I’ve paddled the Devils River in West Texas three times in the past three years, and camped out there at least three other times.
During my last canoe trip a few weeks ago, clouds of Monarch butterflies drifted along the river corridor as I paddled through rapids and camped on islands.
I love the place. It reminds me of what Texas must have looked like generations ago, with its prickly, wide open spaces and a clear ribbon of turquoise water. It’s home to my favorite swimming hole on the planet, and scene of the great pinning of my Alumicraft canoe (thanks Indian Creek rapids!). I’ve eaten giant steaks on an island in the river, stepped over a tarantula on a ridge overlooking it, and flipped out of my canoe a time or two navigating rapids.
It’s been called the most pristine river in Texas, and I want to help keep it that way.
The Devils River Conservancy, which works to protect the river, has held its annual fund-raising event at the Witte Museum in San Antonio in recent years. Thanks to the pandemic, that’s not happening in 2020. Instead, the organization is hosting an online auction, where you can bid on items like art, guided tours, aoudad and turkey hunts, vintage drawings of Texas dams, gear, and a stay in the historic white house on Rio Vista Ranch. For $30, you can even get a Devils River Annus Horribillis 2020 shirt.
Proceeds support strategic water research, education programs, and advocacy to ensure the river remains wild and pristine for future generations.
The auction is open for bidding through Nov. 7 at Wild Devils 2020.