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Houston, Texas

The Houston Canoe Club 

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Buffalo Bayou - Paddling East from Shepherd Drive
   February 2009
by John Bayduss

You work hard. You work hard everyday but now its time to have some fun and learn about the wonderful City of Houston.

John Bayduss kneeling
at the put-in site at
Shepherd near Kirby

First, the seven of us met at the Onion Creek Coffee House and planned the route we will be taking. After deciding we would travel east along Buffalo Bayou, four of us drove our trucks to the take-out spot and the other three parked their trucks at the put-in location (this way everyone had a ride to put-in and ride back when we finished our paddle).

Did you know the City of Houston is the 6th largest city in the United States? Buffalo Bayou is 53 miles (85.3 kilometers) long, is the founding place of the city (1836) and is the site of the final battle for Texas Independence.

If the City of Houston is the heartbeat, then Buffalo Bayou is the life blood of the body. From the 1830s' to the 1920s' barges and steam ships sailed her waters to deliver cargo and people. Her pulse is strong just like the people who tamed these wild lands over 150 years ago. Not only would diseases have to be eliminated but the land was roamed by wild Indians and Mexican bandits. Back then if someone lived to be 35 years old they were considered one of the lucky ones.

Heading down the bayou
into the heart of Houston
John Bayduss on
the bayou.
Photo by John Bayduss    

Abandoned railroad bridge
over Buffalo Bayou.
Photo by John Bayduss
This photo is an abandoned railroad bridge that once crossed over Buffalo Bayou. The bridge is crying now because it hasn't seen a train in over 60 years. A bridge is like people: if it doesn't serve a purpose it begins to decay and return to the earth where it came from like all of us will one day; dust to dust, ashes to ashes...

The end of a beautiful
day of paddling.
Photo by John Baydus    
After paddling five hours we reached our take-out spot and everyone loaded up their trucks with their kayaks. Once everything was loaded up all of us decided to have dinner together at a very nice Italian restaurant also located downtown. After dinner everyone shook hands goodbye and wished each other well. Driving home I felt good having sailed the waters of Buffalo Bayou, the water long ago once breathed life into my city, the City of Houston. Time is forever and our life on this earth is only a short breath, so fill your lungs until you think they going to burst because life is short, so enjoy every second of it! 

John Bayduss

~~~ The End ~~~