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Pasture Land along Colorado River as it goes through Bastrop, Texas

The Colorado River is the 18th longest river in the United States and the longest river with both its source and mouth within Texas; however its drainage basin and some of its usually dry tributaries do extend into New Mexico. The 862-mile (1,387 km) long river flows generally southeast from Dawson County through Marble Falls, Austin, Bastrop, Smithville, La Grange, Columbus, Wharton, and Bay City before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico at Matagorda Bay.


The Colorado River is probably the one called Kanahatino by Indians of the Caddoan linguistic family and Pashohono by some of the other Indian groups. It has also been identified as the stream that Juan Domínguez de Mendoza and Nicolás Lópezqqv called San Clemente in 1684, and as the one René Robert Cavalier, Sieur de La Salleqv, named La Sablonnière ("Sand-Pit") in 1687. The name Colorado, Spanish for "red," is evidently a misnomer, for the water of the stream is clear and always has been, according to the earliest records of historians. Most authorities agree, however, that the name Colorado was first applied by Alonso De León in 1690, not to the present stream but to the Brazos, and there is considerable evidence to support the theory that the names of the two streams were interchanged during the period of Spanish exploration. The present names, however, were well established before the end of Spanish Texas. Other historic associations along the Colorado include the river's use as a route inland by early colonists, including several of the Old Three Hundred who settled on its banks; the establishment of Austin as the seat of government in 1839; and the fact that in 1844, when both England and France were working to prevent the annexation of Texas by the United States, the British minister in Mexico secured a written avowal from Antonio López de Santa Anna to recognize the independence of Texas with the Colorado River as its boundary.


The Hyatt Lost Pines has a terrace ramp that goes all the way down to the Colorado River overlook with a very large concrete pad to set up your tripod. This photo was taken from that pad.

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Taken on November 21, 2009