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HomeNL-2016-01 Cypress Creek

Cypress Creek Canoe/Kayak
Nov. 21, 2015
by
Tom Douglas


We all know that the creek is a constantly-changing environment, and today we definitely got in touch with that change. On Saturday morning, a rapidly-moving Canadian cold front pushed storms through our area. Fortunately, the detailed timing of the weather forecast proved to be right on target, and the rain tapered off just as our group met up at the Cypresswood Drive bridge over Cypress Creek.  A larger rainfall on the previous Tuesday had raised the water level in Cypress Creek by about 9 feet, but more than 90% of that peak flow had already run off. Early on Saturday morning there had been up to an inch and a half more rain in the upper watersheds of Cypress Creek and Spring Creek, and we knew that the water would be rising again during the day.

 

 
Where We Went
by Tom Douglas
   
Last Tuesday's Waterline
by Tom Douglas


Once the morning car shuttle had been run, the group reassembled at the launch site, where we went over plans for our 5.9-mile paddle and made a brief study of small sand waves on the river bank, thinking about the way that flowing water interacts with materials in the river bed. By the end of the day, the creek would rise by about two feet, and those very same sand waves would be reshaped yet once again by the rising water.


 
Small sand waves
by Tom Douglas
   
Large sand waves
(Trinity River)
f
rom Google Earth
   
Quick Rise on Saturday


 
 
White Pelicans
by Linda Shead

The brisk flow in the creek meant that our group moved along at a faster-than-usual clip, reaching the lunch spot at the confluence of Cypress Creek and Spring Creek in about 40 minutes, instead of the usual time of around an hour. Just before lunch, we were greeted by the glorious sight of a flock of about 30 white pelicans that were swimming up the river, coming toward us. A sandbar on river left provided a picnic spot with great views of both Cypress Creek and Spring Creek.

The sky cleared steadily during the morning, and the wind that came in behind the cold front was gentler than expected. We talked about the need to consider the potential risk of hypothermia during paddling trips that are planned for the colder parts of the year, and we made a quick after-lunch stop to check the temperature of the air and water to see how the current conditions would compare with the “golden rule of air and water temperature”.  Each of these measurements came in at higher than 60 degrees, so we were officially good to go.

We could see that the water had risen while we were having lunch, and the afternoon paddle down to the Highway 59 bridge went by all too quickly.

 
Happy canoeist
by Linda Shead
  
Happy Kayaker
by Linda Shead
    Fall Color
by Linda Shead

A small but determined crew carried boats up to the parking lot, so that by the time the afternoon car shuttle had been run, loading up our boats was easy. All in all, it was a great day.



The author, Tom Douglas