In the past couple of weeks, we’ve taken our two Hobie Revolution 13 Mirage Drive kayaks out seven times. First time out, Hunter’s Park boat ramp at the mouth of the Brazos River where it feeds into Lake Granbury. We probably stayed within half a mile of the ramp just getting our feet wet, so to speak. Most of these trips also involved taking turns with various people who came along. My daughter, Rachel, has probably been closest to me in kayak time as we are the most motivated, available, and sun-resistant.
The next three trips were while camping with dear friends at Lake Ray Roberts. This also mostly involved short trips taking turns around the put-in spot. But there was one extended morning trip with three kayaks, one a tandem carrying two people, for a total of four people going up an inlet into overgrown, narrow, shady spots, and then around a peninsula to the swimming beach. That was maybe two and a half or three miles.
Then there was the 4th of July with the same three boats to a different ramp maybe 10 miles upstream from the mouth of the Brazos into Lake Granbury. The Tin Top ramp is only 10 minutes from our house. It was also a take turns, hug the ramp trip around the pretty densely populated part of the Brazos with lots of houses and boat docks. This is true of most of Lake Granbury as well. I prefer a more rustic river experience.
The next morning we took friends to the ramp at the other end of the lake near De Cordova dam. They hugged the ramp, and for my turn I took a 45 or so minute trip upstream, across the lake, and back again. That was a lot of peddling and I hope calories. But again, too populated.
Last night Rachel went out by ourselves to what would have been a more rustic experience maybe 30 miles upstream in Dennis. But for some reason the public ramp is now private with an imposing gate with no tresspassing and beware of dog signs. So we turned around and went back to the Tin Top ramp, putting in at 6pm. Unfortunately google doesn’t give you river miles, but I figure we went upstream 5 miles before turning back when the sun got low and cloud covered. I wanted to make it to the Horseshoe Bend private ramp, but I guess it’s another 3 miles upstream from where we had to turn back. The river is still very wide to this point, thankfully barely populated, and with two large islands with narrow parts bypassing the main course that were much more fun.
These were shady and shallower, and we had to actually drag the boats at one point over the sandbar at the mouth of this detour. This last one was where we turned back downstream on the main river. The current isn’t very strong, and judging by time, I figure we went two and a half miles per hour upstream and 5 miles per hour downstream.
The scenery is pretty flat and scrubby, but at least there were bends that provided some mystery and variation. Next time I want to leave earlier and make it all the way to Horseshoe Bend. Stay tuned.
P.S. There’s a much more scenic and rustic Brazos trip right after the Possum Kingdom Lake Dam that I can’t wait to try, but it has more complicated logistics to prepare for.