meet Ron at the Bridge on hwy 79 at 7:00am saturday morning, drop a vehicle, and drive to the launching point. If you camp near the launching point you can just meet us there. Let us know what you are doing so we can all be on the same page.

I forgot to add that you can do primitive camping at the take out point on hwy 79. My plan now, since I have to work until 11:00pm friday night is to drive on from work and sleep in the van at the take out point. That means I'll be there when Ron gets there at 7:00am.

You getting all this, Ron?

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