Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A river in retreat

In better years, the upper West Fork of the San Jacinto River helps fill the 21,000 acres that make up Lake Conroe. But with rain mostly a memory, the West Fork has no water to offer this summer. What water it retains stays there only because of the lake levels maintained by the dam below Lake Conroe. With Lake Conroe levels falling, the upper West Fork is in a process of slow retreat. When I launched here in early May, the water line was in front of the the little disconnected pool you see here.

Still, the West Fork isn't gone just yet. And on a hot summer day, there's much to be said for a narrow, shaded channel through the unspoiled Sam Houston National Forest.  I launched near sunrise at the Stubblefield Lake Campground and paddled north. In the six hours I was on the river I didn't see another human, aside from the folks fishing near the launch. But I did see a good selection of deer, birds, snakes, turtles, and gar, plus a multitude of trees. Thankfully, most (but not all) of the later remained standing. 

All in all, it was a wonderful way to spend my Independence Day.  God bless America!

More Pictures from the San Jacinto River West Fork

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