Participants were Terri Morgan, Diana Cooper and Cindy Cox
Coleto Creek Park and Reservoir is located midway between Victoria and Goliad. It is a power plant lake and a joint project between Coleto Creek Power and Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority. At normal pool elevation, it covers 3,100 surface acres with 61 miles of shoreline. Four major creeks feed the reservoir and the average depth is eleven feet. The main purpose of the reservoir is to serve as a cooling pond for the coal-fired power plant.
The park offers tent camping, rv hookups, cabins and trailers for rent, pavilion, hiking, mountain biking and all the swimming, fishing and boating you can handle. Being a sandy bottom, the water clarity is comparable to Lake Travis and some of the other clearer lakes and rivers in central Texas.
Diana, Cindy and I met in Sugar Land and caravanned to the park. Upon arrival, we purchased our day pass and maps of the lake before heading down to the boat ramp. We found the place to have minimal occupancy as the weather had kept a lot of power boaters off the water which was good for us.
We unloaded our boats, gathered our gear, set our gps’s and set off about 10:00 am for a day of exploring. We stayed parallel to the shore, checking out the campgrounds, coves and real estate along the way. After a while we paddled in to a cluster of trees and found a baby owl nesting in the top of one of them. After several pictures, we paddled onward through the trees, acknowledging how low the lake was by the water mark left on the tree trunks.
We came across a beautiful house on a point with an extensive bulkhead, lush landscape, a real prime piece of real estate and low and behold, about 50 yards off shore, there was a wooden platform built in the top of a tree with a pool slide attached to it which served as a waterslide. It was the ultimate red neck waterslide.
Off and on during the day it would drizzle on us and the sky was overcast. We paddled down to a bridge, which turned out to be Hwy 59 and encountered a dead end (shallow) and were met by a big ferocious dog that came charging toward us slinging dog slobber and stinky mud from the shallows with teeth bared, only to want to play and jump in our boats. We couldn’t get away fast enough.
After reorienting ourselves with where we were as opposed to where we wanted to be, we paddled on. We finally made it to the power plant and pulled up on our own private white sandy beach for a gourmet lunch. We dined feverously devouring our tasty food, down to the last morsel. After lunch I walked along the shore and saw many different animal tracks; raccoon, skunk and coyote. The water was even more green back in the creek and with the trees putting out new growth, it was very picturesque. We finished up our fine dining and got back in our boats and paddled a little further down to the rookery. The water was shallow and had healthy aquatic vegetation all around. Up on the hillside a herd of deer ran up the hill from getting a drink of water. Diana saw a huge bird sitting in a tree and thanks to Cindy’s zoom lens, we figured it to be a young bald eagle although it looked as if it were molting.
The rain started to come down a little harder and we decided to head back. It was about 3:30 or so by then. On our way out past our private beach, I saw a turtle on a stump and paddled over to it and asked if she would pose on the stump for us so we could photograph her. She excitedly agreed and relished the spotlight, showing off her long nails. We said our goodbye’s and moved on once again. The rain let up about half way back and the sun came out, just a little. We went past the tree with the baby owl and low and behold in the same nest, there was another baby owl. The two were cuddled up side by side. After more pictures and pictures of a dragon fly and carcasses of insects that had hatched on a tree, we continued on.
Near the end, (or near where we launched) there was a bird nesting site on an island and we stopped once more for pictures. There were herons of some sort and then over to the right, on a separate island were a flock of white pelicans huddled together, freezing their... beaks off.
We finally made it back to the boat ramp and were able to stand on solid ground. Yaa hoooo. We loaded the boats, freshened up and went to The Lost Cajun, a restaurant just outside of the park, for dinner that included spirits, fried shrimp and catfish. The wait was forever but the food was good. We got on the road about 9:00 pm and headed back to Houston. It was a long day but a great day of paddling, sightseeing, checking out the park facilities and camaraderie. This is a great place for a weekend camping trip for families and kiddos. A club trip would be fun too. Take a look at the pictures if you haven’t already. They complete the story. Paddle on!
Terri's photo album can be viewed: here