Author Topic: Sabine river trip report  (Read 3889 times)

Offline drthumbs

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Sabine river trip report
« on: May 13, 2013, 11:09:50 PM »
This past weekend, Draven and I hit the Sabine river.  We put in at the TX 155 bridge Big Sandy, TX and took out at US 271 in Gladewater.  It made for 22 miles over two 2 days. This section is not paddled often due to the  forest that are all along the banks are prone to dropping trees across and blocking the river, making for frequent portages. This does limit human activity on this section of the river and while there are fishing cabins and houses that dot the high banks here and there, there are long stretches that look untouched  and primordial. There are even stone fishing weirs placed by the Caddo that populated the area for hundreds of years that are exposed when the river is low.

We saw a grand total of 4 other boats all weekend. One john boat oppperating near the 155 bridge and another two miles out from the 271 bridge. T kayaks a few hundred yards from the 271 bridge.  Other than that and maybe six people fishing from the banks (all but one near the bridges) we had the river to ourselves.

This was Draven's first river trip and he was a little nervous.  I did not help matters when looking at our first obstacle, just yards away, pylons from an old rail road bridge. I had to open my mouth and say “don't worry about that, we are going to run into much worse than that”.  After we got past that he relaxed and started to have a good time.... until we had to portage.

The river was slow and meandering and quite a bit shallower than I expected for the most part, but there were many areas that could have been 100 ft for all I know. Also there were a few class I and II rapid areas that where a surprise.

My camera battery killed over at the end of day one, so I didn't get any of day two.  That was to bad because the river was more photogenic the second day. One in particular was wne coming around a bend a great oak appeared with no limbs on the lower half or maybe three quarters.  It was majestic enough as it was, but it sat perched on the precipice  a sandstone cliff, maybe 8 to 10 feet high, arising as  shear fade from the river.  This mighty oak bulged at the bottom and spilled its roots over the precipice in a scene invoking the name of the great dark lord Cthulhu. That I wish I had a photo.

Enough of my blathering... on to the photos

At our launch under the 155 bridge




The first Caddo weir


First daunting obstacle.  I thought that we were going to have to have to portage but we slipped around the right side










No sneaking around this one.  Our first portage


Looking back at our first portage



Offline drthumbs

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Re: Sabine river trip report
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2013, 11:11:44 PM »
Turn around to to see our second portage


Poor kid was none to pleased with the necessity of portaging


Hauling gear


Then the boat


Sandstone cliffs covered in moss and ferns








Another downed tree blocking our way.


Able to get past this one without a full on portage, but more of a “wet portage” using the painters

Offline drthumbs

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Re: Sabine river trip report
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2013, 11:13:11 PM »
Here is the handy work out our hero (likely many people)  Draven dubbed this unknown hero : “CHAINSAW MAN”


A peak of some geology that you usually don't see in East Texas




Along with some wild pigs we suck up on earlier, we found some goats




This photo fails to capture the essence of this fallen tree.  It seemed much more a mythical beast, a dragon of sorts, slain and lay fallen to the side of the river.


Draven doing some fishing




Camping on a sand bar just past the 11 mile mark. This basha matched the sandbar nicely. Between an ill fitting mosquito netting and a therma cell, we were relatively bug free.



Cooking dinner.  No fish.  Mountain house instead. By this point in the day... I really didn't want to put much more effort into it than that anyway.



Offline Nicodemus

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Re: Sabine river trip report
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2013, 06:24:50 AM »
It looks like a great trip! Thanks for sharing, Dr. T!

Offline TexDaddy

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Re: Sabine river trip report
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2013, 10:56:58 AM »
Great pics! Looks like a lot of fun.

Offline TexasGirl

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Re: Sabine river trip report
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2013, 04:20:55 PM »
Cool.

Can't say how many times I've been over both those bridges and wondered what cruising the Sabine was like.  Were there any oil wells nestled on the banks like further downstream?

~TG

Offline drthumbs

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Re: Sabine river trip report
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2013, 09:43:01 PM »
Thanks.

Texasgirl, the oilfields north edge was in Gladewater.  The first oilfield ruins that I know of is about 100 yards north of the 271 bridge.  I did the 271 to 42 run last year and it is dotted with oilfield ruins and remains that whole run.  I don't think I did a trip report t