Yellowstone Paddleboat Ride on the San Bernard River - March 11, 2017
by Mary Brown

Bingo winners on the trip down to the paddleboat.
On Saturday, March 11, 2017, thirty-five Texas Instrument Houston Alumni and friend/family set off for an adventure to discover the San Bernard River aboard the Yellowstone Paddleboat. The day was overcast and the news had been predicting rain for the day. That did not deter this fearless group of day trippers. The weather held off while we boarded the bus at Bayland Park. The ride to the paddleboat was just over an hour. That was ample time to pass out a snack bag and play three games of BINGO. I have to thank Tom Croissant for shouting BINGO for the shy winners.

It was misty when we arrived at Dido's Restaurant where the Yellowstone Paddleboat was docked. However, we were warmly greeted by the staff and the owner Nancy Kanter. A few of the guest ordered drinks to take aboard the ship to make it feel like a real cruise. The Yellowstone had enclosed seating on the lower deck; however, some of us chose to go upstairs where there was an awning over some table and chairs. We had a few drops of rain seep through, but since we are not made of sugar we survived.

Nancy was a little damp because she was going between the levels to convey the history of the Yellowstone Paddleboat and the facts about the San Bernard River. She told us that the boat was built on the banks of the San Bernard River by a retired fellow co-worker from Dow. She watched his progress on her way to work. Around 2005, Mike Leebron purchased the boat and renamed it the Brazos Belle. Leebron was a licensed riverboat captain and a trial lawyer in Houston. He made major renovations, estimated cost of a million dollars, then moved it to the Brazos River, south of State Highway 35, near East Columbia. Unfortunately Captain Mike passed away unexpectedly in July 2013 of a heart attack. The new owners put a bid in on the ship. Even though theirs was not the highest, Mr. Leebron's estate felt they would carry on Mike's dream of preserving a piece of Texas history.

They renamed the paddleboat after the Yellowstone side paddle wheeler that a played an important role in the Texas Revolution of 1836. That Yellowstone took the Texas Army, under General Sam Houston across the swollen Brazos River, ahead of Santa Anna's pursuing Mexican Army. This positioned the Texas Army for the battle at San Jacinto and Texas independence.

Nancy told us that the San Bernard is a spring fed river. So when the other rivers are flooding, the San Bernard is not affected. The high and low tides in the nearby Gulf of Mexico do affect the river depth and cause it to rise and fall some daily. We enjoyed seeing all the beautiful homes along the river and believe it or not, there where people out in their yards waving at us and blowing us kisses because they love the San Bernard as much as we did.

We all enjoyed the great food prepared in the kitchen at Dido's Restaurant. We were loving food and company so much they had to say, "You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here!"

We played a few more BINGO games on the way home and our bus driver, Karena, based upon her experience taking other groups, shared some places that we might like to go in the future. When we arrived back at Bayland Park it was a miracle "No rain."


Della DuHart, Mary Green, Delma Hogan-Cotton, Deloris Baugh, Bernadine Dennis, Diane Murry, Jean Houston, Daruth Jones, Sylvia and Charles Slanina, Lawson and Kay Cook, Tu Le and Gi Ba Dang, Theresa Nguyen, Tom and Fermina Sutter, Tom and Cindy Croissant, Gurrette Roep and her friend Patsy, Sarah and Wayne Kovar and sister Joyce, George Wolf and his favorite sister-in-law Ann, Brenda Moss and her friends Marilyn and Bill, Mary Brown and her friends Janet, Anne, Yvonne, Patty and Norma.

We had 3 last minute cancelations (Jeanette, Jeanne and Lila) we hope they are feeling better soon!

Please join us for the next Day Trip Tuesday, April 25, 2017 to Historical West Columbia, the first Capital of the State of Texas.

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