PBS SHOW City Camping, Water Safari, Caddo Rain #2721
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PBS SHOW City Camping, Water Safari, Caddo Rain #2721

– NARRATOR: The Texas Parks &
Wildlife television series
is funded in part by
a grant from the
Wildlife and Sport Fish
Restoration Program.
Through your purchases of
hunting and fishing equipment,
and motorboat fuels,
over 50 million dollars
in conservation efforts are
funded in Texas each year.
Additional support
provided by Ram Trucks.
Built to serve.Coming up on
Texas Parks & Wildlife… – So I don’t buy this argument
that people aren’t enjoying the outdoors anymore. I think they’re just enjoying
it in different ways. – It may be a little bit
of a pride thing when you get to Cottonseed! That’s got to be the hottest
spot in the whole race and you don’t want to mess up! – We’re going to go the same
speed the entire time and we’re going to hit our
checkpoints when we say. So, you know our strategy is
basically keep our energy up through the whole race
so that we can finish! [theme music] ♪ ♪– NARRATOR:Texas Parks &
Wildlife, a television series
for all outdoors. [playful music] – I work for the Paramount
Academy for the Arts, which is the education branch
of the Paramount Theater. Working at the Paramount is a
very fast-paced environment, it’s “go go go!” Okay. [chuckles] You know what I mean? Oh, I don’t know. Is “showstoppers” one word? Yeah, I’m excited! See ya! Paramount is in downtown Austin. It’s right off Congress Avenue,
just a few blocks from the Capitol. Everything is very fast-paced. So that’s why I really like
to take a step back, take a breather, get outside. There are so many opportunities,
even within an hour’s drive. So I don’t think it’s
difficult to get outdoors, but it is something you
have to – you have to make it a priority. I think a lot times being
outdoors can be intimidating. I definitely felt that way,
I know a lot of people feel that way. But I don’t think you have to
have that background information to enjoy a state park. I don’t think I bring anything
super-special to the table, I just ask the right questions,
and I’m not afraid to admit when I don’t know the
answer to something, or don’t know how
something works. It’s not state of the art. It’s not anything fancy. It’s pretty simple,
but it works for me. I probably do not get
outside as often as the generation before me. But I also think
it’s coming back into style. I think people are re-realizing
the value of being outdoors, and value of just experiencing
and enjoying nature. I don’t know what it is but
it does not look friendly. I don’t think anyone
hates the outdoors. That’s bogus when
people say that. I think there’s something in
the outdoors for everyone and you just have to find
what your thing is. So I don’t buy this argument
that people aren’t enjoying the outdoors anymore. I don’t think that’s true. I think they’re just enjoying
it in different ways. I don’t think there is a
right way to use nature, you know what I mean? I don’t think there is a right
way to experience the outdoors. Reading a book outside is
one of my favorite things. And it’s good in almost
any circumstance. And if you’re going for a selfie
versus going to tough it out in the wilderness for five days,
great both are valid options. Alright, I’m going to do it. I’m going to be
super-narcissistic and get a selfie. Please don’t judge me. I think the outdoors are for
everyone, I think they are called “public lands”
for a reason. [crickets chirping] [bird chirping] [tent crumpling] [door slams shut] – Alright. I think we’re good. I feel like that’s a common
goal in general… is to, “I want to spend more
time outdoors.” But until you book it,
until you make the plans, it’s not going to happen. [gentle music] And the opportunities are
there, it’s just about really committing to it
and going for it. [gentle music] [acoustic music] ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [rushing water] [whistle]– NARRATOR: The Texas
Water Safari…
a race for warriors.– You know parts of the river
have been pressure washed, and it’s just like a highway,
like driving down I-35. But then, you know, you get
to a spot that’s completely junked up and jammed up.– NARRATOR: A race
to reconnect.
– The partnership and the
love that you feel, you know, going through this,
it’s just amazing. – It’s rewarding and ridiculous
all at the same time! [upbeat music]– NARRATOR: It’s just past six
on a typical Tuesday night
for John Medrano.– You’re doing it with
your spouse?– NARRATOR: His wife Jenni
just beat him home.
– JENNI: Hey babe! – JOHN: Spaghetti!– NARRATOR: Your busy American
family with two jobs,
two kids, and an incredibly
hectic life.
– JENNI: Aw man, that’s it! – JOHN: That’s it! A lot of that personal time
that we spent kind of came to a halt. I thought we had some of
the other stuff. – I mean you just kind of wake
up one day and you look at each other like who are you,
you know, cause you spend all of your time trying to do
everything you can for the babies. And you kind of look at each
other like, you’ve changed and you don’t really know
what you’ve changed into! – Apparently at some point,
at some point along the way I became grouchy! [Jenni laughs] – JOHN: Careful it’s hot! – DAUGHTER: This here
booboo does it hurt? – Which one? – This one? – Oh yeah, that’s a callous. So tomorrow, it’s like
standard run, get up at 4:00, out of here by 4:30. I’m totally spaced right now! I’m so tired!– NARRATOR: John and Jenni
are training for the
Texas Water Safari…which is about four
months away.
– JENNI: I know I’m going
to have trouble steering!– NARRATOR: Neither had even
paddled in a canoe together
before this.– JOHN: All right, ready! – Ready babe?– NARRATOR: And now they train
together just about every day.
– JOHN: It’s gotten a lot
better, compared to the first time we were out here,
we didn’t have these paddles turned the right direction
as embarrassing as that is. [laughs]– NARRATOR: They’ve named
their team
Couples Therapy.– So we had lost you know
a lot of time together, and this is an effort in
trying to get that back, and it’s worked wonderfully. It’s been healing and helpful
for us in a lot of ways. – JENNI: I had to spend most
of the time at the beginning just basically making
the boat go straight. So now I’m trying to
learn my paddle technique.– NARRATOR: Paddle technique
is not a problem
for teamTexas Flood.– GASTON JONES: That might
be as good as it gets, it’s called closed cell foam,
so it doesn’t take on moisture. – JEFF: Our bilge pump, a lot of
effort in water evacuation. – I think these weigh 22 ounces and these weigh 7 ounces maybe.– NARRATOR: The six man
veteran team won last year
and is expected to repeat.– The best thing is just
we’re all good friends you know it’s just guys that
I enjoy spending time with. – Hut! – GASTRON: You know we did it
last year, we put the team together, we all had a real
good time after the race we all wanted to race
together again. [paddles splash water] – ANDREW: Training run,
we’re going 48 miles. We’re going from here
to Palmetto State Park. [paddles splashing water] When we’re training we’ll
go real hard for a mile. Do like a mile interval,
on a high fast water I think we’ve gone close
to eleven per mile. – GASTRON: Heads up!– NARRATOR: Deemed the world’s
toughest canoe race,
the Texas Water Safari is a
260 mile river adventure
from San Marcos to Seadrift.It started in 1963 and has
become one of the premiere
paddling races in the country.[raging rapids] – Ohhh! Look at him! Oh poor baby! – NEWS ANNOUNCER: Good evening
from Central Texas, the scene of utter devastation,
a natural disaster of epic proportions after days of
relentless, historic rains triggered raging floods.– NARRATOR: Because of the
historic flooding,
the race is postponed twice.Delaying it over a month.– JENNI: But know nothing is
going to be the same, and we’re novices, so you know
we prefer to go look at it, scout it out. So it’ll be interesting! [water rages]– NARRATOR: With just a week
till the race, both teams
get in a final practice.– As compared to previous
years that we’ve raced this is probably one of the
highest water years that we’ve seen. So lot a junk, lot a logs,
lot of portaging in the river.– NARRATOR: The six man team
swamps at cottonseed rapid.
– So we’ve been practicing
this stretch all spring and we had it each turn
just down pat, you know we were nailing it! And then it flooded and
everything’s changed and we’ve got almost zero time
to learn the whole river! – JENNI: Hut! – JOHN: You know it’s both
excitement and nervousness… – JENNI: Hut! – JOHN: We’ve been working for
I guess five months now, just working our butts off to
get ready and it’s almost time! – JENNI: Hut! – ANNOUNCER: We’re just going
to blow the whistle, there’s going to be no
other countdown. So when you hear this whistle,
you head for Seadrift, okay. And y’all have a safe trip!!! [whistle] [water splashing] [upbeat music, crowd cheering] [upbeat music, crowd cheering] [upbeat music, crowd cheering] – ANDREW: It may be a little
bit of a pride thing when you get to Cottonseed! That’s got to be the hottest
spot in the whole race, there’s people everywhere. But we had swamped in
practice a couple of times, and so you want to do it well. You don’t want to risk
messing up your race there by doing something silly. And you don’t want to mess up! [crowd cheering] [raging rapids] [crowd cheering] – Here they come! – Me and John, our strategy
is slow and steady, we’re going to go the same
speed the entire time and we’re going to hit our
checkpoints when we say. So you know our strategy is
basically keep our energy up through the whole race
so that we can finish! [crowd cheering] – We are at Fentress,
on the San Marcos River waiting for team 150
to come through! They’ll throw their empty jugs
out up river, you get three jugs in each hand
and just throw them in there when they go by! And just keep on going!– NARRATOR: The paddlers
aren’t the only ones racing.
Support teams scramble to stay
a step, and a stop ahead.
– We stay up, we don’t sleep,
might get like a 20 minute nap somewhere,
but for the most part we have to keep going
through the whole night! It’s fun, it may be less
fun tomorrow if you ask me! I think we got it,
here I can get that! [river rapids] [cheering] – JILL: Hey Cathy, they’re
coming over here! I can’t pull anything out,
pull your jugs out, they don’t want us doing it! Will you get that
white bottle out! – FAN: Way to go guys! – VOLUNTEER: Now we have to
hurry up and wait somewhere else! [cheering] – MOTHER: There’s Dada,
yeah Dada! Yeah, yeah, yeah! [rushing water] – FERNANDO: Let’s go, let’s go! Doing good! – Doing ok so far! We’re staying on schedule
that’s good! – This is fun! – JOHN: Well at Zedler, we’re
preparing for nighttime, it’s going to be dark. We don’t want to have to pull
over on the riverbank and put lights on,
so we’re doing it now. – Look we have matching lights! – They said at Palmetto
you need to go right! – JOHN: Try not to spend too
much time there, it’s easy to spend time at checkpoints
talking or doing things we don’t want to
get in this trap. We just want to get right
back in the water now and go! – FERNANDO: All right
keep up the good work! – JENNI: Thank you! – FERNANDO: Absolutely,
keep it going! – JENNI: Hut!– NARRATOR: As sun sets on
day one, the solitude
and silence of the
San Marcos River sinks in.
– ANDREW: There’s no ambient
light, so you’re hearing noises all night, rushing
water, different sounds, things scratching through
the underbrush. And you have no idea what
it is you can’t see it! You can only see
straight ahead. It’s night, it’s dark,
you’re tired. – GASTON: Do you
know how far back! – VOLUNTEER: You’re good man! – ANDREW: That’s one of the
hardest stretches of the race, just that first night, when
you’re really all alone and you’ve been paddling all
day, and kind of dawns on you that you’re a third
of the way done! – JILL: You all look great! – CHILD: No mamma, no mamma! – MOM: Hang on! – Look baby
Daddy’s in the boat, say go Dad go! You got to be louder
so he can hear you! Hey babe! They look good! [crowd cheering] – This is my vacation, man! It’s a hell of a lot easier
than going to work every day! I mean for sure, so, so day
two when you’re super tired and all you’re focusing on is
staying healthy and trying to get that paddle in the
water and pull on it hard. You’ve totally forgotten
about everything else. You get to this real
simple existence. [egrets calling] – GASTON: It’s just a beautiful
river, year after year, you see things change. You see the same magnificent
tree year after year. Certain places that no one
has access to unless you paddle to it! [upbeat music] – It is 7:48, and our
guys are coming in to the finish line! [upbeat music] – Here they come! – WADE BINION: You’re drained
physically, you’re at your limit and you’re almost there! – I think, hey Sam,
did somebody just bale, did they just flip? Yeah, that sucks! They just flipped
out in the bay! So they’re trying
to get back in!– NARRATOR: Despite the dump
in the bay, Team Texas Flood
finishes the race in 35 hours
and two minutes
winning the Water Safari
for the second year in row.
– It’s kind of a
culmination of all the hardships you’ve been going
through, you’re reaching your accomplishment, your goal,
so it’s very emotional. [crowd cheers] [splash in bay] You reach that point put your
stamp on it good or bad, and you can look back and be
proud of what you’ve done! [crowd cheers] – GASTON: You know the race
isn’t all about the race, it’s more about the experience,
the camaraderie, and I really enjoy spending
time with all these guys! That’s what’s important
you know really! – PHOTOGRAPHER: Look right
here guys, right here! [uplifting music] [paddles gently splashing] [crickets chirps] – FERNANDO: So how you all
holding up? – JOHN: All right! Oh yes! I think this is like my third
Whataburger meal in two days! – JENNI: It’s probably 90%
mental by this point, we learned the skills as best
we could in seven months, but it’s very challenging,
it forces you to push it to the limit and that’s
what we’re here for! – JOHN: See you all
after a while! The relationship, we’ve been
together 12 years, and things we’re great before
kids, we had a lot of fun, we did a lot of
traveling right! A lot of that personal time
that we spent you know doing fun things kind
of came to a halt. So we had lost you know
a lot of time together. – JENNI: Move over
close to the trees! [raging rapids] – JOHN: Get pounded from
waves from both sides! – JENNI: You better hurry! – JOHN: Yep! – JENNI: Ha, ha! The river healed me
and John quite a bit! Hut! And it brings your priorities
back into alignment, you realize what’s really
important in life, and this race is all about that! [uplifting music] – FERNANDO: How we doing? Over here! – JOHN: All right, we’re doing
wonderful! – FERNANDO: Right here,
right here! – JOHN: That was miserable! – FERNANDO: Go past
the blinking light! – Oh that was just never ending! – FAN: You guys are
doing awesome! – John was a little
concerned about me! I’m hallucinating
pretty badly! At least they’re good
hallucinations! – JOHN: Also right now, is
we’re not taking care of ourselves like we had
throughout the race. Every hour we ate,
consumed stuff! We were making sure we
were drinking a lot. We weren’t doing these
basic things to keep ourselves healthy. You know what I need! I need a Zantac! I have like raging heartburn! [uplifting music] [crowd cheers] [uplifting music] – Yeah they took a beating
this time! They took a real beating, you
get hooked, it’s a spiritual cleansing, because it makes
you appreciate everything. All the small little things
like a place to lay down! [uplifting music] – They’ve persevered
through a lot. Sleep deprivation, not eating
a lot, maybe not being able to hold down food! Uh, they’ve accomplished
quite a big feat!– NARRATOR: After three days
and paddling 260 miles,
John and Jenni finally make
it to Seadrift together.
– JOHN: I guess it’s a testament
to how much you do love somebody, right,
regardless of what state your relationship’s in! When you can sit down and
do something so difficult together, for the sake of
healing all the things that have been going on. – Me and John connected
on a level that you don’t even think’s possible. And it’s amazing to be with
someone through this journey and know that when you are at
your lowest point, and you don’t think you can
go on, someone’s going to pick you up, and you figure out
really fast what you’re capable of, and what’s important
to you out on that river. [crowd cheers] – JOHN: It’s great, it’s a
wonderful feeling! [uplifting music] – JENNI: The race was amazing,
and it changed us, it did what it was
supposed to do… and we’re absolutely
addicted, so we can’t wait to get
back on the river now! [paddles splash]Let Passport to Texas
be your guide.
Listen to the weekday
radio series
and encounter fascinating
Explore the diversity of our
parks and historic sites.
Enjoy the country’s best
hunting and fishing.
[shotgun blasts]Visit passporttotexas.org
to find a station near you.
And remember,
life’s better outside.
[birds chirping] [birds chirping] [rainfall] [rainfall] [rainfall] [rainfall] [birds chirping] [birds chirping] [birds chirping] [birds chirping] [birds chirping]– NARRATOR: This series is
funded in part by a grant
from the Wildlife and Sport
Fish Restoration Program.
Through your purchases of
hunting and fishing equipment,
and motorboat fuels,
over 50 million dollars
in conservation efforts are
funded in Texas each year.
Additional support
provided by Ram Trucks.
Built to serve.

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