Getting Wet on The Dallas Wave
Photos by Harry Wilonsky
For the moment, at least, it isn't easy to access The Former Trinity Standing Wave, known, for now, as The Dallas Wave -- though that's but an unofficial working title being floated out there (see what I did?). Willis Winters, assistant director of Parks and Rec, offered to show it off Saturday morning, and he instructed us to meet him at the 8th & Corinth Station so we could follow. The white-water feature is but a few minutes' drive away, but over an impromptu gravel road and beneath transmission towers and the Corinth Street bridge.
There's much work to be done on the project between now and its soft opening two months from now -- it's still very much a construction site, much of it related to the Santa Fe Trestle project that, when it's done, should connect Moore Park with the other Trinity rails. But as we've seen in the past, that hasn't stopped kayakers from donning their wetsuits, climbing in their cockpits and paddling out to the aquatic treadmill.
There were more than half a dozen men in boats out in the drink Saturday; they insisted it was warmer in the water than on the shoreline, where cloud cover and brisk winds kept us company. To a man they approved of The Dallas Wave (which is actually two waves), even on Saturday, when the water level was as low as they'd seen it in recent months. And they laugh at those who scoff at their submerging into the Trinity, where "water quality" is often considered an oxymoron.
Winters, standing with us on the shore, loves the location, which one day, perhaps sooner than later, will feature barbecue grills and other park-like amenities for bystanders and kayakers alike. "There's the downtown Trinity," he said, pointing toward the skyline, "then the natural river," looking downriver, toward the woods-shaded water flowing toward the Audubon Center, among Dallas's greatest treasures -- and best-kept secrets.
"Sometimes, when I stand down here," said Winters, one of the city's finest historians and most passionate advocates, "I forget I'm in Dallas."
The 7-year-old who lives in my house took the photos, but of course. And more follow.
Upside-down in the Trinity River, completely on purpose
Until the put-ins are completed, this is how kayakers enter the wave.