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HomeNL-2014-03 San Bernard II

San Bernard at West Columbia
Feb. 16, 2014
by Dave Kitson

This is actually the third trip on the San Bernard that Joe and I have taken in the last couple of months. The first two were at I59 and this trip was 35 miles south at West Columbia. We were joined on this trip by Kenny and Tracie Pape, Mark Andrus, Cindy Cox, Terri Morgan, Paul Woodcock and Honey Leveen. The put in was at Hanson Park, a very lovely little park just west of West Columbia. It is located south of Rosenberg about an hour out of Houston, 56 miles from my house near Bayland Park.

The put in is about 75 yards from the parking so it is a little bit of a carry with the boats. In addition, although it is flat it is very muddy. We were sinking in past our ankles as we tried to launch the boats. Everyone was able to launch without major mishap so we set out upstream. I was in the lead and soon spotted a beaver swimming along across the bayou. As I approached it turned and swam upstream then went underwater near a fallen tree and a small pile of sticks. This must have been it’s lodge since it did not come back out of the water or crawl up the bank. Elsewhere on the river we had seen beaver evidence but oddly enough there was very little here. There was no current or wind at this point so the paddling was easy and we reached the dam which is about 2 ¼ miles above the launch point in about an hour. It is a concrete dam about 3’ high all the way across the stream. Water was flowing over the dam the whole way across. Terri tried her luck fishing here and at various spots along the way but with no real luck. The original plan was to paddle back to the park so we could visit real restrooms and then eat lunch at a picnic table (Quite a luxury compared to our usual trips). Not everyone was enthused about fighting the mud but in the end we all squished our way out of the water and had lunch at a table.

After lunch we all slogged our way thru the mud and back into the boats and headed downstream. As we paddled along the banks sported more and more houses until after a couple of miles it was pretty residential. One new, pretty expensive house with an extensive boat “Shed” had what looked like one of those cheap metal bass boats we see all the time hanging from the lift; the boat even looked as though it had been bought used. What it was doing at a high dollar house I have no idea. The wind had come up from the south and we had run out of time so we turned around and headed back.

By the end of the day we had covered 9.6 miles. Joe, Kenny and Terri have posted pictures so check them out. 

         Joe Coker's photo album        Kenny Pape's photo album        Terri Morgan's photo album

The author, Dave Kitson