Maine woman canoes Guadalupe River in name of water conservation
Feb. 14, 2011 at 5:01 p.m.
Updated Feb. 13, 2011 at 8:14 p.m.
WHAT IS THE TEXAS WATER SAFARI?The Safari is a nonstop marathon canoe racing adventure, which traverses 260 miles of rivers and bays. Although the rate varies from year to year depending on water conditions, in previous Safaris as few as two teams out of 60 starters managed to reach the finish line. Many participants enter the Safari with no intention of winning, but with aspirations of joining the elite group of finishers and earning the coveted Texas Water Safari patch.
Adrianna Beaudette's tan is already in progress.
The 22-year-old Dallas native is attending the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, and decided to focus her senior project on water conservation by canoeing 260 miles from Spring Lake, also know as San Marcos Springs in San Marcos to Seadrift.
Beaudette finished her 16-day trek on Sunday. The travel was slowed by the recent extreme cold weather.
On Monday, she spoke with fourth-graders at Seadrift Elementary School. Beaudette will also speak with fourth- graders at Cuero Intermediate School on Tuesday about her trip.
"I liked going down the river and seeing how it changed," Beaudette said behind a set of sun-kissed cheeks.
The San Marcos and Guadalupe rivers empty into the San Antonio Bay in Seadrift.
The route is also the one taken during the Texas Water Safari, an annual race dubbed the "World's Toughest Canoe Race."
Beaudette had six canoe partners during her trip, including her mother, father and friends.
An avid canoeist, Beaudette is studying conservation biology and had not canoed in Texas until the trip.
Aside from taking in the Texas nature, she also took water quality samples that will be used to aid Texas water conservation groups in understanding the rivers better.
"I met a lot of different people who care about the river," Beaudette said.
Beaudette is still meeting them in the fourth-graders she has talked with. Beaudette sent letters to the students prior to going on her trip.
Aside from Cuero and Seadrift, she has also talked with students in Luling and San Marcos.
"It's about getting the kids and the community involved and showing them how the rivers are important and relevant in their lives," she said.
Beaudette's mother, Terry Ford, was her daughter's canoe partner at the end of the trip.
Ford believes in what her daughter was striving for, she said.
"I'm just so proud of her," she said. "We were all thinking about her."