Day 380 – Forging the floodwaters

Memorial Day weekend sucked. It was raining almost constantly to I hunkered down in an holiday priced cabin drying out my tent from Lost Maples and being bummed out in general. I wish I would of gone out and drank with the bikers having a merry time in the covered central eating area, but alas I gave into my fowl mood.

But enough about that…

Leakey to Camp Wood was uneventful and I stayed in a motel again in case it rained more. I’m being overly cautions at the moment.

This morning the housekeeper knocked on my door and asked if I was staying another day because of the flooding in the area. The normally dry West Nueces River was coursing with water. I looked outside and saw it was gloomy, but dry and decided to hit the road floodwater be damned. If I got to a place I couldn’t cross I’d set up my tent, now feeling less cautious.

The Nueces (main part) looked swollen from the bridge. Thankfully they built it high. A few miles further down the road and I saw a road closed sign, but decided it applied to other people.

Live Oak Creek was spilling over the roadway (see video). But it’s called a creek so I had no second thoughts of pushing ahead. Another half mile down the road I came to the West Nueces River. It is normally a dry riverbed, but not today (video). Lots of rain from up north was now careening towards the Gulf of Mexico. I tested my footing first and discovered while I can’t walk on water, I can at least keep my balance when it is a foot deep.

After I got my bike and trailer across I took a break and thought it would be an opportune time to try out my Life Straw. It’s a $20 plastic straw with filter fiber that is guaranteed to block 99.9% of the nastiness that makes us human folk spill our guts when drinking river water.

I filled up an empty 3 litter bottle. It looked clear with a slight green/brown cast and smelled like “fresh” river water. I imagined all the poop and dead animals and other gunk that was being washed down after being dry for however many years. I actually saw a bloated dead deer carcass at Live Oak Creek. With all those pleasant thoughts in mind I dunked the straw in and started sucking. It took a few strong ones to get the water flowing and as the first few drops entered my mouth I was pleasantly surprised to find it tasted good.

Not Britta good, but clean and refreshing. I gulped down at least two cups worth to give my stomach a good sampling to process. In the first few minutes I felt fine. So far, so good. I took out my folding chair and sat in the shade for a bit. 30 minutes later I still felt fine so got back on the bike and kept on riding.

A few more miles down the road I saw a hearse with blinking lights on it. They stopped and asked if I had passed an accident. I told them now and they mentioned some road that they passed that it must be down. I’ve never seen a hearse with emergency lights so I’m not sure if they combine undertaking and medical aid in the county or they were just in a hurry to pick up a body.

I passed a solar power plant on the way into Brackettville. They always fill me with hope that we will get off fossil fuel some day. I ended up staying at Fort Clark Springs, again in a motel and never did throw up. I’m calling the Life Straw a success. It of course won’t filter out chemical pollutants so don’t go using it for roadside mud puddles and such.

In case you want to listen to Kickapoo (see photo) by Tenacious D click here 🙂

1 comment

  1. Penny - June 3, 2015 7:24 pm

    Biking through the hill country of Texas appears to be challenging between lightening storms, rain, flooding and steep roads. Glad you are finally getting sunny days. Sounds like you are taking the challenges in stride. Thanks for the “Smith” picture.

    Reply

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