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 🙂