Thursday, March 7, 2013

Pecos River of our Past.....Part 1

I started my great love affair with the Lower Pecos River back in the early nineties. Straight out of high school and full of beans, adventure, and stupidity. Great recipe for fun. Two buddies and myself rented a 14 foot aluminum boat with a 9.9 horse on the back. We got to the Pecos Highbridge, thirty some odd miles west of Del Rio Tx, after dark and extremely windy. We were not going to be deterred by anything. After unloading and packing the boat we take off in the darkness of the canyons headed to the confluence with the Rio Grande. Not even a quarter of a mile in, we noticed the wind was getting worse. We were getting hit by 2-3 foot waves. Biggest I have ever seen outside the coast. We were getting battered and soaking wet, and a bit on the nervous/scared side of things. At one point, we felt as though on air in between white caps until the hit of the next wave that threw everything everywhere. We turned back quickly between waves as best we could and got back to the dock. Wet and still white knuckled, we loaded up as fast as possible and headed to Seminole Canyon State Park. Humbled and still a bit shaky, we laid down to a restless night full of thoughts of our near demise at the hands of the Pecos River.
  I wish I could say that was our only "time to meet your maker" experience on the Pecos, but she is not to be trifled any time, for any reason. If you show weakness or an ounce of disrespect, she will deliver harsh discipline with no remorse. I should know, I was sent to her office on a few occasions. :)
 Most of those stories are reserved for campfires and God. But that trip actually ended with sunshine and a windless weekend. Sun-burnt and a ton of fish behind us, we headed on back home with some awesome memories.

Below Train Bridge, Pecos River 1993

  From that point, I was in love. Her beauty was absolutely amazing. Closest to Heaven as I could get at the time. I had known my girlfriend (wife now) about a week before I took her down there to see it. I've spent a lot of years planning trips, studying the history, and daydreaming of every opportunity to get back down there.

 It was a very special place.

Pecos River Highbridge 1993

Then she fell on hard times..... Drought. It began to wear on the old gal. Her forty feet deep and hundreds of feet wide body started to slowly wither away. She was going back to her past, before the dam, before the water filled her.

Pecos River Highbridge 1997

......Part 2 to come.....

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