Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | August 19, 2011

On Buffalo Bayou

My son Jonathan and I set off on an enjoyable, albeit hot, urban adventure this morning. We loaded our gear and strapped our canoe atop his Chevy TrailBlazer and headed to Buffalo Bayou. This 52-mile slow-moving waterway originates west of Katy and winds its way through Houston before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico. Earlier this year Jonathan participated in the Buffalo Bayou Regatta — Texas’ largest canoe and kayak race. He thought this 15-mile race course would be a good training run for us as we continue our preparation for the 260-mile Texas Water Safari in 2012. I’m glad that we spent time on the water this morning because we are also gearing up for the Colorado River 100 canoe and kayak race on Labor Day weekend. And, after competing in the Neches River Wilderness Canoe Race earlier this month I am certain of one thing — canoeing looks easier on television and I need all the practice I can get.

I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to forget I was in Houston once we started paddling down the bayou. Although there is some litter along the route, urban dandruff that somehow ended up in the bayou, the route was quite pleasant. The banks along the first several miles of the route are lined with large and lush trees and the occasional well-manicured lawns of homes that overlook the waterway. Until we reached the downtown area, we did not hear the sounds of traffic. We did see an alligator gar that was at least five feet long that splashed water into our canoe as we paddled by. The landscape changed as we neared downtown Houston where the Buffalo Bayou Partnership has done some excellent work through its conservation and capital projects initiatives. It was nice to be able to enjoy an urban adventure without having to travel so far from home. Jonathan and I will definitely canoe down the Buffalo Bayou again in the months to come.

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