Well, the beginning of Spring Break marked the time for a few friends and I to get out and camp on the Brazos for a few days. Only this time, the stretch we usually tromp around and camp on has pretty much been underwater since the fall. Once we saw it wasn't going to come down in time for our trip, we hastily decided to hop in the truck and head north, up to a place where legend has it that the Brazos River runs clear(?!). Where the river holds rainbow trout (!?!). A place where a step out of the boat doesn't mean mud up to your knees!
(My boat honestly came back cleaner than before the trip.)
On our way up to this legendary stretch of the river Friday morning, we passed over the Brazos on 485 west of Hearne. It was swollen and muddy. Large boulders that we had hopped around on a year ago at this time were completely submerged. A little while later, Lake Waco was also topped off with that familiar muddy water. My doubt grew that this legendary place could exist.
But lo and behold, four and half or so hours later, we arrived at Rochelle's and headed up to the 16 bridge. The river was crystal clear and beautiful. This was my first time to this part of the country and was blown away by the natural landscape. Truly stunning. Although I don't believe the pictures do the scenery justice, I'll post 'em anyway. That's what we're all here for, right?
Just about geared up and ready to go...
I like the simplicity and natural look of this bridge. It blends in with the landscape more than any other bridge I've seen.
Flint Bend, the first bend down from the bridge. On more than one occasion I tried to pull my roostertail through the first eyelet on the tip of my ultralite because I was starring up at this cliff. Folks, it's flat where I live.
I want to say this is around Garland Creek. The rock formations on these cliffs were incredible.
Some more of the scenery.
The biggest trout of the day.
I enjoy messing around with photography and sometimes I get lucky and end up with a picture I really like. This is one of them.
We made it about five or six miles down we guessed, and made camp on a gravel bar. Potatoes and trout for dinner. We were serenaded to sleep by the coyotes and out before 9.
Saturday morning's evidence of a chilly night...
...outside my tent at least.
Inside my tent was nice and toasty. I did not pack sparingly when it came to comfort. I had a sleeping pad, sleeping bag, pillow, and blanket. I slept as good as I ever have outdoors.
I'm the red one.
Up river from camp.
You guys more familiar with this stretch of the river may recognize where we were. It was a very scenic and unique stretch. (All of it was scenic and unique, but I really liked this spot in particular.)
After breakfast tacos and coffee, we were on the move again by 9.
We passed some more neat rock formations on Saturday.
We paddled most of Saturday, making around 16 miles, and stopped by Rochelle's along the way to let them know to go ahead and take our truck to the takeout downriver. After we passed them, we set up camp on the first gravel bar we found. Fried bass fillets and a corn/vegetable mix for dinner, and again, we were out pretty early. This time, with the coyotes sounding real close. It's always a good time listening to them.
Both mornings we were treated to turkeys gobbling. Sunday morning it sounded close enough that I set out on a turkey hunt (with my camera) but to no avail.
I did find some photogenic fog, however.
I also found a 'no trespassing' sign, so I headed back to camp. After another round of breakfast tacos and coffee, we were on the water again just before 10, new time. In actuality, we were starting only 8 minutes off from the previous day. I thought that was neat considering we were only using the time of day as a reference, not a schedule.
One last rock.
The last fishing stop for the trip.
And I like the way the landscape dwarfs them in this pic.
We made Rochelle's take out by about 2. It was a really neat trip. With this being the first time, we were most interested in seeing the country. Next time though, I would shorten the trip, and focus more on taking it slow and more fishing and drifting. The first 10 or so miles were really spectacular, and from what I've heard, holds the better fishing as well. In any case, it was a great time.