Kayak #8, White Oak Bayou, May 27, 2020

Got an early start walking to the Ensemble/HCC Metro station and was on a train around 6:00 AM (foolishly trying to beat the heat) heading north.

Metro red line train at 6:00 in the morning….

Took it to the end of the line and then starting hiking west on Crosstimbers. Five miles (or so) later I was on the White Oak Bayou Hike/Bike trail looking for a way into the bayou.

Nice place to put in. Just north of 43rd street.

The bayou was flowing nicely.  I had found a NOAA website that shows flow rates and depths of the bayous around Houston (NOAA) . It showed that the bayou was a bit over it’s nominal low depth from the recent rains.

In the water and moving nicely!
Typical view from the water.

This was my second “channelized” bayou and, like Braes Bayou, the current was moving nicely, making for easy paddling. But there is NO SHADE at all so I’m glad it was early in the morning.

Wildlife admiring the graffiti.

Did not see as much wildlife as on the wilder bayous (as expected) but did see some birds, a few turtles and the ever-present fish. And there are some big guys in there. And something causing the fish to jump, one almost ended up on my boat.

Short section of rapids…. fun!

For the first 8 miles or so the bayou moved nicely with even a few short sections of rapids. The cross-section of the bayou is not a uniform depth. The sides are quite shallow, sometimes even dry. I had to stay in the deeper center part which is only about 10-12 feet wide so I had to pay attention to keep from bottoming out. On the plus side, there were almost no obstructions (i.e. tires, trees, shopping carts).

Little White Oak Bayou – a small tributary.

I took one short side trip a few hundred yards up Little White Oak Bayou which enters into WO Bayou just west of the I-45, I-10 interchange.

First good view of downtown.
The concrete (and the flow!) ends a mile or two from downtown.

As I neared downtown the flow slowed to almost no noticeable movement and the concrete ended.  It got prettier and harder. Typical.

The underside of a bridge – Harvey remnants?
And someone lost their garbage can.
Buffalo Bayou!
Allens Landing and the end of my kayak adventure.

After about 10 miles of so White Oak Bayou empties into Buffalo Bayou just across from Allens Landing. I paddled over and pulled out. Buffalo Bayou was moving well from all the recent rain. Then a short walk to the UH Metro station and heading home.

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