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Buffalo Bayou
Feb. 13, 2011
Linda Gorski

On the first really perfect Sunday of 2011, 13 members of the Houston Canoe Club paddled Buffalo Bayou from Woodway to Allen’s Landing.  After what most Texans consider the coldest winter we’ve endured in many years, a sunny warm day on the water was just what the group needed to kick off the paddling season. 

My job for the day was to take lots of photos of this portion of the bayou for a presentation Louis Aulbach is giving at REI Westheimer on April 7 and REI Willowbrook on April 14.   I’m sharing many of those photos here.

The put in at Woodway was steep but paddlers eagerly lined up their boats.   After running the shuttle, we carefully carried the canoes and kayaks down a slippery slope to the waters edge and then tackled even more slippery stairs.

Boats lined-up at
put-in at Woodway
  Put-in at Woodway    Canoes on Buffalo Bayou
south of Woodway

I had never paddled this upper portion of the bayou so this was a totally new experience for me. I paddled with Louis Aulbach in our new tandem boat (first time we’ve had it on the water). As usual he added a running commentary about the history of the bayou much to the enjoyment of all the paddlers.

 Louis & Natalie

 Lunch on a sandbar
at Memorial Park

   Wilderness in the city

The water on this day was running about 105 cfs but the current was steady and the paddling easy.    There were even a couple of little riffles between Woodway and Shepherd to make the paddle interesting.    We were also surprised at the number of large birds along the way including hawks and beautiful blue heron.

Our lunch break was on a large sweeping sandbar in Memorial Park.  Louis, Dana Enos, John Rich and I had hiked to this sandbar recently through the woods from the Park and discovered many foundation features from Camp Logan, a WWI training camp which was constructed to house 44,000 soldiers.  Check out Louis’s website at for historical vignettes about life and history along the bayou including a couple of stories about Camp Logan.

 Shepherd St. Bridge    AIG Building
   Amy & husband approach
downtown skyline

We ended our 10-mile paddle at Allen’s Landing.  The newly landscaped take out includes a sand beach and a grassy bank for easy access to and from the bayou.  There were actually several folks paddling the bayou ahead of us and one of them took time out from strapping his boat to his trailer to take this photo of one happy group of HCC paddlers including Ken Anderson, Louis Aulbach, Colleen Connally, Dana Enos, Linda Gorski, Dave Kitson, John Ohrt, Natalie Wiest and daughter Ellen, Ken McDowell, Paul Woodcock, Amy and Tim Garber.  As we paddled, we met up HCC member Robert Killian who was cycling along the Buffalo Bayou bike path and Harmon Everett who met us (on his bike) at Allen’s Landing.  Can’t keep those HCC members indoors on a nice day!

Linda paddles,
Louis gives history

  Pedestrian bridge
at Montrose

  Group at take-out 

The author, Linda Gorski, brought heart shaped
cookies for all the paddlers in honor of Valentine’s Day.