Monday, October 26, 2009

Devils River 2009

From October 20-24 I went to the Devils River in west Texas and kayaked and camped down a 24-mile stretch with my brother and James Garner. This was the second trip for me and James and it was my brother's first trip with us. We spent three nights camping on the river and four day floating and fishing our way down the 24-mile stretch. We knocked out 10.5 miles the first day and around 5 miles each of the next three days. The river is surrounded by private land - except for one small stretch - so we are forced to camp on rocks in the middle of the river because we would be trespassing if we got on the shore at any point. Camp one is about 10.5 miles down river and is no more than 250 square feet. Camp two is the State Natural Area and is the only spot where we can leave the river during the trip. Camp three is about 5 miles down river from that and is a big boulder in the middle of the river. It is very cool to pull up on a huge rock and set up camp with the river and rapids flowing around you. It makes for really good sleeping - especially when a big storm rolls in during the middle of the night as it did during our first night. Here are pics from our trip. Enjoy! We sure did!
Sunset from camp one - "Flat Rock"
David with about a 3-pound largemouth bass
Enjoying the sounds of the river as we take our morning coffee and spend some time reading.

Rapids at the convergence of Devils River and Indian Creek.

My kayak all loaded an resting on a rock. This was my home for four days!

On our last camp site. This was our first time camping on this rock.

James reading on our final morning.

We didn't want to set our tents up the last night so we used our kayaks as anchors and pulled a tarp over our sleeping area. It made for a great night of cool rest on the river.

We may be camping but we do not go hungry. The last night we had a feast of fajita meat, corn and potatoes, cheese and bacon. It was a great meal to cap an amazing trip.

Enjoying a dip in the Indian Creek Rapids on a hot afternoon.

Cooling off below the Indian Creek Rapids at our final camp site.

Paddling through Three Tiers Rapids - a class 3 rapid.

David taking on Three Tier Rapids.

Me and David

Sitting below Dolan Falls - the largest waterfall in Texas and a pretty good fishing hole.

Me and David atop Dolan Falls.

Sometimes you get tired of sitting so it is nice to have a kayak you can stand and fish out of.

James going Venice-style on the river. Making his way to another fishing hole.

One of the beautiful scenes we get to experience. Notice the clarity of the water.

James headed out to fish.

James and David relaxing on the water.
This is me fishing the State Natural Area in the morning fog. The morning fog is always one of the most beautiful sites on our trip.

Me and David

James fishing.

Me and James

Making our way through the narrow reed chutes on the Devils. Often times we have to portage our kayaks through the low areas.

With my big ole' black bass. It was the largest fish of the week at a little over five pounds.

Camp one - we call it "Flat Rock"

Relaxing on Flat Rock while David gets unpacked.

Kayaking with my brother.

David making his way through the reeds and rapids.

David fly-fishing

Packed and ready to go.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chris' Wedding

My best friend Chris got married on October 3 in Jackson, MS so I made a trek out there with my great group of friends to celebrate with Chris and Candy as they started their life together. It was one of the funnest weekends I have ever had. It was great to have the group back together again. Since Chris moved to Jackson over three years ago we have not had too many opportunities to all hang out together. Brianne, Josh, Sheridan, Bryan, Lisa, David, Sara, Max, V and several others all made the trip and us guys got to serve as groomsmen for Chris. We had a blast. We arrived on Thursday so that we could get a round of golf in on Friday morning before the rehearsal and dinner. We split in to three teams of two (Chris/Josh, David/Clint, Me/Bryan) and played 9 holes of scramble golf and 9 holes of alternating shot. It was close for a while but Bryan and I ended up pulling away towards the end leaving a good battle for second place. :) Anyway, after golf we had a great evening of dinner and toasts for Chris and Candy before all congregating back at the hotel to hang out with Chris for a while.

Saturday was great day and they had a beautiful wedding and reception. The reception was at Candy's parents house. They blocked off their street and set up tents in the cul-de-sac and provided great food, drinks a band and dance floor. We had a great time laughing, dancing and just hanging out together. Enjoy the pics!

Aggies were in abundance at the wedding.

Josh and Sheridan dancing.

Max and I were banished to the tree - timeout I guess - at one point.

Me and Brianne at the reception.

Saying goodbye to Chris and Candy as they drove off.

Chris and Candy trying to get to the car. They had rose petals for us to throw at them.

Waiting for Chris and Candy to come out of the house. The lady on my left was the "WC" Wedding Coordinator. We had a special bond over the weekend.

David shared the special bond with the WC as well. She was really in to us.

The girls at the reception. Brianne, Sheridan, Lisa and Sara.

Max and I in the golf cart that we wanted to hi-jack.

V telling us that we could not steal the golf cart and go riding around.
Chris was loading the golf cart to go someone and he didn't tell us where he was going so ...

we jumped in the other cart and had the driver chase him down.

I'm not sure what David is demonstrating here but it is one of my favorite pics from the weekend.

We didn't get to spend very much time with Chris at the reception so when we did see him we (Josh, Max, me) figured we better dance with him.

Hanging at our table during the reception.

More of the table full of rowdy Texans.

Chris and Candy cutting the cake.

Chris and Candy's first dance. I think the song was "Rain or Shine".

Bryan, Lisa, David and Sara at the reception.

Me and Josh.

Me and Chris at the rehearsal.

Bryan, Lisa and Macie at the reception.