Texas Water Safari

The Texas Water Safari is a 260 mile canoe race from San Marcus to the gulf coast on the San Marcus and Guadalupe Rivers. In 1986, I was a weapon system engineer for Lockheed and a horndog named Bob Wiseman worked a few cubicles down. He had the idea to enter the race and I was the only idiot he knew who was interested in this type of thing.

For months, Bob and I canoed different sections of the course in preparation. I asked my girlfriend, Sue, to be our land support for the race. I made up a cooler full of power burritos for energy.

The sixty-eight hours it took us to reach Seadrift were a blur of capsizing boats, portaging around obstacles like massive logjams and putrid cowjams, constantly assessing current and picking safe channels, meeting Sue for brief rest stops and water, night navigation with headlamps, waking from a nap covered in pill bugs, taking No Doze, alligators attacking our paddle strokes, singing TV theme songs to stay awake, mooning some spectators standing on a bridge.

As we approached the coast, we paddled into a bay with a strong headwind and waves knocking back our progress. After an exhausting and agonizingly slow bay crossing we turned up the coast and met Sue at the finish line on the beach at Seadrift. We all crashed for a few hours of sleep before heading home.

I lost touch with Bob the Wise-ass but I married my adventurous terra team mate.

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