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Old 10-10-2013   #11
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Austin, Tejas
Paddling Since: 2005
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I live in Austin and Joe is right. Especially if, like him, you think play boating is bullshit. We don't get to run rivers often here.
That said, there are a few of us that remain dedicated to the sport. Rio Vista in San Marcos is a live saver and offers year round play boating. Not the best and, in the summer, it becomes a tubing park but it's always there, always running, and always the same temp.
To boat here you must be half storm chaser and half kayaker. It is not uncommon for us to head as far South as Big Bend or North to Arkansas for a day or two of flood flows. However, when we get ample rain in the Texas Hill Country there is, honestly, fewer places I'd rather be. For evidence, see here:
Personally, I'm making a plan to move to N. CO so that should tell you that you’re not going to be making a lateral move here. If you end up down here hit me up and I'd be happy to show you around.

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Old 10-11-2013   #12
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 329
Cool video. Really like the beer trick. Also can definitely appreciate the lack of need for dry tops...reminds me of PA.

Originally Posted by thebog View Post
You will probably spend 75% or more of your time at Rio Vista in San Marcos, because it is one of the few (only?) rivers that runs all year.
25% of the YEAR isn't too far off from CO's season of 5ish months. An all year running river can almost make up for the lack of a good season when it is year round, compared to such a short CO season.

I would NOT want to necessarily move there FOR kayaking, but rather a great job opportunity. Lets be clear with that. But I also have to add that I've discovered Corpus Christi is pretty close and its a if not world, nationally acclaimed kite boarding location. If any of you have ever kite boarded you know how awesome it is. I was starting to get into it back east, and its a blast. Harnessing the immense power of the wind is an awesome feeling. I imagine if I made the move I would start kite boarding all the time when I couldn't kayak, which honestly doesn't sound too bad. Oh and that is a year round activity too, especially for that location.

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Old 10-15-2013   #13
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Austin, Tejas
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Starting this past Sat. Central Texas has received a substantial amount of rain and is expected to continue through the week. If you want to know what TX whitewater is all about now would be a good time to visit. Here's some pics from yesterday at Pedernales Falls.
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Old 10-15-2013   #14
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
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The beer trick is solid, except I want to see it executed without a hand paddle. I think I have something to work on in the pool this winter now.

I grew up in Austin and rain meant strip down to your swim trunks and run out and play. In Colorado it means put on your fleece and raincoat and try to keep warm for the 10 minutes of actual rainfall (1000 year storms excluded).

Anyway, cool footage except the nausea inducing GoPro at the beginning . That playwave looks great wherever that is. Having grown up there, I always thought it would be novel to paddle Barton Creek at high water but it'll probably never happen for me.
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Old 10-15-2013   #15
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Seattle, Washington
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Someone please go fire Hamilton Falls! It's so absurd that 60' hasn't been run
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Old 10-15-2013   #16
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Joe spent enough time in Texas to be able to stretch a 50 foot drop into a 60 footer, but not enough time to experience the goods since he showed up in the middle of a drought. And despite the recent rain, the Texas hill country is still in a drought and in need of more to charge the creeks and reservoirs. When things are primed and flowing, there are enough quality runs to keep any kayaker happy. Mexican Creek is an awesome run near SA when Medina Lake is spilling but it is currently lower than it has been in my life. The Pedernales, aka The Perd, is one of the best play rivers anywhere. Big water class IV. Great creeking on Crabapple if you can elude angry landowners. So, if the weather pattern for the last few years changes, there's good boating to be had, including an unrun 50 footer. If not, you're much closer to Mexico.
Grif for President!
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Old 10-16-2013   #17
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Austin, Tejas
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KSC, that playwave is triple drop on Barton. Got two laps on it Sunday (3k & 5k). That vid was made back in 2010 (the last time we got substantial water) and I didn't own or know about gopro's. That was a Iflip tied around my chest with a strap. It was my first attempt at POV.

Deepstroke, wish you were here bro. I could of used your FTW encouragement on s-turn Monday. What's an ideal level for a first run of the narrows? It's been coming and going the past few days and might be the best option today if it bumps back up. PM me any insider info. you may have on access. Time to get it done.
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Old 10-16-2013   #18
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Funny (and true) story if you want to read....

There is boating in TX, but when I was there (mid 1990's), it only happened about 2 days a year and ALWAYS when I was taking important tests (college) and could not go. After years perfecting my rolls in the lake and several days in slightly moving current (San Marcos river), Barton Creek was running and I actually had the morning off!!! This was a BIG step up for me, but I was excited to finally be on real "whitewater."

I called all 2 boaters that I knew in whole world, but they were working. One of them said his son really wanted to go and he'd run shuttle for us on the way to work. I was desperate, so I drove to Bill's house and his son Jared was there with his brand new Perception jib (which looked like the titanic next to him). He was 11 but very small for his age. I was thinking - "OMG I'm baby-sitting... and baby-sitting for FREE... and this kid is going to drown and DIE... and I'm going to be held responsible and I'm going to be SUED... and then I won't be able to live with the guilt.... etc."

By the time I had finished my mental panic-attack, Bill had loaded up the boats and was pulling out of the driveway. He dropped us off at the put-in and Jared rushed to get in the water. When I saw the flooding creek (probably class III - but I had no WW experience and was petrified) I rushed back to tell Bill I had changed my mind. He was gone!

When I walked back to the river Jared was already in a hole doing 20 point cartwheels and loops and all kinds of tricks yet to be invented, in a boat not designed for it. I was totally dumbstruck. I then realized I would not have to worry about him.

I called him over and said something like "kid, if I swim can you rescue me before I drown?" and his response was something like "sure...easy...let's go!"

Jared worked that creek like a pro, while I held on for dear life, and when I dropped him back at his house afterwards I thanked him for baby-sitting me on the river. That may have been one of the best days of my life, and I was hooked on boating from that day on.

There ARE great boaters in TX. I don't know how or why, but there are!

the end...
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Old 10-17-2013   #19
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Austin, Tejas
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Jennifer, awesome story! Thanks.

I paddled Barton with an adult Jared Leon this past Sunday and he still "worked that creek like a pro". He lives in Alaska now, flying planes. His father, Bill, is also one of my favorite people to spend time on the river with.

There are great boaters in TX because we have to work like hell (chase storms, travel far and wide, duck barbwire, deal with confrontational landowners) to boat. Adversity breeds dedication. Though someday I too hope to have the easy life of a guaranteed season, crowded eddies, and lots of options a short drive away.
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Old 10-17-2013   #20
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Good to hear Bill is still getting out there! I did a trip to Panama with him about 10 yrs ago but haven't heard from him since.

The one thing I miss about TX boaters is that they ARE dedicated. If the water flows, folks are boatin' or have a damn good reason not to be. Now (in CO) all my friends have some lame-ass excuse every time I try to get them to fire it up - like their dog has a flee, or they have to keep an eye on the crock pot, or there is a dandelion in the yard to contend with that day. It really pisses me off!


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