Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

A Vanishing Texas River Cruise

On Saturday, we went for a river cruise up the Colorado north of Lake Buchanan. The trip, called a Vanishing Texas River Cruise, was a Christmas gift from my parents, and they joined us for a beautiful trip into the Canyon of the Eagles, a bit of the Texas Hill Country that I’d never before seen.

The cruise starts on the far north end of Lake Buchanan at Canyon of the Eagles Park and goes upriver for about two hours. A tour guide points out various landmarks, relates the history of the region, and talks about the different bird species that roost along the river.

This is ceremonial rock. It’s near where the lake starts to become the river.

Ceremony Rock

Bird watching is the main draw and as we got away from the lakehouses and into ranch country we started to see a pretty good variety of birds including bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, turkey vultures, blue herons, pelicans, an osprey and some hungry seagulls, as well as a few herds of cattle and some goats.

This is a waterfall near the point where the boat turns around just south of Colorado Bend State Park, about twelve miles up from where we started.


The trip provided a nice way to see a slice of the hill country on a perfect spring day. At times I could look around and see nothing man-made, getting a glimpse of what this region might have looked like when the first Spanish explorers stumbled through searching for gold.

Despite the name, the river itself does not vanish, but as development in the hill country continues, the wildness is vanishing, though nothing actually disappeared while we were out there. In fact we saw quite a bit. Hopefully the ranchers and conservationists can hold out so that the river scenery and the bird species that depend on it don’t vanish too quickly.

Here’s some more pictures, mainly of birds.


  1. We went on the cruise a few years ago and really loved it! If you get a chance, stay at the lodge there — no TVs or phones. It is very serene.

  2. Looks like a gorgeous place, man. I flew over texas once, but I didn’t see any rivers.

  3. Looks nice!! Did you see any Guadalupe Bass??


  4. How can rocks be so beautiful?

  5. dquack, thanks for visiting. I’ll have to look into the lodge up there. It sounds nice.

    Arlen, there are actually quite a few rivers in Texas. All the lakes are man-made, though with the exception of Caddo Lake which was created by an earthquake in the mid-19th century.

    Dwayne, we saw quite a few bass being reeled onto fishing boats, but I don’t know what kind they were.

    Jessica, I don’t know, but I can look at rocks forever. I enjoy that I’m actually looking at history when I see these kinds of uplifts.

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