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HomeNL-2011-08 Werewolf Hunt

Oyster Creek Werewolf Hunt
July 15th, 2011
John Rich

A werewolf, also known as a lycanthrope, is a mythical human with the ability to change into a wolf-like creature. This transformation typically takes place during a full moon.  With this in mind, a band of courageous canoeists set out for a Friday night full-moon paddle on Oyster Creek, in Sugar Land, to try and spot the elusive local legend: the Oyster Creek werewolf!

The intrepid werewolf hunters met just before sunset at the First Colony public boat docks.  First Colony is a very nice housing subdivision that surrounds the main office of the Fluor Daniel oil services company.  It is located in Sugar Land between Highway 90A, Highway 6, and Highway 59.  Here is a map of the First Colony public boat dock, and the canoe routes on Oyster Creek:

There is a small dam with spillway gates located there, with two nice docks; one upstream of the dam, and one downstream.  So you can choose which direction you want to go, and use the appropriate dock.  For our werewolf hunt, our plan was to start just below the dam, paddle under Hwy 59, through the subdivisions, and into the dark heart of werewolf territory.


 The dock.
   The dam.
   John Rich's canoe,
ready to go.


Since this paddle would be occuring at nighttime, everyone brought along some form of lighting system to illuminate their boat.  They included lanterns and other battery powered lights, all attached to their boats in creative ways.  I had a stick chemical light that I attached to my bow by stuffing it into my coiled bow line, and also a battery powered stick light that I hung on the back of my PFD, figuring that if I tipped over, I would prefer that people be able to find me first, rather than my boat.

Paul Woodcock (left), paddles away from the dock under a brilliant orange-blue sunset, headed for werewolf territory.  Paul had a very large, bright flashlight that he set on the floor of the boat behind him.  It quickly attracted a horde of hovering moths, and Paul could always be easily distinguished in the dark by the tornadic swirl of moths which followed him everywhere he went.  Luckily, there were zero mosquitos!

   Harmon    John
Harmon Everett (near right), reaches up behind him to make sure his light is turned on.  His was mounted atop a pair of telescoping pieces of PVC pipe with holes and a peg to make for an adjustable height.  Just what you would expect from a rocket scientist werewolf hunter.  John Rich's (far right) puny little chem-light sits like a glow-worm on his bow, dwarfed by the bright lights of the Sugar Land hospital parking garage.  I'm sure the werewolf doesn't hide out anywhere near this bright beacon of light.  One paddler had a yellow kayak, and when he put his flashlight inside, it lit up the entire boat in an opaque yellow glow, so that it looked like a giant banana floating on the water. Surely, if the werewolf were to attack, it would go for the giant banana first, thereby giving me a chance to escape.

Several members frequently scanned the shoreline with their flashlights, looking for the beady red eyes of the werewolf, glowing in the dark.  We paddled along to a chorus of croaking frogs, and splashing fish.  The fish would be startled by our presence, and would make a large splash right next to your boat as they made their escape, often causing quite a fright if you weren't expecting it.  And our nerves were already stretched taut, awaiting a sighting of the werewolf.  Backyard dogs would bark at us as we passed by.  There was a small island at one point, only about 50 feet in diameter and covered with brush, which was the densely packed roosting site for about 200 ibis.  They took flight as we passed by, and circled like giant bats until we were no longer a threat, and then returned to their roost rest spots.

 Sophie Lopez
  Philip Matticks   
The half-way turnaround point of the paddle trip was the Riverbend Country Club golf course, three miles downstream from the boat dock.  Several people put ashore there to stretch their legs, and wandered off into the darkness to explore the lush, manicured grass.  We wondered if it was safe for them to be out there alone, in werewolf territory.  For this reason, most paddlers chose to remain out on the water rather than come ashore.  But the werewolf was not present amidst the greens, sand traps and sprinklers that night.  Or maybe he was, but simply chose not to show himself...

   Highway 59
The creek had no discernible current in it, and was just like a flat water lake, and it even smelled kind of swampy.  So going back upstream was no more difficult than going downstream.  The Highway 59 bridge is very low over the creek, only about 6 feet above the water, and as you pass under it the perspective looks like a dark, narrowing passageway - a perfect ambush setup for a hungry werewolf.  But we escaped unscathed, once again.

After take-out back at the dock, we helped each other get our boats up on top of our vehicles.  And it was already 11:30 at night!  While others headed for home, a half-dozen of the intrepid werewolf hunters met at a local Denny's restaurant for late night meals of Ultimate

 Silver bullets
Omelettes, Moons over My Hammy, Cheeseburger Flatbread and Ultimate Skillets, washed down with liberal amounts of coffee.  There we discussed further strategies for locating and cornering the elusive Oyster Creek werewolf.  And next time, we'll remember to bring some silver bullets, just in case.

By the time I finished my meal and drove an hour to get home, it was 2:30 am - I was ready for a quick shower and to fall fast asleep, dreaming of werewolves.

The author, John Rich
(not a werewolf)