Location: South Llano River, TX
Boat: Ocean Kayak Trident 15
Put In: 2nd River Crossing on Hwy 377 South of State Park
Take Out: South Llano State Park
Distance: 13 miles
Attending: 12 DDRC Members
Llano River, Junction gage: Approx. 98 cfs
https://waterdata.usgs.gov/tx/nwis/uv/? ... 0065,00060
DDRC members Earl, Mike, Poncho, Preston, Manny, Alfred, Griselda, Anthony, Jim, Laura, Jaws, and Sarah were our paddlers for Saturday. It has been a while since I have paddle the beautiful stretch of hill country river. The floods of Oct 2018 really left a mark on the stream and change the course in a few places. I arrived at the park early Friday AM and managed to hook up with Anita Goss and Anthony to paddle from the 2nd crossing down to Boones crossing bridge that afternoon. Once back at the park most of the rest of the group had arrived but several cancelled due the chance of rain.
Saturday morning before daylight you could see the lighting to the south and southwest and hear a few rumbles of thunder. Once everybody got breakfast down and lunches made we made our shuttle plans. We had 11 boats and 12 people to get upstream. I had my trailer with me and we got 6 boats on my truck and trailer and the rest on two other trucks then headed to the put in. The 3 drivers went back to the park and Anthony’s wife drove us back to the put in. This worked great as she did not paddle and that way we did not have any vehicles left upstream.
By 10:40 we were all on the water and paddling. Anita bailed out due to the lighting and storms. We did get some rain on the drive back from the park but just thunder when we put on. The first group of rocks did strand one person and had to bail out a boat. By 11:15 a little rain caught up to us with some sporadic lighting but nothing close. It was still raining when we made the portage over the first crossing but stopped prior to reaching Boones. The river has several places where it chokes down and runs a little faster and a sharp twists and turns. Most everyone managed to navigate it just fine. There were several shallow spots that required some dragging but it was a limited amount. The skies cleared by 11:45 and the warm sunshine was welcome after the cool rain. We pulled over for lunch right at noon a little above Boones. A couple of us took to swimming in the river after lunch and Jaws dog Honey was making attempts to be a rescue dog. The water was remarkably clear, actually the clearest I can remember on this river.
After lunch we still had about 9 miles remaining but a beautiful day for it. The flood made many changes with large washes of rocks around bends in the river and moving the stream bed around. We came by an aluminum canoe wrapped around a sycamore tree about 25 ft up, we asked Sarah if it was her long lost canoe. I found a kiddy pool floating in the river and picked it up, balancing it on the front deck of my kayak all the way to the park. The lower stretch down to the park gets mostly wider and slower with several bluffs and great views of the surrounding hills. The vegetation this year is as green as I have ever seen it in this part of Texas. We all finished our paddle just before 5pm.
After everyone got cleaned up and a few appetizers and refreshments we decided meet at 6:45 for our potluck and a campfire. I made Dutch oven chili and beer bread and others brought various other dishes and desserts. There was so much food nobody left hungry. After dinner I drove back to the take out and picked up the kiddy pool and brought it back to camp for a group picture then took it to the dumpster the next morning.
A great trip, great weather, great food, and excellent company.
A few pictures from me and others