(editor's note: this trip is actualy just upstream of the trip on the chart.)
Michael Oehrtman and I paddled the Lampasas yesterday (4/12) from FM 1690 to FM 508, a trip of five miles. The river had crested at 14,000 cfs at 6 a.m. It was flowing at 1150 cfs when we started at 3:30, and was down to 703 cfs when we finished at 6:30. We considered this an adequate level, although we could have used a little more water in the last third of the trip.
The description in Steve Daniel's book was right on - there are numerous play spots scattered through the run, with Class II and some II+ rapids.
It was really good to get back on the river, after such a long time without much rain. Aah, the joys of moving water, with that familiar milk shake brown color, and waves, rocks, and eddies!
Just after the put-in, we took a look at School Crek, which has an eight foot waterfall. It had almost enough water to run it, but the rock shelf directly above the falls was too shallow.
The character of the river is ledge drops and small falls separated by mostly flat water. We enjoyed several good surfing spots, where we spent quite a bit of time.
About half way through the trip, there was a two-tiered ledge with a total drop of about four feet. At about mile 3.5, we encountered a six foot waterfall. The water level was a little low by this time, revealing a secondary ledge in the landing area. Michael ran this drop, with just a little bumping. There was one spot where the river became fairly narrow and picked up speed between limestone banks.
Scorecard for the day:
0 Toobers/obnoxious drunks
0 Outraged landowners
3 Deer negotiating a Class II rapid
This was the first time in my 30 years of canoeing that I had seen deer crossing the river. It really was a pretty sight - they crossed in the shallow spot just above one of the rapids, as they probably do every day. They started off slowly and ran quickly as they spotted us coming.
We had a nice trip, paddling from play spot to play spot, and enjoying the live oaks and other Hill Country scenery.
I hope this rain is part of a pattern that will continue ...