Paddling the Guadalupe
Natural History - Nature Guide
6 x 9, 376 pp.
73 color photos., 6 b&w photos., 16 maps., 1 table.
Pub Date: 05/27/2008
River Books, Sponsored by The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, Texas State University
  paper
Price:        $24.95

978-1-60344-021-9

Published by Texas A&M University Press

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Paddling the Guadalupe

By Wayne H. McAlister
Foreword by Andrew Sansom

For more than forty years, Wayne H. McAlister has canoed the Guadalupe River, sometimes called the “top recreational river in Texas.” In Paddling the Guadalupe, he guides readers down this 400-mile river whose waters spring from the limestone of the Hill Country in Kerr County, meander across the broad Coastal Plain, and finally empty into the Gulf of Mexico at San Antonio Bay.

With the expertise of a life and career immersed in nature, he introduces readers to the places, people, plants, and animals—large and small, aquatic and terrestrial—that depend on the Guadalupe for either their livelihoods or their existence. With affection and humor (and sometimes aggravation), he wryly comments on the development and human activity along the river’s course, from the headwaters west of Kerrville to its mouth near Tivoli, just east of Refugio.

For the traveler, either on the river or along its course, McAlister’s knowledge of the grists, sawmills, dams, bridges, swimming holes, and reservoirs bring the history of familiar towns—Comfort, Canyon Lake, New Braunfels, Seguin, Gonzales, Cuero, and Victoria among them—to life. His love of the natural world, which shares the river’s bounty, will inspire and enhance anyone’s experience of the Guadalupe, from the serious canoer to the family vacationer.

Photographs taken over many years provide an intimate perspective, and sixteen maps help orient those interested in getting to know the river on a more personal basis.

After a thirty-year career as a biology professor at Victoria College, WAYNE H. McALISTER became an environmental education specialist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Stationed on Matagorda Island, he developed and presented programs on barrier island ecology for ten years before retiring to his home on the Guadalupe River. He is the author or coauthor of three books, including Life on Matagorda Island published by Texas A&M University Press.

What Readers Are Saying:

“McAlister’s is one of the finest books of nature writing I have ever had the privilege to read, certainly one of the best about Texas, ranking with the published works of top writers like Roy Bedicheck, John Graves, and Stephen Harrigan, with all of whom McAlister shares a love of his native land matched by a deep knowledge and long experience of its flora and fauna.”--M. Jimmie Killingsworth, author Reflections of the Brazos Valley

“McAlister’s is one of the finest books of nature writing I have ever had the privilege to read, certainly one of the best about Texas, ranking with the published works of top writers like Roy Bedicheck, John Graves, and Stephen Harrigan, with all of whom McAlister shares a love of his native land matched by a deep knowledge and long experience of its flora and fauna.” --M. Jimmie Killingsworth, author Reflections of the Brazos Valley

“This book is based on a lifetime’s experience by a knowledgeable and astute observer of the Guadalupe. It will stand out in the genre of river literature.” --Jim Kimmel, author of The San Marcos: A River’s Story

“For an explanation of why people are thrilled by exploring river channels, pick up Wayne McAlister’s fine new book, Paddling the Guadalupe. Few people know or love the Guadalupe as much as McAlister . . . . nice mixture personal canoeing experiences and river lore intermingled with a biology teacher’s lessons.” --The Bryan-College Station Eagle

“ This book is definitely one that anyone who loves the great outdoors will enjoy . . . . With humor and obvious passion, McAlister shows us how important the habitat and health of our rivers is to the life on shore. This is a great journey you’ll be glad you joined.” --Judy Barrett’s Homegrown

“The perfect summer read.” --Victoria Advocate

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