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Drought Time: Five Fun Alternative Texas Water Spots When Rivers And Lakes Are Low

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As we noted yesterday, the ongoing drought is kicking the ass of Texas rivers and lakes.

The Guadalupe is just inching along, low in its banks, formerly underwater roots exposed, making toobing not the traditional summer romp it usually is. (You may end up doing some walking along the way.) The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department has warned that low lake levels cause more boating accidents.

And all of a sudden this year, water parks across the country have become riot zones. None here in Texas, but you never know.

So what's a water-loving texan to do? Think waters that are spring-fed instead of rain-dependent. And think salt water. Here are five alternative places to have your water fun in the hot, dry summer of 2011:

5. Barton Springs For decades now, Texans have been freezing their balls or their titties off at Barton Springs, the river-like

4. Twin Lakes Scuba Park, Manville Ever wanted to scuba down to explore an underwater bus or Airstream trailer? Twin Lakes, down 288 in Manville, is your place. The 31-acre aquifer-fed lake offers scuba lessons, or if you're already qualified, you can dive in and escape the heat.

3. The Comal River Spring-fed and cold, this is the alternative to the Guadalupe. It's the shortest navigable river in Texas, it feeds the Schlitterbahn water park, and -- it must be said -- is probably going to be very, very crowded.

2. Frio River As George Strait says: I remember that old Frio River Where I learned to swim But it brings to mind another time Where I wore my welcome thin By transcendental meditation I go there each night But I always come back to myself Long before daylight

Another spring-fed Hill Country river, the Frio is on the far side of San Antonio but has long been a destination for visitors, especially around Garner State Park.

1. Surfside Beach You could go to Galveston, a perfectly fine option. The Gulf of Mexico isn't affected by the drought. But you do have other options -- South Padre if you're into distance, of course, but if it's daytrip time consider Surfside Beach. It's down by Freeport, which has attraction in its own right, and it offers a more placid, natural bit of Texas gulf.

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