Best rivers in Texas: Lavaca River

More Texas River Tracing, this one starting on the Navidad and ending on the Lavaca, August 2006. See posts and reposts here.

Now we know how it felt, in a small way, for explorers who misread incomplete maps.

This morning, on the third day of our Navidad river tracing, Joe and I retraced our steps through Point Comfort (a town with a difference of 200-residents on its population signs), past chemical and plastics plants, past snow-dappled cotton fields (“gotta get that cotton out before it rains,” one young woman told me), past Lolita to the confluence of what turns out to be the Lavaca and Navidad rivers, 10 miles or so above Lavaca Bay.

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Kreische Brewery Monument State Park. Photo courtesy of AustinExplorer.com.

There it was plain as day, but not marked clearly on our maps. So, in fact, the mouth of the phantom Navidad that we tried to spy from Point Comfort the day before is, instead, the disgorging of the Navidad/Lavaca river system. Later, we crisscrossed the Lavaca between this point and Hallettsville so many times, we can now say that we know both rivers in the sibling system.

Along the way, we dallied in the ghost town of Morales, formerly an outlaw nest, and witnessed a coyote chasing a doe (“our first mammal-on-mammal predation,” Joe pointed out.)

We also visited the Kreische Brewery Monument State Park, located high on a bluff above La Grange. Here lie the remains of Texans who fought as part of the Dawson Party in the 1840s (after Mexican troops retook San Antonio) and ill-fated members (the monument calls them “martyrs”) of the Meir Expedition, which aimed at capturing a Mexican city, but instead landed the Texans facing firing squads.

The brewery is a charismatic stone building, mostly in Roman-like ruins and half underground, yet the Kreische house, perched on a hill above the brewery, still looks in good condition.

We also stopped at every historical marker from the coast to the Hill Country, purchased a decaf at Latte on the Square, examined the superbly renovated Fayette County Courthouse and ate creamy chicken enchiladas at La Marina, housed in the former glory spot at the now-sad Cottonwood Inn.

All in all, a rewarding river tracing.

UPDATES: We’ll always update our trips and research on this blog. For a different display, go to TexasRiverTracing.com.