New Boston, TX

“Nobody on the road. Nobody on the beach. I feel it in the air, the summer’s out of reach. Empty lake, empty streets. The sun goes down alone.”-Don Henley

Thursday, October 30th

I left this morning into the thickest fog I’ve experienced on the trip, if not my life.  I almsot thought I had vertigo on a couple of occasions.  It’s neat to canoe in the fog although with the Red River hazards it can be unsettling.  Eventually the fog lifted to a clear, beautiful TX afternoon.  That sounds good to say.

I paddled into the late afternoon, finally calling it a day.  I have began the series of crazy river twists.  I’ve never seen another river have such turns.  Yes, I am going west now…but I am going north and south to go west!!  I think I was dizzy from all the back and forth.  Also, these turns take longer than I anticipated.  The river really hasn’t changed since Fulton, it is more of the same-sandbars everywhere, red cliffs, trees in the middle of the river and shallow inside bends.  In fact, I am at the point where I simply go to the fastest current so there is enough water to paddle in.  The current, however, seems to have relented…a bit.  It is suppose to get cold tomorrow night which is a first since Montana.

The fog was thick

The fog was thick

It lifted to a beautiful afternoon

It lifted to a beautiful afternoon

typical Red River scene

typical Red River scene

shadow

shadow

still growing

still growing

Friday, October 31st

Happy Halloween!! Yes, I paddled today.  I am almost finished with the first series of these crazy turns.  I settled in for the evening relatively early so I could setup camp and eat before the really cold weather arrived and it came in style.  It was very chilly but I was very comfortable…in my tent.

The days are much shorter now so I really want to maximize my time in “the boat.”  I stop about every hour for a quick 5 minute break, paddling upstream can be difficult.  You can’t stop paddling, if you do you will go downstream or be moved to the wrong side of the river.  This can wear on you mentally and one must have an “upstream mindset.”  I do possess this although I simply had to take an extended break today.  I simply wanted about an hour to unwind and dry out some gear (due to condensation in the morning).

Also, I am excited about seeing Vicki tomorrow.  She is driving to the New Boston bridge to meet me.  I am also desparately low on supplies, canoeing through small town America has it’s challenges when it comes to resupplying.  Also, my stove hit the skids, not good timing but at least Vicki can bring another one tomorrow.  Canned corn, Nestle candy bars, and P&J.  Dinner of champions for me tonight.

good morning River Left

good morning River Left

Fall

Fall

clouds

obstacle course

break time

break time

that way to the tent

that way to the tent

Saturday, November 1st

I told Vicki it would take me four hours to get to the New Boston brigde. I paddled 6.  I awoke to a sunny 35 degree morning.  I quickly decamped and headed out for a highly anticipated encounter with my wife.

My hands were freezing and could not keep them warm.  This was a first on the trip, even in Montana (the first few days) it wasn’t this cold in the morning.  I would paddle then blow on my hands.  I tried my gloves, but they were restrictive, I have not worn gloves the entire trip…I enjoy the feel of the paddle in my hands.  I think this may have to change.

After about an hour, temps warmed and I was fine.  Vicki called around noon and I knew I was still at least an hour away.  It took two. The paddle was beautiful (despite the crazy bends), I passed some really impressive tall red cliffs.  I belive this is where the Spanish drove us back on our first exploratory mission up the Red.  I think I am the 2nd person to canoe up it.

I eventually arrived at the bridge and spent the afternoon with Vicki, it was awesome to see her as well as have a hot meal and resupply.  The plan was for her to leave in the evening and I would get an early start tomorrow.  We decided that maybe it would be better to stay in New Boston and enjoy a second hot meal.  It was a great evening, I was relieved I didn’t have to fight the cold again tonight.  I’m not so sure how excited Vicki was to watch me spend an hour reorganizing all my supplies.  I suspect this what most women hope for during marriage.

Red Cliff

Red Cliff

again

again

view from New Boston ramp

view from New Boston ramp

arrived

arrived

just in case you missed it-I'm in TX

just in case you missed it-I’m in TX…and canoeing friendly

Tex-Mex

Tex-Mex

Sunday, November 2nd

The “missing wife blues” hit as I departed the New Boston bridge. I enjoyed our time together but the show must go on.  Thankfully, a big Patriots win helped with my melancoly state of mind.

I left a little later in the morning (this fall back is going to be tough), and made good progress today.  At this juncture, I am focused on each bend, I am not sure when I will finish.  I entered Oklahoma today, state number 15. The rest of my time on the Red will be OK on river right and TX on river left.  Well, not technically but that’s another story.

I am getting closer and closer to home but I still feel a long ways away, probably because I am focused just on the next bend.  I also belive it has to do with the “Red experience.”  There is no one out here, no campgrounds, no people, no fisherman.  This is by far the most remote paddling experience of the trip, it’s funny because Montana was way more remote but I would see fisherman from time to time.  It’s me and the Red-that’s it.  In fact, I may rename the river to the Lynch River since I basically own it.

The weather was beautiful, it has warmed up an I am on my way.  Rain is in the forecast for this week, hopefully it won’t slow me down too much…I can’t complain though since I’ve had great weather in October.

Let’s canoe the Lynch River.

Oh, and “Yo Soy Fiesta!!”

Pats 43 Broncos 21

leaving New Boston

leaving New Boston

sad but on my way

sad but on my way

Oklahoma!!!

Oklahoma!!!

Tent

Tent

canoe

canoe

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5 Responses to New Boston, TX

  1. Michael Callaway says:

    Wajid and I went and camped with Keith where TX – 37 crosses over the Red River on Saturday November 8th. He is doing great making his way up the Red River. A fun story will be coming soon to the canoevoyage.com blog, let’s just say that “Yo Soy Fiesta” comes into play. If you ask for any more details I will have to be like Colonel Klink from Hogan’s Heroes when I say “I know nothing! Nothing!”

  2. Donald Zinter says:

    Glad you got another chance to hook up with the lovely “Bride”, at least that helps break up the monotney of the winding river a bit. Maybe they should have named the Red River the Snake River instead, oh the Snake River is in Washington though. Just don’t get dizzy and tip the canoe over with all tohse twiste and turns.

  3. don says:

    I have been following you online since I saw a story on you out of Shreveport when you were there. My house out in NE Texas gets Shreveport stations. I have a home in Dallas and had heard nothing at all about your trip here. So I was amazed at your endeavor when I saw the story and then found this website. My plan had been to stand on the bridge on 37 and cheer you on when you crossed under last Friday (north of Clarksville). Maybe I’ll try to see you go under 271 north of Paris. I am so impressed with your accomplishments. Just stay warm in this cold weather now. I thought about you when that cold front passed through and you were near New Boston. You’ve made great time. Hope to see your arrival back here in Dallas. Best of luck and I hope the Dallas TV stations will cover your arrvival.

  4. Michael Callaway says:

    By the way, I also forgot to mention. After spending one day “Living like Keith” Wajid and I were so tired. Hauling gear up the hill, down the hill, in the boat, out of the boat, sleeping in the elements, building a fire (of which I was amazing), plus canoeing all day (which we did not do), you da man Keith, you da man.

  5. TG says:

    You big stud. I’ve been absent but am now catching up on things and you’re looking good!. The Lynch river, haha, good one. We’ll get you some help once this is all over. … I didn’t know the Red originates in Palo Duro Canyon. That’s a magical place. Love it. Keep paddling!

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