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Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

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By Hirsch
Monday, June 10th

I had not been back to the 20 mile stretch of the Brazos below Possum Kingdom Dam since 2010 since running it with David (DNR) in 2010 after doing it the first time in 2009 with my son-in-law Duane McMullen. I was overdue. Unfortunately work requirements prohited several friends from running it for a longer trip so school teacher Linda (YakTipper) and I headed out Monday morning. Picking her up in Temple at 7:30 we were quickly loaded and on our way. After arriving and unloading a quick shuttle of the truck with Rochelle's and we were on our way.


Last edited by Hirsch on Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By Hirsch
The forecast for the week was a steady high 90s for highs and lows close to 70 degrees. Hot in the day, but perfect for night sleeping. The forecast would prove to be accurate for the next four days. Sunday had been the last of a three night new moon and so we would had the expanding crescent of a waxing moon. In many places the burn overs of the Possum Kingdom
fires 2 years ago were very evident.

Last edited by Hirsch on Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By Hirsch
After a bit of fishing and floating we had covered 6 miles by 5:30 and pulled ashore to set camp leaving 3 hours before sunset. As I was setting up camp Linda called that a snake had crawled out from under her canoe as she drug it up on the bank. Asked what it looked like she replied, "tan and copper in color". Knowing immediately what it was I swapped two snake loads in the .38 for the solids that were there. I am one that believes a poisonous snake found at random in the woods should be left in peace, but near camp or yards they need removal. The path between the canoes and the camp qualified. Arriving she pointed out what was sure enough a copperhead of about 24" and a single shot settled the issue.

Camp was set back in the shade of the woods, dinner was warmed and eaten, dishes washed while as sundown arrived it was time for a cooling swim before bed.


Last edited by Hirsch on Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By Hirsch
Tuesday, June 11

Morning light awoke me at 6:30 and I quickly dressed for the day and boiled water for morning tea (Twining black teas were the order of the trip) with muffins I had baked for the trip accompanied by prunes. Linda woke about 7:15 having tea and her oatmeal for breakfast as I enjoyed a second mug of English breakfast and honey. No rush we casually cleaned up and packed. Loading we pushed off a little after 9:00. Temps were quickly climbing as expected and the wind quickly to 15-20 mph gusting to 30, of course in our faces making paddling an exercise.


Last edited by Hirsch on Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By Hirsch
This time it was close to 3:00 when we pulled ashore at mile 13.5 where David and I camped 3 years ago. I have heard him several times describe it as the prettiest site he has ever camped. I have decided that henceforth it will be dubbed "David's Camp at Chick Bend". :D


That afternoon 2 young men made about a 10 minute stop and I took this shot to give scale to the size of the rocks across from camp.
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By Hirsch
Setting camp Linda set her tent facing the west. I stretched my tarp facing the east to ensure afternoon shade where it became the center of camp life.


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By Hirsch
Again we ate about 6:00 and got dishes done and relaxed. About 8:30 as the sun went below the horizon we hit the water and swam and bathed until dark. drying and dressing for bed we sat and visited until about 10:00 when Linda headed to her tent and I laid down.

About 11:00 she awoke me telling me raccoon had stole her food bag. Checking we quickly found it with the relative light loss of her flat bread. Hanging it safely from a pole on the tarp we headed back to our beds. About 1:00 I heard her call they were back. Rolling over and shining my light revealed a raccoon sitting on the tarp at the door of her tent. The coon moved away from the tent and I chased it with two loads of shot at 25 yards. That would be enough to sting it without any real damage discouraging further visits. Unbelievably it turned and stared at me standing its ground. A solid near threw gravel on him and yet he stood steady. At this point I pulled on my shoes and approached him to see if perhaps he was aggressive and rabid. Fortunately about half way there he reacted normally and chose to retreat. Going back to my domicile I reloaded the revolver and shined my light back to find it was back at Linda's tent. I started back over and about halfway there it chose to leave rapidly and I sent a load in his direction to hurry his haste. He was not seen again that night or the next though I did see sign the next that they had quietly eased through making a quick check of food which was secured before moving on without waking us. All was well in that it ended non-lethally and the larder secure.

About 7:15 I woke to find the sun slipping over the horizon revealing a beautifully calm and reflective river.


Last edited by Hirsch on Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By Hirsch
Wednesday, June 12

Today was a lazy day. Linda made a few short floats to fish while I chose to stick around, drink tea and read the classic [u]Woodcraft[u] by "Nessmuck" (George Washington Sears) from the 19th century. with frequent dips to stay cool keeping clothes wet for evaporative cooling.


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By Hirsch
That evening I also filtered a gallon of fresh drinking water. Then the next morning I learned what happened when you include fish oil gel tabs with your daily dose of meds and vitamins at high temps. :) The result is you get to chew the cocktail for a decidedly unpleasant taste as you taste fish out the next few hours. :lol:


and Linda received a visitor.
Last edited by Hirsch on Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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By Hirsch
Thursday, June 13

After another pleasant and unhurried breakfast we packed with the intent to move until we would have only 3 miles to paddle out on Friday. But in obedience with that law of physics about an object in motion we found ourselves at the end and heading home when it was over.


Last edited by Hirsch on Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By yaktipper
What a fun trip! It was truly an adventure. We had a copperhead visit our camp as we were setting up the first day, raccoon bandits, and the taj-ma-tent.

The copperhead went slithering under my boat as I was pulling it up out of the water. It was very pretty, and when I described it to Paul, he took care of it, then told me what kind it was. Smart man.

I was sleeping peacefully and about 11:30 the second night when I heard something walking around my tent. I was startled by the snake, but when I called, "Paul, is that you?" and got no answer after a few times, I was scared. I got the courage to shine my flashlight at the screen of my tent, but couldn't see out that way. I worked up my courage and climbed out of the tent. I spotted 2 thieving bandits with my food bag. I found it very ironic since my avatar is a raccoon. They had hauled it several feet away from my tent. My dilemma was... do I run screaming at them and chance them attacking me back? Or do I go get Paul and risk losing my food bag while I'm gone? I chose the chicken route and woke up Paul who somehow had slept through all the racket. I had to admire their spirit as they stood there and faced down a .38 several times. Finally they left and I recovered my bag. They took my bread! I had babied that bread for 2 days, and somehow they got it out of my dry bag without tearing a hole in the bag or getting the clasp open. Ingenious! They tried to get my tuna, but they weren't fast enough. They did get my crackers too. No carbs for my lunch for the rest of the trip! I went back in my tent when the excitement died down, started to relax, and "BOOM" another shot rang out. Apparently they came back for more. Thanks to Paul they left and did not return. My lunch was safe.

Next day, I climbed one of the big rocks, swam, fished, enjoyed the doe that came to visit the camp... such a relaxing day.

Hirsch's report is a lot more complete than mine.. but I do have to mention his taj-ma-tent. Complete with radio, air mattress, fuel burning mosquito repellent, shade for the heat of the day, fan, and almost two of anything you could ask for including an extra waterproof watch since my new one from Academy wasn't really waterproof as advertised, it was a true work of art.
Hirsch, cooling off in the heat
Hirsch, getting his tackle ready
Lots of these fishing for minnows along the way
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By yaktipper
I saw lots of creatures on this trip, all beautiful, some poisonous.
Hirsch said this was an asp, when I found it on my arm.
Cool little spider I saw
Sneaky Snake
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By yaktipper
There were a few places where the water was low enough we had to get out and pull the canoes, but sometimes I got away with the ol' butt scoot. Some of the water was fast and fun, especially at the end by the bridge. Those of you who know me well know why I chose my nickname on here... but there was no tipping to be had on this trip. :clap: :clap:
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By yaktipper
I enjoyed paddling around the area by our second camp site. Lots to see and do.
Behind the big rocks
Amazing how vegetation can find a way to grow on rock.
The rock to the right is the one I climbed.
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By Hirsch
Because the trip was to be 4 nights and 5 days I decided to go without an ice chest. Drinks were served either at air or river remps. The chairs bag made an excellent bag for holding drinks in the river. I took dried sausage because it keeps well without cooling. The four dinners were canned beef stew, HEB canned Charro beans with sausage added, canned red beans and rice with canned chicken plus dried sausage added, and Wolf brand chili and beans. Only the beef stew was not worth repeating. Maybe chicken and dumplings will be the next experiment. The canned meals proved more flavorful and economical that freeze dried though there is a limit at some point when weight becomes a factor.

I will also in the future have a spare filter for the water filter. It took an hour to filter a gallon which is typically a 10 minute process when using a new filter.
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By Hirsch
I love my PACK Canoe. (approximately $1,000 currently and 33 lbs)

I bought my Guide 119 from Dicks several years ago as a loaner and back up. ($450 at Dicks or $600 as the Discovery 119 at a Old Town dealer and 43 lbs). Though Yaktipper and others have used the Guide I have not. Linda like it enough she bought her own in red.

With great reluctance this trip I left the PACK at home and took the Guide. After 4 days and a load of approximately 300 lbs (200 of me and 100 in gear) I can give it a definite and strong thumbs up. My PACK may be slightly more nimble and the 10 lbs difference is nice, but then it costs twice as much. The PACK is rated for loads of 550-600 and the Guide 450-500. Either is more than adequate though I will continue my preference of the PACK.

That said I would strongly recommend the Guide 119for those who are either new or budget conscious! :D
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