March 18, 2017
by Harmon Everett
(click photos to enlarge)
13 intrepid adventurers met at Pundt Park in Spring, Texas on March 18, to paddle from Pundt Park to the take-out underneath Highway 59.
The water level, reported at 150 CFS earlier in the week, dropped like a stone, and we started out at about 95. We had to dodge back and forth to stay in a channel deep enough to float, and often had to get out and drag boats. There were logjams, at least one wrecked truck, and the downed trees carnage from last year’s floods lining the banks pretty much the whole way.
The temperature was about 70 at 8:30 when we gathered, but several people got lost on the way, and we didn’t start the shuttle until 9:30, and didn’t get on the water until almost 11. Evidently there is a “Spring Creek Drive” north of Rayford Sawdust, besides the one that is south of Louetta that leads to Pundt Park. The difference is about 13 miles and endless frustration. Having gotten lost on the way to a launch site myself, I don’t have any leg to stand on to poke fun at those who became confused this time around. Just a reminder to double check the maps about where the launch site is, several days before the trip.
The launch site at Pundt Park is kind of hidden at the end of the road, and looks like kind of a bike trail if you don’t know that it is a circle drive. Even then, after you take your boat off your vehicle, it is 50 yards down a trail and across a sand dune to get to the water.
About three miles down from the launch, we came across a group of young adults with 4-wheelers, hanging out on the banks of the river on the park side. Pretty much illegal. When our group came around the bend, the girl quickly put her top back on. Alas, I was at the back end of the flotilla, and they were already all back on by the time I came by. Paul, however, thought it was great.
We stopped on a nice sandy beach for lunch. Spring Creek is LOADED with sandy beaches.
Soon, the West Fork of the San Jacinto came in from river left and the river essentially became an arm of Lake Houston. The 59/69 bridge over the San Jacinto came into view, and we landed, and started dragging boats up from the river, while several vehicles shuttled back to pick up all the rest of the vehicles from Pundt Park.
The take-out under 59 has a nice place to park, but it is 100 yards from the water, across a minefield of riprap, broken shards of concrete with re-bar and reinforcing wire sticking out all over, and gullies filled with stagnant scummy water. Reminds me of the school playgrounds when I was growing up. Just kidding.
All in all, a very pleasant trip, and if the take-out got improved considerably, I might think about doing it again.
Thanks for all the folks that came out!
The author, Harmon Everett