08 May 2012

Amistad's Pecos River 2012

Rain!  Glorious, sweet, life-giving rain fell.  It fell all Wednesday  morning; it fell early and mid-afternoon.  Temperatures dropped to 64°F.  As a result, we did not fish Box Canyon.  We decided to seek a boat shop to repair the tiller that was damaged Sunday on the Devil's River arm.  With little luck at the boat shops, we decided to go to Comstock and see the Pecos River arm and Seminole Canyon.

Looking north up the Pecos
Cody took us to the Pecos River High Water Bridge crossing and we picnicked, gawking at the horrendously low water levels.  We met a couple from Washington state and talked with them about the Pecos River, the old road on the west, and where Mexico was located in relation to where we stood.  We read the historical markers, snapped photos, and moved to a new destination.

I had never been to Langtry, so Cody decided it was a perfect time to visit Judge Roy Bean and the Law West of the Pecos.  Interestingly enough, the museum is operated by the Texas Department of Transportation, and they have done a nice job preserving this interesting piece of history.  We discussed the lake levels and learned that water is being actively released from Amistad!  Gates were scheduled to be opened this afternoon.  It turns out that Falcon Lake is requesting the water to raise their water levels and operate their power plant.  Texas water management does not make sense.  As a teen, I grew up on Lake Granbury, and the same plan occurred:  Possum Kingdom's levels were dropped to increase Granbury's; Granbury's levels were dropped to increase Whitney's, etc.  Without rain, what increased Possum Kingdom's levels?

Returning to Comstock and Seminole Canyon, we stopped by the NPS Pecos River boat ramp, which is still open, to see the confluence of the Pecos and Rio Grande.  The confluence can not be seen from the High Water Bridge Scenic Overlook.  I was disgusted by what I saw.  I also understood the high numbers of Border Patrol in the area; we counted at least 30 cars along Hwy 90.  We probably could have boated the Mitzi through the narrow channel, but I doubt we could have boated to Panther Cave, which is only accessible by boat.

Pathetic confluence of the Pecos River and Rio Grande
We left the boat ramp and visited Seminole Canyon.  We hiked a part    of the Rio Grande River Trail and  then Rough Canyon Trail.  We saw the old Southern Pacific rail bed.  We enjoyed Rough Canyon, and while Cody was looking on Mexico, the dark skies released more glorious rain on Mexico and the sky lit up with bolts of lightening.  About .2 mile before reaching the car, the skies opened up and the rain began to fall.  I love rain, but rain in the desert is particularly special.  Thank goodness El Nino is gone; hopefully, now, we can get back to more normal weather, receive rain, and see the lake levels renewed.  Hopefully, Box Canyon will look better than the Pecos Arm!

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