Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | March 23, 2013

Texas Is Turning Blue

Preparing for the 2013 Texas Water Safari

I love Spring in Texas — that wonderful time of the year when the state begins to yawn and stretch and to wake up after its Winter slumber. Yesterday, Doyle and I loaded our canoe and gear and headed to Luling to do another training run in preparation for the 2013 Texas Water Safari. Training runs mean having two vehicles on the road because we have to leave one vehicle at our take out spot along the river. I personally enjoy having this windshield time on the way to the river.

What I love most about Texas highways in early Spring are the wildflowers. Texas is turning blue as the beautiful Texas bluebonnets are just starting to make their appearance, often accented by red Indian Paintbrushes. More than once on the way to Luling, I saw folks stopped along the side of the road, taking photos of the blue and red splashes of color spilled on green canvases. After a while I could not help myself, I had to stop and take a few pictures.

San Marcos River
Spring has also returned to reclaim the trees and foliage along the San Marcos River. After doing several training runs in the Winter, it was refreshing to see color return to the trees along the river. In the coming months the river will be nestled beneath lush canopies of green. The cardinals, one of my favorite birds, were also out in number yesterday. And, as on previous runs, we saw so much wildlife as we paddled our way from Luling to Palmetto State Park.

The Texas Water Safari is indeed the world’s toughest canoe race. It requires lots of training. No question about it! In exactly 2 months and 16 days, Doyle and I will put our paddles in the water at the start of the race and will continue to do so until the finish line, an estimated quarter of a million paddle strokes from the starting line. As tough as the race is and as hot as it will be in June, paddlers get to see a lot of our beautiful state as they navigate the San Marcos and Guadalupe Rivers.

Pecan Billboard
Doyle and I had a good training run yesterday. We are paddling more consistently and at a faster pace. We are going to try to squeeze in as many training runs as we can on our days off to make sure we are ready for the challenge of paddling for four days and nights in June. That will mean a lot more time on Texas highways on the way to the river. But, that’s ok. When the bluebonnets are no more, we always have Texas billboards to entertain and to educate along the way.


PS | If you are on Facebook, my daughter and our TWS Team Captain, Niki, has set up a page for us at Facebook/LoneStarPastors. We invite you to follow our adventure.


  1. Ahhh, thanks for the photos and a twinge of homesickness! I know you are enjoying your training! Thank you Niki for the facebook page!

    • You’re welcome, Carol. Like all Texas folk far from home, I know you miss the Spring bluebonnets and wildflowers. Glad you enjoyed the pics. Greetings to our friends in Qatar.

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