The Brazos River Exedition #2: July 18, 1999
Page 2


The Brazos at Dennis, Texas, looking upstream to the west. Obviously a popular spot with the locals. This sandbar went quite a ways off into the distance, but we weren't interested in what was going on in this direction, for downstream were a series of smaller sandbars and mud flats that were being largely ignored by other folks. Below, the view directly across the river, where large rocks and bolders make for a scenic tableau. The water gets over six feet deep on that side, and the languid current makes it good for floating and swimming.

Dennis, Texas, turned out to be a worthwhile stop. Right in the middle of town was the bridge, with a dirt road running down underneath it and upstream a few hundred feet to the west the big sandbar shown in the top photo. The sandbar was relatively jumping with swimmers, sunbathers and folks hot-rodding up and down in Jeeps, trucks and off-road vehicles. However, I was more interested in the view downstream, where a series of sandbars and mudflats extended about a quarter mile into the distance. We determined to wade across and downstream to the first mudflat within sight, almost directly under the bridge.

Now, this is more like it!

The bottom of the river in many places is composed of soft, pure, current-rippled sand. Other places, you step into rich organic mud up to a foot or so deep. Still other places find the bottom covered in gravel and small rocks. All in all, the river in both places we've explored so far is remarkably free of obstacles like large rocks and submerged trees. For this we are grateful.


Wading across and downstream to the first mudflat was a bit more of an adventure than I counted on, as the water was soon up to four and five feet deep, although there really wasn't much of current to contend with. I must have looked like a porter out of an old jungle flick, balancing the camera bag with both hands on top of my head while chest deep in the river. We were forced to take more of a path directly across because of a traut line laid right across an area I had hoped would be a shallower crossing point. The air temperature was probably somewhere between 95 to 100 degrees Farenheit, even at 7:30 in the evening, and the water was even a bit on the warm side, but nevertheless felt quite refreshing.

Lots of mudflats and sandbars to explore! My heart lept with joy. Surely, there must be something of interest to be discovered here! I swear to you, my companion and I did not leave a square yard on any of that quarter-mile unstepped upon.