20 MILES DOWN THE BRAZOS RIVER
By: Joshua Harvey
20 Miles down the Brazos River Early Spring in Texas is a splendid time to enjoy the rivers of the lone star state. Six of us set out from Dallas and just a short two-hour drive we were in the hills of the Brazos River valley. We arranged a shuttle service from Rochelle’s Kayak service located on the Brazos River. They were incredible, offering every type of rental as well as several shuttle options for a 20, 30, or 40-mile multi-day paddle adventure.
The put in was at the base of the Possum Kingdom dam at a boat ramp for paddlers. The water flow is controlled and was around 200 CFS. We put in left the vehicle and set out with the sunshine a light breeze. The water was the first thing we noted being both cool and crystal clear. There was fish swimming around and under us each stroke. A lot of people joined us as this is a popular spot to enjoy time outdoors. The Brazos was named by early Spanish settlers as the arm of God due to the wide turns and large flat water that fills the river. This was very apparent as the river made its first turn to reveal large hills and giant boulders laid out on the sides of the river. The current provided a steady push as we paddled stopping to fish or enjoy a refreshing beverage from time to time. In our group, we had two inflatable kayaks two paddleboards and one rigid kayak.
For three of the adventure goers, this was their first overnight paddle. We planned to travel close to the ten-mile point the first-day camp and proceed another ten miles the next day to the take out. This was going to be hard given all the beauty we stopped to admire as well as the sand bars providing great fishing. As the light dimmed the first day at mile nine, we pulled off the river to a green grass bank with room for all tents and hammocks we planned on getting out. Some people had opted to use the soft sandbars in the river and some the lush tree groves along the way. It was like picking out the hotel room you wanted. As the sun set, we started a campfire and ate our fill of mountain house. I can’t confirm or deny several bottles of delightful old grapes may have met their end at that site that night. The following morning it was breakfast followed by the more winding river with shallows and a few small areas of tiny rapids that left you smiling and overjoyed. We ate lunch on a sand bar taking in the large cliffs that the river had formed years ago.
As the sun was high and many new faces we hadn’t seen the day before all passed with waves and hellos as we continued back towards the take out at the kayak rent location where our vehicle was patiently already waiting. The river unknown to us still had many more features and surprises for us to enjoy. At the early afternoon sun began showing shadows, we pulled into the large gravel bank at the take out and started unpacking. Twenty miles was not enough, but this was an overnight trip, and soon we were home in time for dinner. This will without a doubt be a top spot to return to as the spring sets in. Quick facts day 01 depart dallas-745am arrive at put in-10am on the water 12 pm at camp 10 miles in 6 pm day 02 awake, and coffee-8am on the water 9 am at the take out 3 pm back home by 6 pm.