Housten/Tx recommendation?

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Esben
Posts: 127
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:50 pm

Housten/Tx recommendation?

Post by Esben » Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:43 pm

Anyone from the Housten/Tx area or familiar with?

I am going on a business trip in Febuary and have 4-5 days off. Worth bringing the raft?

Would be very nice to get some advice for the limited time. No hardcore withewater (I ll take a relatively inexperienced fellow) but not boring either. Classig hiking/rafting mix in nice backcountry scenery.

Many thanks,

Sven

RomanDial
Posts: 428
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 11:13 am

Re: Housten/Tx recommendation?

Post by RomanDial » Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:17 pm

Big Thicket National Preserve to do some hiking and flatwater paddling -- only 90 miles or so from Houston.

http://www.nps.gov/bith/index.htm

Esben
Posts: 127
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:50 pm

Re: Housten/Tx recommendation?

Post by Esben » Thu Nov 26, 2009 3:58 am

Thanks Roman,

The Big Bend National Park you send me PM sounds really appealing to me! Fantastic canyons in classic south-west desert country, I always wanted this. However, 650 miles is a long drive for a 5 days trip (Tues evening to Sun evening). Not sure if that is reasonable.

Big Thicket is cool too, but I had a similar trip last year from Atlanta to the Okefenokee Swamp. I have to please the fellow going with me, so it should be a diffrent experience.

Any other suggestions for the region?

S

Esben
Posts: 127
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:50 pm

Re: Housten/Tx recommendation?

Post by Esben » Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:47 am

Thanks to the recommendations in the forums I made it to Big Bend NP in Southern Texas/Rio Grande right on the Mexican border. Next to Roman, I got recommend this area second by an old friend from Calgary/Canada as his favourit place in Texas, so I figured it must have been worth the long drive. In case anyone familiar with the area:

We did two seperate trips. First (no boating), hiked up Pine Canyon trail, connected off trail to the high chisos trail system (via Boot Canyon), did a classic rim loop there, decenteted Juniper canyon and got back to the car near Nugent Mtn (again 5 miles off trail, lots of acti - ouch). Pictures:
http://picasaweb.google.de/sven.schelli ... O2I5MSfkAE

Second, we drove to Rio Grande village, set in by pack rafts, floated the Boquillas Canyon, no whitewater, but did not lack the excitement either:
We planned to get out of the Canyon at Marufo Vega Trail South fork, but we learned the trail is not only incoorrectly marked on USGS Maps, but also is a mess with game trails, no chance to get a mark in this rugged and highly diversified area. Floated further in hope of Marufo Vega Trail North fork is better marked. There were only this two exits out of the Canyon and we had to fix a flat tire, and a plane to catch the next day. Quite an adventure. Pictures:
http://picasaweb.google.de/sven.schelli ... qGVm8fsqAE#

All in all 4 full days, and rougly 60 + miles. Driving from Houston 600+ miles was not as bad as I expected. Easy compared to Europe! Got one flat tire on gravel roads though.

No bears or cougars, but one bobcat. Enjoyed the lower desert as much as the high woodland. And the Canyon, wow, a classic all American. Nice winter break (temps up to over 70° F) and exotic scenery. Some rain in the beginning, then clear blue sky all day - got sun burned. Camping under stars, (what a star sky!). Took advantage of detailed planning on food, water, and maps/directions.

To my experience, the American NP Sytem is quite effiecient, but not encouraging to form own ideas. All the regulations were putting me a bit off in my desire of a feeling of discovery and freedom. I am simply not used to permits, backcountry travel sheme. I did not like how they direct you to "consume" the features of the park, however, also learned how avoid this ;)

We still have Winter here in Germany, had one melt down in beetween, but back on XC Skis now.

Cheers,

Sven

gerardganey
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:25 am

Re: Housten/Tx recommendation?

Post by gerardganey » Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:56 am

Awesome trip! I have been trying to figure out how to get down there for a packrafting trip. I've been there twice but this was before I had my own packraft. It's a great drive out there. Pics look great, haven't done Pine Canyon.

RomanDial
Posts: 428
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 11:13 am

Re: Housten/Tx recommendation?

Post by RomanDial » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:48 am

Esben,

If this bugs you (bugs me!):
To my experience, the American NP Sytem is quite effiecient, but not encouraging to form own ideas. All the regulations were putting me a bit off in my desire of a feeling of discovery and freedom. I am simply not used to permits, backcountry travel sheme. I did not like how they direct you to "consume" the features of the park, however, also learned how avoid this
Then come to Alaska or join the rest of the young Germans in NZ!

We'd love to see you up here.

Roman

Esben
Posts: 127
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:50 pm

Re: Housten/Tx recommendation?

Post by Esben » Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:08 am

Indeed my mindset Roman. Sorry replying late to this, I was buzy (too for recycling the snow - I call it the fifth season, right in the middle of it: http://picasaweb.google.de/sven.schelli ... 7244213522).

Anyways, love to meet up in the Arctic! How about meeting up from opposite directions? The eastern reflection of Alaska!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chersky_Range. Raised in a communist country, I bring in my expertise on this, you bring in your skills on that latitude. How does this sound?

Sven

RomanDial
Posts: 428
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 11:13 am

Re: Housten/Tx recommendation?

Post by RomanDial » Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:17 pm

Sounds sweet. I sent a PM response.

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