I left out Friday, from Dallas, heading down to the Texas Hill Country in search of a cool and relaxing day trip for Saturday. I traveled down Highway 377 for about 300 miles and ended up in Rock Springs, Texas.
In route there, just south of Junction, Texas, I crossed over the South LLano River. From Highway 377 you can stop and look down stream from the road. It's very beautiful... even from the road.
I bedded down in Rock Springs at one of the 2 local hotels (population less than 2000) eagerly awaiting the next morning. The local Inn Keeper offered some insight on where to go to locate a person who would drop me off and take my car down river. He said to drive in to Junction and just ask some of the locals.
I woke up around 6:00 am and drove 50 miles north back down to Junction and walked into the local grocery store and started asking about local outfitters. I was given 3 local names and numbers. I ended up calling a gentleman by the name of Curtis Thomas (325) 446-2220. I drove over to his place just 6 miles from the grocery store and he jumped in my car and we headed up stream.
He was very helpful. He gave me a lot of insight on the river and the route I would be taking. The trip from the second bridge back to his house was approx 5 hours.
I put in at the second bridge (south of Junction on 377) and immediately had to navigate a small rapid... no problem. About a half mile down the river I got a big adrenalin rush... a 3 foot water-fall. That was great, went over it no problem. The river was so beautiful. I was at total peace with the canyons running aside the river and the mountains near by.
As the trip went on I encountered some pretty good rapids. I was thrown a few times due to my inexperience. Just a few times the water was to low for my kayak to make it through. It was a good time to get out and stretch my legs.
The beautiful landscape is accented with cactus, bluffs, and canyons. Along the way I saw white tailed deer, owls, lots of fish, and 4 wild pigs... that was a little scary. But they just ran off when I got close enough.
The river is full of limestone rocks and is clear as glass. Drinking the water is great. I ended up swimming a few times (not by choice)... but the water was great in October. It is spring fed so it just does not get any better. I hear up stream the river begins by large springs shooting out the side of a canyon. I would love to see that. I am going to try to go to this spot in the Spring.
If you are looking for a lot of rapids, then this river is not the greatest. It only has a few challenging spots. However, if you are looking for beauty... wow, this is great. I have never been more at peace just cruising down this wonderful river. It widens and narrows giving you just enough rest before you have to navigate through the rapids. Overall, this was a great adventure.
Contact Curtis Thomas at (325) 446-2220. He's a great outfitter. He has everything if you do not have your own gear.
From Fort Worth, I-20, head south on Highway 377. It's about a 5 hour drive or 275 miles. The little towns slow you down a bit... it's worth it.