"Kayaker ends 550-mile Colorado River trip at LCRA park" by: Mike Reddell

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
Nathan West talks to Matagorda students Monday not long after completing his 29-day kayaking adventure that went from Telegraph, Texas, to the mouth of the Colorado River.

   Nathan West met with Matagorda School students less than an hour after he completed the last leg of his 550-mile, 29-day kayaking journey down the Colorado River - and its tributaries - shortly after noon Monday. 
   “Thirty minutes ago I finished my kayaking trip that began in Telegraph,” near Junction, said West, the 22-year-old barber from Bastrop, who put in at LCRA Matagorda Bay Nature Park. 
   Tiny Telegraph is on the South Llano River, a tributary of the Llano and, eventually, the Colorado. 
   West actually arrived in Matagorda Sunday and put in Monday to paddle through the locks and down the river to the LCRA landing spot. 
   Meeting with Matagorda sixth through eighth-grade students who greeted him with paper banners – one was bracketed by barber poles - West told them he was only about four years out of graduating from Fredericksburg High School. 
   The affable West seemed at ease with the group, despite saying otherwise, and his inspirational message tied together what enabled him to continue down the long river miles and the drive to prove himself in difficult high school years. 

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