Drought on the Guadalupe Means Lower Rapids and Empty Coolers

GRUENE -- Bobbing slowly down the lower Guadalupe River in a rented inner tube, Sandy Martin angrily brandishes a nearly empty Coors Light at a pair of buzzards circling high overhead.

"Hey, go away!" she yells. "We're not dead yet!"

Not dead yet, but certainly in trouble. After only a couple of hours on the river, Ms. Martin, a 31-year-old Dallas resident clad in a neon pink bikini, is rapidly running out of beer. And the reason: After a prolonged spring drought, the 19-mile stretch of the Guadalupe River that flows (to put it generously) from Canyon Dam to Gruene is rapidly running out of rapids.

"My butt," says Ms. Martin, "is tired of riding these rocks."