State 21 of 50: Texas – The Sabine River

Muddy waters and alien pods
Date Paddled: May 12, 2017
Nearest City: Mineola (Tyler)
Put In: Route 69 Bridge
Take-Out: Route 69 Bridge
Duration: 5 hours
River Miles: ~7
Shuttle: n/a
Weather: partly cloudy, 70
Difficulty: flatwater, quickwater
Cfs: 210

By Diana

The recent heavy rains were much in evidence on the banks and in the water of the Sabine. This 521 mile long river was inhabited as long as 12,000 years ago and partially forms the boundary with Louisiana. The lower end’s cypress is the origin of it’s Spanish name. We shared the put in with some fishermen that seemed to be quite successful even with the muddy water conditions.

The first part of the trip was a welcome change from the arid landscapes of the southwest and long slog across Texas to Dallas. The Sabine is in the more forgiving eastern side of the state that begins to hint at the lushness of the Ozarks.DSCN5590People were constantly warning us about snakes, and we finally got to see some!  These two were happily catching some rays.  We also saw this whitish bird – I don’t remember ever seeing anything like it.

Mystery Bird
Mystery Bird
Beautiful Snake 1
Beautiful Snake
Water Snake?
Probably a Banded Water Snake

Also quite fascinating were these pods we discovered floating in the river. They looked like potatoes bobbing along, but rattled when enthusiastically shaken. We will certainly (carefully) plant them when we’re settled in Oregon. For now, I haven’t been able to turn up an answer to the – what are they – question.DSCN5591

The Sabine reintroduced us to vegetative paddling! I let the green revive my soul and lift my spirit – green pouring over that sandy dry landscape that had lodged itself into my consciousness. My hands showed evidence of the long, mostly dry winter spent in Bend, ridges and blisters rising up, but happily not too angrily.  Truly happy to be back in the water, we eagerly looked forward to our next paddles in the Ozarks.