With the onset of Fall Break, some people like to use that time for relaxing and taking a break from the hectic environment the first 2 months of school can bring. Others
use that time to catch up on work or study for midterms the following week. Others, like the participants on this Outdoor Adventures Fall Break, chose to go coastal kayaking along the shores of Texas in Port O’ Connor and camp on the beach at Matagorda Island!
Leaving that Sunday of Fall Break, my assistant trip leader, Hunter Higgins,
three participants, and myself left for Port Lavaca, Texas at 7:00 am.
The drive down was worrisome as it rained and poured for most of the drive down to
the city. The weather reports were showing that the rain would keep on
coming throughout the trip, but we kept our fingers crossed and hoped that things would get better once we reached Port Lavaca.
Once we arrived in Port Lavaca, we got our first glimpse of the ocean.
Because of the rain, there was an eerie fog out over the water, and so we went
out onto a pier to get better idea of what it looked like out there. Once
on the pier, the fog lifted and we were presented with a beautiful horizon, one where there was nothing but ocean and sky. After taking this little break, we took down one of the kayaks from our trailer and did some brief lessons in a protected beach area. We covered the basic strokes and some of the safety issues if the kayak flipped. Even though one participant decided that he liked his kayak upside down, everyone did an amazing job getting the strokes down and I could not wait to see everyone in action the next day.
With the sun beginning to rise that Monday, we broke down our camp and loaded up our van and trailer and made the 40 minute drive to Port O’ Connor. Once there, we were told by one of the locals that the possibility of rain was a mere 10%! For the first time all weekend, the worry of facing stormy winds while kayaking was lifted from the group. From here on out, everyone was excited to be spending the night on the beach. After loading the kayaks and getting out to the ocean, we followed our trail at a leisurely pace as we had the wind to our back and not a care in the world. Eventually, we would arrive in our camp site, and from 1:00-6:00, our schedule consisted of the following…
1:00-2:00 set up camp
2:00-3:00 play in the waves
3:00-4:00 sun bathe
After a fine dinner, we all gathered together and shared how thankful we all were that we had this opportunity to connect with ourselves again as the weeks of school had taken much of our personal time away from us. As one participant said, it was the first time all semester that she was not worried about her homework, her job, and her cellphone for a long time. That night, we all went to bed to the sounds of the waves crashing and the sad realization that we would have to leave in the morning.
After waking up and fighting away the mosquitoes, we broke down camp one last time and loaded up the kayaks. After a tough but satisfying paddle back to the mainland, we loaded up the kayaks, had a great beach lunch, and then began our journey back to Dallas, knowing that even though tests, papers, and homework awaited us, we still had that one weekend of pure, unending peace and relaxation.