Dallas Downriver Club


Thanksgiving Weekend - San Marcos 2014

Date: November 28th – 30th, 2014 Sponsor: DDRC
River: San Marcos Trip Leader: Bryan Jackson
Reach: Shady Grove Campground to Stables, or Staples to Fentress and Rio Vista on Saturday Phone: 972-979-2519
Difficulty: Some whitewater – Class I and II (see difficulty below) E-mail: paddlinpals@yahoo.com
Rendezvous: Shady Grove Campground on FM 1979 at San Marco River Required Skills: Moving water/Whitewater experience, proper protective gear, base camping
Campground: There are no backup plans Confirmation Deadline:


Trip Description: 

Our 2014 Thanksgiving Trip will be at Shady Grove Campground in San Marcos.  We will gather on Friday, have a paddle on Saturday Shady Gove Campground fishing trip to Staples or Staples to Fentress.  On Sunday we plan to play in the water at Rio Vista. Of course we’ll have our traditional Thanksgiving potluck on Saturday evening. This is a great way to just relax, avoid the madness of Black Friday and enjoy the company of friends.

Gear Requirements

Bring boats (just about any seaworthy craft will do for this trip), PFD's (lifejackets), paddles (a spare is recommended), a whistle or other signaling device, throwbag, etc. 

Shady Grove does have canoes available for rent.

We will be base camping and and Shady Grove does have some site with electricity so you can bring pup tents and travel trailers.

Bring your own meals, and bring something for the Saturday night potluck dinner which will have a Thanksgiving theme and will feature a cajun fried turkey.

Back-up Plans:
No backup plans

Driving Directions: 
Shady Grove campground is located on FM 1979 in Martindale, Guadalupe County, Texas east of IH 35 and San Marcos at the San Marcos River.

From Dallas (to Shady Grove Campground):
IH 35 South through Austin to San Marcos, then LEFT on SH 80 toward Luling;

Follow SH 80 East across the Blanco River into Martindale, then turn RIGHT on FM 1979;

Follow FM 1979 through Martindale across the San Marcos River, then turn LEFT into Shady Grove Campground;

Stop at the office and pay for camping. If the office is closed, then take an envelope from the box by the door, fill in the info requested, enclose payment (cash or check), then seal the envelope and drop it through the mail slot on the door. (Don't worry about specifying your campsite. Just write "DDRC" in that space, and the Spencers will know where you are located.

Shady Grove KMZ Locator file

* International Scale of River Difficulty

Class I: Easy. Fast moving water with riffles and small waves. Few obstructions, all obvious and easily missed with little training. Risk to swimmers is slight, self-rescue is easy.

Class II: Novice. Straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels which are evident without scouting. Occasional maneuvering may be required, but rocks and medium sized waves are easily missed by trained paddlers. Swimmers are seldom injured and group assistance, while helpful, is seldom needed.

Class III: Intermediate. Rapids with moderate, irregular waves which may be difficult to avoid and which can swamp an open canoe. Complex maneuvers in fast current and good boat control in tight passages or around ledges are often required; large waves or strainers may be present but are easily avoided. Strong eddies and powerful current effects can be found, particularly on large-volume rivers. Scouting is advisable for inexperienced parties. Injuries while swimming are rare; self-rescue is usually easy but group assistance may be required to avoid long swims.

Class IV: Advanced. Intense, powerful but predictable rapids requiring precise boat handling in turbulent water. Depending on the character of the river, it may feature large, unavoidable waves and holes or constricted passages demanding fast maneuvers under pressure. A fast, reliable eddy turn may be needed to initiate maneuvers, scout rapids, or rest. Rapids may require "must" moves above dangerous hazards. Scouting is necessary the first time down. Risk of injury to swimmers is moderate to high, and water conditions may make self-rescue difficult. Group assistance for rescue is often essential but requires practiced skills. A strong eskimo roll is highly recommended.

Class V: Expert. Extremely long, obstructed, or very violent rapids which expose a paddler to above average endangerment. Drops may contain large, unavoidable waves and holes or steep, congested chutes with complex, demanding routes. Rapids may continue for long distances between pools, demanding a high level of fitness. What eddies exist may be small, turbulent, or difficult to reach. At the high end of the scale, several of these factors may be combined. Scouting is mandatory but often difficult. Swims are dangerous, and rescue is difficult even for experts. A very reliable eskimo roll, proper equipment, extensive experience, and practiced rescue skills are essential for survival.

Class VI: Extreme. One grade more difficult than Class V. These runs often exemplify the extremes of difficulty, unpredictability and danger. The consequences of errors are very severe and rescue may be impossible. For teams of experts only, at favorable water levels, after close personal inspection and taking all precautions. This class does not represent drops thought to be unrunnable, but may include rapids which are only occasionally run.

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last updated October 13, 2014