Amistad Road Trip
July 1-4, 2007

Click here for the Photo Gallery

Day 1: Sunday

Shortly after finishing up a hearty meal of bacon, eggs, and biscuits, James and his crew of Chris and Stephanie rolled up to my crib in Kyle. After packing a few things of mine… ok it was more than a few things, but I packed more camera gear and shooting related things than clothes… we rolled out of K-town in style. All of my neighbors were looking in awe at us rolling out with James’ Nautique 210 in tow. OK! I admit, they were asleep or reading the paper.

After a quick stop at the gas station and Mickey D’s, where I introduced the crew to my new Holga, we snapped a few lifestyle shots… if you can consider standing in line ordering a combo one truly lifestyle, we hit the road in earnest.

A quick scenic drive through east San Antonio (fire the GPS James!), we roll out through west San Antonio. Pretty much from San Antonio to Del Rio is a straight drive of about 3 hours.

We arrive in Del Rio and stop at HEB for some groceries. After James, Steph, and I procured the supplies and Chris guarded the boat (in 100+ degree heat, he almost died!) we head out for the last leg of our trip, destination: Laguna Diablo!

After two more GPS attempted misdirects, (fire the GPS! Haha) we arrive in Laguna Diablo. It is a nice quiet setup overlooking lake Amistad with several cottages around the site. From our porch we could see El Rio Diablo, the Devil’s River, which is to be our playground for wakeboarding, wakesurfing and wakeskating. It was a perfect location to stage our 3 day assault on Lake Amistad.

After a short break watching Cheaper by the Dozen 2, we lock and load and head to the boat ramp. Upon arrival, we start to back up only to notice two runabouts pretty much blocking a safe boat launch from the ramp. Wallies 1 and 2 spotted and tagged. After a hairy launch and narrowly missing some rocks, we head to the dock to pick up James. I notice then that two seconds after we pull out, all the wallies leave too. GRRR! I think they just were in awe of Chris’ amazing boat piloting skills.

A short drive down El Rio Diablo, and we find some good water. Chris takes the first set among the cacti and canyons. Kickflips #1 and #2 are both thrown on this run, both landed, with #2 being textbook perfect. Chris sets the bar high for the rest of us!

James takes a scenic run deep in the canyons, however, the water on that stretch is blown out and rollers abound, but the cool part was the scenery. Beautiful!

We pack James back in and head back up river and James hops back in the water and proceeds to tear it up with some stylish 180 grabs and some yummy roast beef. He got back in the boat with his fill of good riding.
Stephanie slashes it up on her board, and slashes it up some more, toe side, heel side, switch toeside and heel side. The girl needs a Roam or Covenant. She would dig the freedom to shred on those decks.

I take a set and my first hit on the 210 wake (it’s been a while!) I freakin launch up so high I passed out from lack of Oxygen. OK, I really tossed the handle and crashed, but that’s not quite as exciting. Getting the feel for the wake again (it was awesome) I tossed out a few tail grabs, 180s, and tweaked out backscratchers. It was a good start of the trip.

Chris straps into his wakeboard for one run, just enough to really piss off James and myself at his ease of stomping 360s! All this coming from a skater! Haha good run Chris! Back on the skate, Chris gets camera shy and struggles with the kickflips before finally landing a few. Next tricks Chris attempts some sick wake to wake 180 shuv to grabs. He took his beat downs for the day on that run, but he kept trying to land it. Dedication.

We whip out the surfer for our last run on the way back to the dock, snapped some nice sunset shots, some surfing lifestyle shots and had some beer. It was a good way to end our first day. Everyone feeling good, relaxed, and hungry for more… food in particular!

We recover the boat at the ramp and pull up for wipedown and cleanup. We had the pleasure of parking next to probably the most awesome boat you’ll ever see, a Mastercraft X-9. I know what you’re saying, “So what Swami!” but this was not just any X-9, this was “The Virgin Slayer”, and I know this because it said so in big vinyl letters on the transom. (why I didn’t get a photo of this is beyond me!) It should also be noted that Virgin Slayer’s Girlfriend looked anything but a virgin. Far, far from it! We debated what Virgin Slayer actually meant on the return trip home and James lays down the fatherly law and tells Stephanie that he never wants to see her on that boat.

We head back to camp and notice a huge storm cloud rolling in. Winds are picking up, lightning! We just barely beat this storm back to camp and scramble to get the boat secured and gear unpacked. I snap a few pics of this storm and we head in for some much needed pizza. It was also funny because this huge storm did not even drop a drop of water on us! Crazy!

We hang out watching Pirates of the Caribbean, and slowly we all crash one by one.

It was a good day.

Day 2- Monday:

A lazy morning of just slowly getting up. The sky is overcast, and the water is smooth, but not butter with a hint of wind tickling it on the top. No other boats are in sight. So we’re not in a hurry since it’s a wash for photos, so we’re taking our sweet time in getting going. The biggest decision is what to eat. Cereal or Breakfast tacos at Hooker’s. No the place is called “Hooker’s” and not the hookers. Disclaimer, there were no hookers on this trip!

James, Chris and I head out to get the butter, and butter there was. We didn’t see another boat for most of the morning. Each taking three long sets of buttery smooth goodness. The overcast was making for terrible color in the photos, so I switched to high contrast black and white and the photos came out great. We all worked on some new tricks. Chris was working on his toeside front rolls, James backside 180s, and 360s for myself and I even threw out a backroll that ended painfully in the end.

We got off the water around 1pm and decided to head into town for some lunch. We picked up Stephanie and headed into Del Rio for lunch at Wendy’s and supplies at Wal-Mart. That was an adventure actually.

Back at the lodge we finally get the XBOX hooked up with the coax adapter we picked up at Radio Shack. We decided to go hit the butter again instead of Halo 2, which would have to wait until later.

With the full crew on board, we head out and Stephanie gets in the water to take her set. We are about to get underway and all of a sudden the mood on the boat darkens. We realize we haven’t put the plug in and we’re taking water. We haul Stephanie back in, and were about to speed back to the dock when James dives in with his backup plug and puts it in the boat. We take the pump and empty out the engine compartment. WHEW Disaster narrowly averted.

Stephanie takes her set and sticks her first wake to wake of the trip… and then sticks another one. The first one was pretty big and was landed well. She looked happy with herself when she got back in the boat.

Chris straps back into the wakeboard and proceeds to throw some more toeside front rolls. On his second attempt he sticks it! First toeside front roll. Nice. Stephanie announces that she wants to try a toeside front roll. Riiiight!

We finish out the day with another 2 sets and then break out the surfer for some sunset surfing. What a way to end a great day on the water. The day was made better with some fresh burgers and desert back at the lodge with some Halo 2 on the Xbox. I took some star photos from outside our room and then went to bed. I was exhausted!





Day 3-Tuesday:

Another day on the water, we inflate the tube for tube shots. Chris takes a good set and we get some nice shots. We stop back in front of our lodge to pick up Stephanie and a breakfast taco. Yum. We get everyone back on board and head down to the cliffs for some hiking up to the caves. We are looking for one particular Indian cave with painting in it.

We look around for a place to anchor the boat and finally find a little cove. WE drop anchor and everyone but myself disembarks. (mainly because I didn’t want to mess up my Byerly 2 Crocks!

The hiking trip lasted about 10 mins before it was realized that the brush was too dense to get through, so we pack back into the boat and go down a little further to another cave and James and Chris get off to go hiking. That hiking trip lasted a bit further with them exploring a few low lying caves before trying to hike up to a higher cave. Again the brush was too much for shorts and no T-shirts.

We spent much of the next hour just floating in the water relaxing. What a way to spend the day! We take a surf set back to the lodge and drop of Stephanie, then some more surf sets back to the ramp to get the boat out. We head back and Steph had prepared us a yummy lunch of burgers and chips. We finished up our afternoon watching Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, before heading back to the water for yet another set.

Actually what happened is what appeared to be a storm was on fast approach, and the wind was picking up so we decided to cancel the evening boat trip and just take some down time relaxing and enjoying the last of the pizza, the wine, and the Tecate'. Boredom=mischief and there were several battles over the comfy chair and the remote. I was heads down most of the evening sorting out photos but the Collinge Crew was in full battle mode over anything they felt the others wanted. It was pretty amusing to watch.

Note: my arms are about to fall off!

Day 4-Wednesday:

We pack up for one last sortie on El Rio Diablo, and take along some new blood with us. One of the other groups in the resort tagged along for some wakeskate lessons (and later wakeboarding lessons too)

It was more of a personal day, so I left the camera in its bag. Chris and I were determined to land some new tricks. Chris working on a heelside 360 (backside or frontside, I forget) and took some hard beats on those attempts. I didn't take the same beats, but I worked my ass off to land some 360s, coming close on two attempts with a batted handle, and a one finger on the handle landing that I couldn't quite hold onto. So close! James even joined the effort with some 360 attempts of his own.

It was a good way to finish the trip.

We trailered the boat and went back to the cabin to pack our gear and head home. The amusing part was as we rolled into San Marcos we were greated by the rain which had dogged our friends in Austin for the past several days. We rolled back into town tired, sore, but happy inside.

It was the best wakeboarding trip... ever!


James: “Hey Swami, there are rabbits outside.”
Swami “I’m not THAT hungry!”

Someone: “Vigin Slayer!”
Everyone else: <Laughter!>

James: <insert every goat joke you've ever heard here>

Stephanie: These sunglasses are so cool, they are licensed by NASCAR!

Chris: I AM getting up.! (and proceeds to sleep for 20 more minutes)

James while the boat is circling around to pick up a rider: Hurry up! I want to beat this boat! (note: there were no boats in sight.)

James while driving: Man! This traffic Sucks! (note: there were no cars in sight.)

James while we are in the boat surrounded by butter: This water SUCKS!

Stephanie: Swami, would you hit it and quit it? (referring to Paris Hilton)
Swami: No!
2 seconds later....
Swami: Well... YEAH!

The next morning:

Swami : "I had a dream about Paris Hilton."
Everyone: "Ewww!"