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HomeNL-2017-04 San Marcos

San Marcos River Clean-Up
March 4, 2017
by Frank Ohrt

  The annual San Marcos River Clean-up began inauspiciously. The forecast was 55° at dawn, warming to 65°, with rain from 11:00 ’till 3:00. There were many last-minute drop-outs, and no-shows, but a hearty, hardy crew of nine showed up anyway. Little did we know. 

  Those not weenied out by a little rain, or simply too dumb to come in out of it, were myself, Robert Langley, Robert Killian, Liz Dennis, Roger Hathorn, Ken Anderson, Lyn Andrus, Tim Garber, Carl Gilson, and The Paddler Known Only As Bob. We gathered at Tom Goynes’ chapel Saturday morning for coffee and some mighty fine breakfast tacos, then ran shuttle in a cold drizzle, and put in at Tom’s launch site. The river was running about 450 - 500 cfs, the highest it’s been for a clean-up in my memory. I guess it was the silver lining to all the rain, as a good current made the flat sections a lot less tedious. 

  The dark cloud to the silver lining was that it rained all day, and didn’t get above 55°. 

Either there had been fewer tubers recently, or the river at 500 covered up a lot of trash, as we found a lot less of the standard crap along the river. There was still plenty to pick up, though, and a plethora of cheap sunglasses, for some reason. By the time we got to Scull’s crossing, our usual take-out spot, we were all soaked and seriously chilled (except for Tim, who wore a marine-weight foul-weather raincoat, pants, and a “sou’wester” - the object of much envy). I can report that the only problem with Tom’s hot water showers is that you eventually had to get out of it. 

  The sparse attendance made for more barbecue and lemon bars, brownies, and cobbler for the ones who showed up, and the ones who did can now look at the no-shows with condescending smiles. (Louis gets a free pass. He really is “too old for this shit”.) 

  Much thanks to Mr. Langley for being the trip organizer, the TRPA for hot coffee, dinner, and logistic support, and to all who had a cold, wet, muddy day on the river, in a good cause.

The author, Frank Ohrt