The team paddles under the SH 124 bridge between High Island and Winnie. Pam LeBlanc photo

It looks like West Hansen and the 3rd Coast Cowboys will roll into Sabine Pass sometime Monday afternoon, completing their kayaking trip from the southern tip of Texas to the Louisiana border in 13 days.
The four paddlers – Hansen, Jeff Wueste, Jimmy Harvey and Branndon Bargo – started this morning with a delivery of clean, fresh shirts from Game Guard Outdoor Outfitters, compliments of photographer Erich Schlegel, who handed out the gear before the guys climbed into their boats for the day. They looked ready for a formal sit-down dinner, complete with sandwiches spread with Grey Poupon.

Erich Schlegel hands out free clean shirts to the paddlers this morning. Pam LeBlanc photo

Other highlights of the day?
A massive suck followed by a major wave, delivered by a passing barge as the team broke for lunch at Rollover Pass. The wave flipped Jeff Wueste’s boat, dumping and flooding half his snacks. It also slurped up some of our shoes, assorted water bags, and Jeff’s just-opened can of tuna.
That didn’t matter to Schlegel, who fished the tin out of the water, swished it around in the murky brown channel to rid it of the worst germs, and tossed it back like a waiter at a fancy restaurant had just placed it in front of him. (I’m still waiting for the after effects of this move, but Schlegel still seems fairly perky as of 8:30 p.m.)
At about 5:30 p.m., the crew pulled into the State Highway 124 Bridge, where Hansen’s mother, two sisters, and brother-in-law had gathered to deliver water and barbecue sandwiches.

Ann Hansen, West Hansen’s mother, went to the SH 124 Bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway to deliver barbecue sandwiches and water to the team. Pam LeBlanc photo

From there the guys paddled another 5 miles and made camp on the side of the Intercoastal Waterway.
Schlegel and I fueled up at a Vietnamese restaurant in nearby Winnie, lost the will to camp, and are currently shacked up at the Motel 6.
We’re expecting the adventure to wrap sometime tomorrow afternoon, then I’ll head back to Austin. It’s been a crazy two weeks, but I’m going to miss this nomadic lifestyle.

Branndon Bargo, top, and Jimmy Harvey, bottom, nap during a lunch break on May 31. Pam LeBlanc photo

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