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Tag: southeast texas

River trip part 4

This update was supposed to be in 2 parts. The first part was supposed to be doing some maintenance to the boat, such as fixing some broken rivets. The second part was supposed to be taking the boat out on the river to make sure is running ok, and to to use a GPS to see how fast the boat can travel down the river.

Well, the boat never made it to the river.

Broken boat rivetThe front of the boat has a deck that is held in place with rivets. Over the years of walking on the deck the rivets have slowly pulled lose or broken.

Replacing the rivets

Use a drill bit the size of the rivet, drill through the middle of the rivet, the head should come loose.

Use a punch or drift pen to drive out the middle of the rivet.

If the rivet does not want to drive out, use the drill to drill it out.

Insert new rivet into the hole.

Use a rivet gun to secure the rivet.

River trip part 3

Evinrude 30 Horsepower Angelina River TexasWhen planning a trip like a 100+ mile river / camping trip, its important to test your gear. Part of the testing phase is making sure your boat is in good running order. The purpose of todays trip was to test the boat to make sure it was in good running order.

A few weeks ago I put the boat in for repairs. During a recent camping trip a bolt fell out of the gear shifting lever, the water pump impeller has never been changed, and the spark plugs were looking a little old, the oil in the lower unit had never been changed and there was a short in the starter button.

Trip to the shop

I brought the boat to a local boat repair place. the service guy was told what I wanted, I even had him go out to the boat and take a look at something I wanted fixed.

River trip part 2

Toledo Bend DamFor those of you that have not read River Trip Part 1, please do so. After talking to my buddy about the boat launches I went and looked at on my first trip, he sent me an email with what was supposed to be a boat launch just south of the dam on Toledo Bend dam.

The plan for Sunday was for my wife and I to make a trip to Toledo Bend dam. There are two roads on each side of the river on the south side of the dam where the Sabine river starts. The goal is to see if there a feasible boat launch.

What I found on the trip on each side of the river were steep banks, and no real boat launch. There is a place where a pipeline crosses the river. On the Texas side of the river, it looks like bags of cement were placed on the bank to stop erosion. The bank is so steep that it would be dangerous to carry a boat and boat down the bank.

Comparing the banks at the Toledo Bend dam to the other boat launches:

From my house, its plus or minus a few miles, its 50 miles from my house to the dam at Toledo Bend

The banks dam are very, very steep. I would consider the banks so steep that it would be unsafe to a boat and motor down the bank.

River Trip Part 1

Sabine RiverFor around 14 years or so, a couple of my buddies and I have been talking about making a river trip from the northern part of the Sabine river, all the way to the Orange / Bridge city area. If everything goes according to plan, we will be making the trip sometime in 2012. The trip is currently in the planning phase – we talking about what boats we want to bring, where we are going to launch the boats at, who is going to be going on the trip,,, just stuff like that.

There are two boat launches in the Bon Wier Texas / Merryville Louisiana area that we are looking at using. On Sunday January 15, 2012 my wife and I made a trip to the boat launches to see if it was feasible to launch at either one.

Sunday morning started off bright and when my wife and I crawled out of bed around 8:45am. After getting our shower and having some breakfast, it was finally time to get one the road. We stopped at a local corner store to picked up some snacks, bought a sunday paper for the coupons, then it was to wal-mart to get some gas. If you use the wal-mart gift card, you save 3 cents a gallon on gasoline. A few days before hand, my wife put $40 on a gift card. When we stopped at the super wal-mart in Jasper I put the whole $40 in my truck.

After gassing up, and getting some snacks, it was finally time to get on the road. My wife and I left Jasper heading west on HWY 190 towards Newton. At Newton, we passed over HWY 87, then turned south on HWY 190.

Holy crap its hot

Lake Sam Rayburn 2001 Texas DroughtAnd not only is it hot, its dry. Its not that “oh, we did not get any rain in the past week” kinda dry, its like “we are in a SERIOUS kind of drought” type of dry.

Where is the rain?

Our lakes dry up, and no rain falls.

Our creeks dry up, and no rain falls.

Our crops wither away, and no rain falls.

Our tree sheds their leaves and start to die, and still no rain falls.

Back in February 2011 my kids and I went to the Bug Out Location and planted some trees. the trees included some oak trees, a plum tree and a peach tree. One of the oak trees had been grown from an oak that fell from the tree in my front yard. When the oak tree was planted, it might have been maybe 5 years old.

Over the past 6 months my family and I have been making trips to the camp to make sure the trees have been getting plenty of water. Well, over the past few weeks it looked like we had been getting some rain at the camp, so I did not bother checking on the trees. The problem is, the rain was a little of nothing.

August 20, 2011 my wife and I go to check on the trees, and they were in bad shape. Most of the leaves had turned brown and fallen off. There were a few green leaves, but not many. My wife and I put 2 gallons of water on the tree, waited about 30 – 45 minutes, and then put 2 more gallons on the tree.

Video about climate change and long term survival plans.

Becoming Complacent with Disaster Preparedness

As Hurricane Rita was making its way through the Gulf of Mexico in 2005, the projected path was towards the Houston and Galveston, Texas area. An evacuation was called for parts of Harris and Galveston counties. Which is where the cities of Houston and Galveston are located.

The way evacuations are “supposed” to work, the areas that are nearest the Gulf of Mexico are evacuated first. Which is Galveston, and lower Harris county. That is how its supposed to work in theory. In reality, how does one of the largest cities in the USA evacuate? They dont. There were stories of people spending 18+ hours on the highway and not even going 10 miles.

There are 2 major highways going north out of Houston – HWY 59 and HWY 45. Going east and west, there is Interstate 10, 1960, old HWY 90 and 105. HWY 105 is north of the Houston area. It goes from Beaumont, through Cleveland, Conroe and finally hits HWY 6.

Hurricane Rita After Action Review

When Hurricane Rita made landfall it was the fourth-most intense Atlantic Hurricane ever recorded and the most intense tropical cyclone ever observed in the Gulf of Mexico. After Rita made landfall in southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana, the storm caused $11.3 billion in damage.

The following story is my personal account of the days right before Rita made landfall, lessons learned, the actual landfall and the following days.

Wednesday morning it looked like Rita might hit Houston so my ex wife brought my youngest kids ages 9 and 11 to Bridge City Texas where my parents live, from there they (my kids and parents, not exwife) were going to evacuate to Jasper – to my house. Wednesday noon my 16 year old calls me, ask me to drive to Houston to get him out, my ex did not ask him if he wanted to leave before she left with the youngest children. At this time there was a voluntary evacuation of parts of lower Houston, Galveston area. So I left Jasper, drove to Houston, really the Bay town area to get my son.

1st lesson, have a full tank of gas going in and a plan for getting out.

Going into Houston was easy, everyone was going north – I was one of the few idiots going south. I was on HWY 96 headed south through Lumberton. Traffic was backed up through the entire city of Lumberton – 3 miles or so and 4 red lights. At this point I knew I was not going to be able to get back on HWY 96 north. I got on the phone with my wife, asked her to get on the internet – map quest, yahoo maps anything, and call her friends to see if they knew a way out of Houston using the back roads – she had about 2 hours till I needed the information. Going through Beaumont where 69-96 joins I-10, traffic was backed up for miles.

80 years Old and Starting Over

80 years old and starting over, that was the sad reality of the facts. There was no denying that around 5 feet of flood water had gotten into the house and there was no denying that the couple did not have flood insurance. The hard wood flooring that everyone had liked so much, after the water went down the flooring swelled and split the walls. There was so much pressure generated from the swelling wood floors, that not only did the walls split, but some of them were pushed off the concert slab.

Having lived in Bridge City for most of their lives, neither the husband nor the wife had ever heard of the type of flooding that was on the way. Hurricane Ike was like a dark cloud in the distance, almost like a bad dream, but this dream was real. For decades Southeast Texas had avoided the critical strike of a major Hurricane.

In 1969, Hurricane Camille made landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River.

In August of 1992, Hurricane Andrew was working its way towards Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana. But the wind currents turned Andrew to the North, and Andrew Made landfall around Morgan City, Louisiana.

In August of 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in the New Orleans area.

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