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Lower Pedernales River Paddle

Let's take advantage of these rains and paddle a 7.4 mile portion of the Pedernales River this Sunday. This is a very beautiful and scenic river valley and will be quite an enjoyable trip . We put in at Hamilton Pool Road and paddle down to the SH 71 crossing. There appears to be good off-street parking opportunities at the take-out. We will organize our own self-shuttle. Someone will need to take the shuttle driver and their gear back to put-in at Hamilton Pool Road. The Pedernales is flowing at 540 cfs in Johnson City now (Wed. eve), down from 1100 cfs earlier today. I expect that it will continue to drop, but we will get some rain over the next three days. Bottom line, I'll keep an eye on it, but it should be in the[masked] cfs range on Sunday which will be perfect kayaking conditions. This is my first time paddling this stretch, so I don't know quite what to expect. So please, no first time paddlers on this trip.

Life jackets will be required to be worn by all participants. Painters are always a good idea.

You should eat lunch before the trip. We'll decide if we want to go get dinner afterwards. Bring drinking water.

Wild Bill

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  • rdempsey

    Hello. Would anyone who paddled this stretch of the Pedernales be willing to tell me how it was? Was thinking of getting in at Reimers and out at 71. Thank you.

    April 15, 2016

    • BrianM

      The Colorado River has a number of islands depending on stretch. This is the one river in the local area that really lends itself to camping. San Marcos has private camp grounds you can take advantage of. I did camp on a gravel bar once above Edge Falls road on the Guad.

      April 19, 2016

    • rdempsey

      Thanks man. I am going to look up that portion of the Guadalupe. I forgot that I had camped underneath CR 311 on the Guadalupe once. But I drove there rather than paddled.

      1 · April 19, 2016

  • Richard

    I couldn't make it out for this one, but was going to keep it for a possible trip later. Do you think you could manage the route on a stand up paddle board?

    June 13, 2014

    • Wild B.

      I have seen a fellow paddle the Texas Water Safari (starting tomorrow!) on a SUP board so why not. Overall, the water is great, but there were some minor rapids and we did bounce off a number of rocks. I'd hate for you to spill and land on a rock, but you know the risks and your skill level. Moving water is not at all like paddling on Lady Bird. The put-in at Ham-Pool Road is difficult. There is no place near there to park. We got ran off by the Deputy for trying to put in there. I might recommend putting in at Reimer's Ranch instead. The take-out is also a bear, but doable. You have to find your way through[masked] foot of easy to moderate brush and climb about 75 foot vertically. The lower section of the access road at the takeout is not for passenger cars. There is good parking at the top near the highway, but that makes the take-out that much longer if you don't have truck. Have fun and be safe.

      June 13, 2014

  • Palmer

    I showed up at 1:06 and the Sheriff would not let me stop and unload my kayak with the others. I drove back to Austin after burning $35 in diesel fuel and 3+ hours. :(

    June 2, 2014

    • Wild B.

      It is not uncommon for folks to not show up and I don't track them down. I wish that you had called or e-mailed so we could try to help. We won't be doing this put-in or take-out in the future as far as I can see.

      June 2, 2014

    • Palmer

      I didn't see your phone number anywhere. I followed my old rule and not gone without a phone number of the organizer. It seems that something always goes astray on a first try and without communication tools, it is hard to be safe or solve issues.

      June 3, 2014

  • BrianM

    Nice. Got home, Drake & I were unloading kayaks and bringing his to our back deck, and a Western Diamondback rattlesnake hissed at us. It was curled up just under our deck by the steps.

    3 · June 1, 2014

    • cresident

      Jason...looking forward to hearing it...I think. ;-)

      June 2, 2014

    • Drew B.

      Jason's encounter was a little more "intimate", but you get credit for actually getting the picture. We want a picture next time, Jason.

      1 · June 2, 2014

  • Wild B.

    Brian's wife Laura is coming to our rescue. We have a viable shuttle plan in place.

    Thanks Laura!

    The first step: Go to the put-in at 1:00 and drop the boats and gear and then head for take-out. We'll meet and discuss more details there.

    Shuttle drivers, if you are thinking of volunteering for that, take your boat ties with you in your boat. That way we can secure your boat for the trip back to your vehicle.

    Its looking good folks!

    May 31, 2014

    • cresident

      Big thanks to BrianM and Laura!!!!

      1 · June 2, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Beautiful weather. Lots of excitement. Great group of people who rose above many challenges.

    1 · June 1, 2014

    • cresident

      Yes! Everyone was a real trooper, and the paddle made it all worthwhile.

      June 2, 2014

  • jason e.

    So, are we not able to launch there? Park ranger made me leave

    June 1, 2014

    • jason e.

      Putting in at reimers ranch. Will meet on river

      June 1, 2014

    • BrianM

      Will you be able to get your jeep out after hours?

      June 1, 2014

  • jason e.

    I'm jammed up in traffic. I'll be there about 1:10

    1 · June 1, 2014

  • Palmer

    I still have the extra kayak. No takers? I will leave it at home. [masked] Call ASAP

    June 1, 2014

  • Drew B.

    I'm bringing a vehicle which can carry 8+ people plus my kayak.

    June 1, 2014

  • Dan Z.

    Do you think the river will be safe for a Kevlar canoe?

    June 1, 2014

    • Wild B.

      The water level will be low which means you are likely to be bumping into a fair amount of rocks. If I had a kevlar canoe, I wouldn't bring it on this one.

      1 · June 1, 2014

    • Dan Z.

      Thanks I will pass. Dan

      June 1, 2014

  • Wild B.

    Just checked the gauges. Flow should be in the[masked] cfs range which should keep us from dragging too much. Still, there will be rocks for us to navigate around.

    Weather looks great with highs in the low 90's. Remember to bring drinking water and I recommend sun block. See you soon.

    1 · June 1, 2014

  • Wild B.

    1. Drop your boats and gear at the Hamilton Pool Road put-in.
    2. Drive the 23 miles to take-out at the SH 71 crossing. We'll regroup there to figure out shuttle drivers.

    We'll need three shuttle vehicles and I will be one of them.

    At SH 71, assuming you are going west, cross the bridge and turn onto the access road on the right, just past the bridge. Find a place to park your car for the afternoon. Remember to allow vehicle passage for fishermen with boat trailers or others who are trying to use the river. They may already be there so spots may be harder to come by. We'll see when we get there.

    Bill

    June 1, 2014

    • Wild B.

      Upon closer inspection, there is no boat ramp there so we should have the place to ourselves.

      June 1, 2014

  • jason e.

    My jeep can transport up to 3 kayaks in the roof rack. I can be on either end of the shuttle.

    May 31, 2014

    • BrianM

      Roger that.

      May 31, 2014

    • Wild B.

      AWESOME!

      June 1, 2014

  • L. E. L.

    Hi. I would like to go. I have my own boat and I am not a first timer, but I wasn't sure I could go until now. Is there any way I could get the important email forwarded to me?

    June 1, 2014

  • Drew B.

    Sorry for jumping in late, but could someone forward the referenced email to me?

    May 31, 2014

  • Wild B.

    Yes RSVPs, please check your e-mail for an important update for tomorrow's event. It was too big for the comment section.

    I need a NON-PADDLING shuttle driver to pull this off. Read the e-mail for details on this and other matters.

    1 · May 31, 2014

    • Emily M.

      Have you tried calling Westcave Preserve? Their last tour for the day is at 4pm so they should still be there when we are done

      May 31, 2014

    • Wild B.

      Too late now. I don't think we'll have the drivers back there before 5:30-6:00 and I don't think they would allow non-Westcave parking. I'd do it if I thought they be open later, but it is too big of an unknown.

      May 31, 2014

  • Emily M.

    I'm also a little confused about where we are meeting. Can you be more specific about where to park?

    May 31, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Yes I have paddled this river at least 3 times with a sit on top. This will be an adventure with my sit in. Advantage of my boat ...long distances are easier. It is a treat to finally have water in this river. Expect to have a great paddle.

    2 · May 31, 2014

  • Linda

    I'd love to say yes, but I moved from Virginia/DC and don't own a kayak. I've kayaked the Napoli Coastline in Kauai and it was awesome.

    If someone has a "Spare" I can "rent/pay for", I'd love to join this event.

    May 29, 2014

    • Wild B.

      Did you see Palmer's and Kelly's comments about having an extra kayaks?

      May 29, 2014

    • Linda

      Hey Brian! Looking forward to meeting you both one of these times! Wild Bill - I did email Kelly to see. I saw Palmer had a Palmer plus one RSVP, so figured his spare was taken. But, if I can wrangle a spare (I'd pay for), I'd love to come.

      1 · May 31, 2014

  • BrianM

    We're doing the overnight camp trip ending in Bastrop. However it's 'low overhead' and there's a good chance Drake, Max & I will be done before noon Sunday. It's an hour and a half to the put-in but if we can manage to be on our way by 11:30 then we'll see you there.

    2 · May 29, 2014

    • cresident

      Hope you make it Brian. Not much opportunity to do this part of the river once it starts going down again.

      May 30, 2014

    • BrianM

      Camp was canx so we'll definitely be there.

      1 · May 31, 2014

  • Neil T.

    This sounds like fun. I'm In! Where's a good place to rent a Kayak on the South side of Austin?

    May 31, 2014

  • Carl N

    Not sure how to respond to the "no first time paddlers" bit. I've taken my kayak out several times but it's always been flat water - lakes or ponds. If I throw my hat in for this it would be the first time on moving water for me.

    May 31, 2014

  • Joanne

    Sounds like an adventure!

    May 30, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    No drops. Nice bends in the river. Beautiful scenery. With moving water it's a blast. With enough water to float your boat it's great. Just enough rapids to keep the trip interesting. Great memories paddling this river.

    May 29, 2014

    • jason e.

      Cathy, you have paddled this? Did you do it in your boat? I'm curious if mine would be ok on this trip.

      May 30, 2014

  • Sharon S.

    I'm a definite maybe - sounds like fun, and would be great to catch up with wild bill and cathy!

    2 · May 29, 2014

    • cresident

      oh. you meant the Other cathy. ;-)

      1 · May 29, 2014

    • Sharon S.

      I've got room to catch up with both of youse!

      1 · May 30, 2014

  • DRC

    It's already too ELF-y and flat for my boats and likely to get worse by Sunday unless we get more rain, so I'm bowing out. Y'all have fun.

    May 29, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    What the heck are painters?

    1 · May 29, 2014

    • Wild B.

      No no...painters ARE welcome, but I think you will find the nautical of more use on this trip.

      1 · May 29, 2014

    • cresident

      I'm for that. Painters are more than welcome!

      May 29, 2014

  • Kelly K.

    I have kayaked the drop at rio vista in San Marcos.. Do any of you think the drops or rapids here will be more difficult than that? I have extra kayaks if anyone needs!

    May 29, 2014

    • Wild B.

      I am not expecting to see anything that challenging.

      May 29, 2014

  • Palmer

    I have a Ford F-350 that can hold several kayaks in the back. The diesel is expensive tho. I have 2 sit-in recreational Class 1-2 kayaks. I don't have any friends locally who are skilled paddlers for the 2nd boat - hint. - Palmer [masked]

    1 · May 29, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    We are in for a treat. The last time I paddled this river was 4 yrs ago...maybe more. Guessing my 16 ft ocean kayak sit in will work well. I'm excited and a bit nervous. Thanks Bill for posting the event and Dan Walker for your input.

    1 · May 29, 2014

  • Kelly K.

    What do you think is best for this stretch? Sit in or sit on too kayak? I don't know anything about the pedernales but would love to explore it!

    May 28, 2014

    • Wild B.

      This is my first time paddling it, but from what I have seen, driving, hiking and from personal reports, there are no rocky drops like Barton Springs or the Guadalupe. It looks like you have your choice on this one. It should not be much of a whitewater challenge, but as I have learned over the years, everything can change around the bend.

      2 · May 28, 2014

    • DRC

      So it's pretty much flat water? I may bow out, then, seeing as I only have whitewater boats.

      May 28, 2014

  • DRC

    I'm a "maybe" depending on the flow.

    May 28, 2014

16 went

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