TheNiche Posted December 3, 2008 Share Posted December 3, 2008 I need to use up 7.5 days of vacation time or they won't roll over to next year. And given how our holiday schedule works out this year, that means that I'm going to be off from Friday afternoon on the 12th until Monday morning of January 5th. That's 22 full days and a couple of part-days of contiguous vacation.So I'm going to do something I've been wanting to for a long, long time. I'm going to kayak the length of the Neches river from Highway 21, near Weches, TX, to Interstate 10 in Beaumont (308 river miles). I anticipate that this will require nearly the entirety of my vacation time given a leisurely pace, and provided adequate contingency for bad weather.The real challenge, of course, is finding either one similarly-obsessive partner that will do the whole trip with me or (more likely) a string of several partners that will do segments. Resupply at certain points will also be important, as there are no towns along the banks until you get towards Beaumont. This is true wilderness and is as pristine as Texas rivers get. Most of the run is through national forests and expansive timber reserves owned by logging companies. Campsites are mostly going to be on natural sandbars along the river.As a rule of thumb, I don't paddle rivers alone. I've paddled alone along the intercoastal canal, negotiating barge traffic. I've camped out on exposed oyster reefs overnight during a thunderstorm. But that's all fine because there are clear lines of sight in case something were to go awry and I were in distress. But I have not paddled a river alone, even one as forgiving or as placid as the Neches. Depending on whether I have any gaps, that policy might have to change for a segment or two, but I have resolved to do this and am gearing up accordingly.I'm not seeking an expert. All able-bodied persons are welcome to pitch in on this endeavor. Basic first aid and fire-building skills would be a plus, however, just in case. I don't mind a third person in any given stretch, but more than that start to spoil the grandeur of the experience.If you're on the fence about it, you might check out the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department analysis or this book, which is similar in scope to John Graves' Goodbye to a River (and appropriately so, because Dallas is seeking to rights to develop the river for water rights with new reservoirs which would flood all these pristine bottomlands).One person has already committed, and she won't do the whole trip but is flexible with her schedule. I need others. Please let me know so that we can start firming up arrangements. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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