Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wet and Wonderful

Yes, there really are eagles at Canyon of the Eagles. Our first full day here we took a Vanishing Texas River Cruise up the Texas Colorado River (which is dammed up farther down, creating Lake Buchanan). The 24-mile round trip took us past miles of (practically)virgin terrain -- protected by large ranches, invaded only by grazing cows and horses.

If you look closely at the top of the photo, you can see one of the five bald eagles we spotted. We also saw osprey, cormorants, pellicans, great blue herons, ring-billed gulls, coots and mallards. The scenery went from rocky bluffs to low scrubland. This is a view of Ceremonial Rock and the falls at Fall Creek.

The next afternoon we got up close and personal with the falls with Buchanan Adventure Tours -- a great outfit that helps visitors do all sorts of fun things. It was windy on the lake and our time was an issue so instead of kayaking four miles up to the falls, Duane Te Grotenhuis ferried us up in a pontoon boat and we met his son Zac who had gone ahead with the kayaks.

My traveling teddy (http://www.teddietravel.blogspot.com/) and I shared a kayak with Valerie Redell. She's an experienced kayaker -- and I let her do most of the work while I took pictures. I've kayaked before and it's usually a two-man-and-a-crane operation to get me in and out of the kayak. Duane made this really easy -- I just scooted to the edge of the pontoon boat deck and just slid onto the kayak seat -- much more graceful than being lowered like a bag of bricks!

Kayak view of Ceremonial Rock.

The area has been experiencing less-than-normal rainfall for the past couple of years so the falls were not as full as in other times. They were still impressive.

Kenneth Grahame had it right when he wrote in Wind in the Willows, "There is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."

Some of the hardier souls kayaked under the falls. We made Ben Ballanfant do it several times and still didn't get a really good photo of him!

Sarah VanHoose gives her opinion of the experience. Looks like she's adopted my technique and Ann Mazzanovich is doing the paddling.

To share a bit of the trip, check this clip. And give me credit -- it may not be thrilling but at least I've finally figured out that I must shoot horizontal!

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