Nov. 16, 2013
by Dave Kitson
Tom Douglas and Linda Shead organized another trip on Double Bayou for Sat. Nov. 16. They have been doing this trip once or twice a year for some time and it is a great favorite of all who attend. This is actually a Sierra Club trip but Tom always invites the HCC to join in so we end up with a mix of folks. The attendees on this day were:
Double Bayou is located to the east of Houston a few miles south of Anahuac and is, in fact, two bayous, an east fork and a west fork that come together near Oak Island just before entering Trinity Bay. The west fork is more industrial so the trip is done on the east fork which has a forested upper end that gradually turns to prairie as the bayou flows toward the bay. Tom always checks out the wind situation to determine which direction to run the trip although it usually ends up with a put-in at Double Bayou Park and a take-out at Job Beason Park in Oak Island, the downstream run which is what we did on this day. The shuttle is pretty quick and easy so we were ready to go in no time.
The put-in was very muddy and slippery which is usually not the case so it was just a little difficult getting in the boats but everyone made it just fine and off we went. There is a small tributary extending from the right called Church Bayou which we decided to explore. It leads to two concrete culverts under Eagle Ferry road, the road we use for the shuttle. There was really not enough water to go thru the culverts so we turned around and headed back to Double Bayou.
At one point we encountered a large flock of Black Buzzards, maybe 25 or 30, on the ground. There was no visible carcass and no smell so it was hard to say what they were doing but they flew off as we came next to them. It was so quiet and we were so close when they took off that you could hear the air rushing over their wings.
Linda had gotten permission from one of the land owners along the bayou to stop and eat lunch in a lovely oak forest on the left side of the bayou. As I climbed up the bank I was immediately assaulted by about a dozen mosquitoes. This was the first time I had seen mosquitoes here but they were persistent enough that we ended up eating right on the bank where there was enough wind to keep them away rather than back in the forest. Always on these trips Tom and Linda tell stories and read to us from one of a couple of books about life in Chambers County way back when the area was first settled. It is always interesting to learn about the lives that folks led long ago when the area was really frontier. The topic was winters in the area and Tom said that one particularly bad winter had 3’ of snow on the ground! He also told the story of the winter which had a bitter cold wind from the north which forced the cows to walk south into east bay where the water was warmer. Unfortunately thousands of them drowned and died of exposure. It was not too long before the cattlemen installed a fence to keep the cows from doing that again.
When we reached the confluence of the two bayous at Job Beason Park we were greeted by a flock of brown pelicans. After loading the boats about half the group drove over to the Channel Marker 17 for dinner out on the pier and Momma’s Kick Ass Shrimp, a great place to eat and watch the sun set (Although it was so cloudy that we could not see much of the sun) in Oak Island. This little community was right in the path of Ike and was badly damage by the storm but is now mostly rebuilt. Neil Diamond, the singer, found out about it and donated money to help rebuild so now one of the streets is “Diamond St” in his honor.
The trip ended up at 6.4 miles, an excellent day on the water and a wonderful dinner on the pier. Joe, Kent and Paul have all posted pictures on the website so check them out.
Joe Coker's Photo Album
Paul Woodcock's Photo Album
Kent Walters' Photo Album
|The author, Dave Kitson