It took me more than a little convincing to get my friend Ovidiu to commit to taking the kayaks down a slightly unorthodox waterway. Rather than drive a few hours to the crystal clear waters of the Comal or Guadalupe Rivers in the hill country, I convinced him it would be fun to course down the twists and turns of the murky Buffalo Bayou as it winds it's way under major interstates and past huge skyscrapers in Houston, Texas. Here's Ovidiu before we put the boats in the water beneath the Waugh Street bridge on Allen Parkway.
It was difficult making our way down a steep, grassy incline to the concrete beneath the bridge. At 8:30 AM the heat was already creeping upward. July heat in Texas was the main reason Ovidiu was not on board 100%, and he was correct. It was stifling. Still, we managed to get down to the water and scout a suitable launch site.
It required two trips to make the very short portage as the hill was steep enough to require teamwork carrying the boats. At the base of the hill we made sure the water bottles, vehicle keys, and camera were all safely in plastic bags and well secured in the hatch. Entering the kayak took a bit of skill and a lot of nerve and balance. In the image it appears that the water rides up to the concrete but in reality it was a drop of a foot or more, so we stood on wobbly concrete blocks just past this bridge support to enter the boats.
It actually is rather worse than you have so far imagined as I must also confess that we decided to enter the bayou beneath the Waugh Street Bridge. Readers of the blog should remember that this bridge harbors 250,000 bats beneath the structure, all crammed into the expansion cracks... living, loving, pooping.
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