Lake Travis
Adventures of Rainbow Chaser

This is Lake Travis, viewed looking north from the highway 71 bridge where it crosses the Pedernales River. Or, what is sometimes a river! The water is a pool. There is no flow at all. This is looking "down river" towards the lake. When the lake is at it's normal full level, it's about 40 feet higher than now, and there would be about 20 to 30 feet of water under this bridge.

Looking south, this would be "up river". I've fished up this way many times, going up another 8 or so miles. I've even taken Rainbow Chaser up to the bend about a mile up, and we've anchored out. Not today!

This is a view of Mansfield Dam.

And this is a view of what is normally the main pool, about a mile and a half wide. It's now full of "Sometimes Islands". Don't worry too much, though, as it's still about 160 feet deep in the middle!

This is a view across the inside of the dam, obviously, and you can see here just how low the water is. Those objects sticking out are the intakes. They are normally about 20 feet under water, but are now about 20 feet out of the water!

This is another view of the main pool from just a little different angle.

(These were taken on Sept. 26, 2000 with my Sony Mavica digital camera, using a polarizing filter)

This is a view of the cove at Briarcliff. This is looking east from behind Willie Nelson's restaurant.

There is a little community up the lake a ways called Windimere. They've got a boat ramp. They have no lake now! There was a dock with about 75 boats right beside the ramp last time I was there. I couldn't find it this time, I suppose it's now about a mile out there somewhere.

The low lake isn't limited to Travis. At the head of the chain of lakes on the Colorado River, Lake Buchanan, is being lowered to keep Travis from going completely dry. I took this picture standing on the edge of the ... well, what would have been water if it was full.

This is the west end of Buchanan Dam.

We got some rain the last part of October. Travis filled quickly. This graph shows just how quick it can - and did - fill. This is far from a record, though. In 1952 it raised 56 feet in one day!