Locals Help Young Man Making Epic River Trip

Ethan West is a modest 22-year-old barber from the Fredericksburg-Mason area with an ambitious goal: to kayak 500 plus miles of rivers and lakes from just above Junction to Matagorda Bay.

He began his journey April 1 at the ghost town of Telegraph on the south branch of the Llano River. The main Llano enters the Colorado River at Kingsland. That route took him through the Highland Lakes, around several big dams and eventually to La Grange on his way to the coast at Matagorda.

As a veteran thru-hiker of the Appalchian Trail, West is familiar with multi-day expeditions. His boat is a 14-foot Wilderness Systems Tarpon sit on top he borrowed from his brother. “I told him if I ruined it, I would buy him another one,” he grinned. He better hope he doesn’t ruin it. His brother got the boat and some gear in perfect shape from a neighbor for $350. Replacement value on the craft is over $1,000.

Ethan’s brother and father, who are also barbers, give him haircuts for free. Ethan is the kind of guy who said if he had to pay for haircuts, “I’d shave my head.”


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Fayette County Record

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