Neches River Rally
Sept. 12, 2015
by Terri Morgan
Becky Claytor of HASK and I drove over to Beaumont, TX Friday afternoon to partake in the Neches River Rally hosted by The Big Thicket Association. After we checked in and rested up a bit, we went for dinner at Suga’s Deep South restaurant and it did not disappoint. We were serenaded with jazz music while we sipped our cocktails and had some wonderful appetizers. The entrée was as scrumptious as our waiter and dessert was the Coup de Grace.
Saturday after breakfast we made our way to the Lower Neches Valley Authority (LNVA) saltwater barrier for a paddle up the Neches river to Cooke’s Lake, over to Scatterman Lake and then back down to the put in. It was about a 4 mile trip.
The event was very well organized and the volunteers were well prepared. We didn’t have to get out of our vehicle until the last minute when we unloaded at our designated launch area. It was all a drive through. Launch times were every 30 minutes beginning at 8:00 am. There were “spotters” along the paddle route to guide you and answer any questions you may have had.
I ran into Ann from Anahuac and saw fellow club members Fran and Cindy. At the end of the paddle, I met Malcom from Ireland who had emailed the club earlier this year inquiring about where to get an aluminum canoe repaired.
There were a few booths for merchandise and of course a big grill for the burgers and they were delicious. Young men from the ROTC were on hand to assist in carrying your boat to the launch and back to your designated area. I needed lots of help. On the boat ramp, they had put down strips of carpet about 3 feet wide so you could scoot your boat on the carpet down to the water. Great idea and protection for the boat.
It was a very pretty paddle and fun to get back into the swampy areas. I managed to find several things to take a picture of. This was my first time on this river and it was really nice. In talking to a volunteer, they had about 160 participants. We got a t-shirt, koozie and a sticker for the kayak. Life is good.
|The author, Terri Morgan