“On the River” with Eddie’s Back to School Float

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August 5, 2017 was a beautiful clear Saturday on the Red River. I had been invited on a “Back to School” float with the Eddie Trapp family, but declined the float portion, preferring to wait at the rendezvous point under the Highway 271 State Line bridge north of Paris, Texas.  You might already know Eddie, author of the article “On the River With E.T” published in the Cooper Review, and of a dozen compilation volumes from his adventure journals he has kept since his high-school days from 1963.

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Eddie Trapp with nephew Ryan Trapp and daughters

On Saturday I met Eddie’s brother Larry, and with his son Ryan and daughters, the family made up the merry crew of two vessels; one boat and a kyack.  The launching point was a boat ramp about five miles west of the state line bridge, at the Sanders Creek crossing near Arthur City. From there the two families began their eastward journey at an easy, floating pace. Larry’s granddaughters Rainie and Audrey liked the beach settings the best, so along the way there were stops to let the kids out to play in the rich red sand and frolic in the water. Ryan took the opportunity to let the girls maneuver the kyack. At another boat ramp along the way, the party talked with three game wardens who were loading up the jet-propelled boat which they use in their outlook for persons violating safety rules or state laws on the waterway. Back on the river, the float continued to it’s destination, the famed state line crossing where a meal of grilled pork chops would be prepared on the wide red beach below the bluff on the Texas side.


Larry Trapp with Ryan, Rainie and Audrey on one of the red sand beaches along the Red River

You may have noticed the old iron bridge, or railroad trestle whenever you have traveled into Oklahoma.  There’s easy access to the river’s edge along a narrow road running parallel to the highway on the east side. Even through I missed the famed “river float” that day, I enjoyed my time at the river, beholding the slow majesty of it’s movement but also guessing at the power it possesses swollen from rain. I am pleased there are still people like Eddie Trapp who pursue the outdoor life and invite us “landlovers” for a peek from time to time.



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Author: Enola Gay

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