The River Dog and A River With Too Many ‘L’s

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Once on the cover of Texas Monthly, this river remains a mystery to most Texans. I can say this because I’ve kayaked it for years and seen but a few people enjoying the clear water flowing through a billion year old riverbed. The floodplain is wide, pushing development out of view from the river,  and when it floods, it is impossibly wide. Water-carved rocky banks, clear, deep pools, and grassy bottoms teeming with two-foot long alligator gar never fail to delight me. This is the Llano River; only 100 miles long but forever a part of those who have known her.

Whitewater, Texas style

Llano Rapids

Photo: Robert Deming

In Texas, we’re just glad to have enough water to float.  Is there a better summer pastime?  The Llano River between Yates Crossing north of Junction and White’s Crossing west of Mason has a fun pour-off.  The river flow in this photo is about 180 CFS (cubit feet per second).  If you pronounce the name of the river properly, yahnno, you are immediately recognized as an interloper.  Locals know the name of the river is pronounced lanno.  Hence, the river with too many “l”s.

Llano River near Mason, Texas

Llano Cliffs

Photo: Robert Deming

This is at a 90 degree bend in the Llano River out of Mason, with deep water for swimming and a riverbank for picnics.  The cliffs opposite are an ancient sandstone.

The Cliffs from above, on the Homer Martin Ranch

The Cliffs from Above on the Homer Martin Ranch

Photo: Robert Deming

The 200-foot tall cliffs between James River Island and Simonsville Road are stunning, both from below and above.  The river in this stretch southwest of Mason forms an “L” shape, with these magnificent dark red sandstone cliffs lining the turn.

Friends make a river trip more fun

Friends Kayaking
Photo: Robert Deming

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