When most people are still finding their first cup of morning coffee in Granbury, a three-man crew makes its way onto the city beach for the park’s daily makeover.
It’s a few ticks before 6:30 a.m., and the sun is about to paint its rays on the morning clouds.
It looks like an “easy day,” and the 16-foot dump trailer will only be filled up about three-quarters of the way. That is way down from the five trailer loads of water-sodden branches and logs the trio dealt with in early June.
Heavy rains bring loads of debris as floodwaters come into Lake Granbury, which the Brazos River feeds. Heavy debris can also occur when Possum Kingdom Lake’s dam opens its gates and increases water flow.
“We had a front-end loader and more equipment out here after the rains,” Josue Vargas said. “We had a lot of logs and wood to deal with when that happened.”
Even with no recent rains Vargas and Jesus Vasquez dealt with a good load of debris on a Monday morning that will be hauled off to dumpsters.
The two men walked the entire beach line looking for logs that can be dangerous to swimmers if they are submerged. As the trailer moving down the waterfront begins to fill up, it’s easy to see the beach would quickly look like a logjam if daily maintenance weren’t done.
In the background, the crew’s supervisor, Jose Juarez, is aboard a John Deere tractor and is dragging and raking the beach and the area’s around its amenities.
“There are some days when it takes a lot of work to clean up,” Juarez said. “Other days, it’s not so bad, but there is always debris that needs to be cleaned.”
It usually takes at least an hour for the three men to complete their task at the city beach before moving down and across the street to check the city boat ramp.
The boat ramp’s water frontage may not be as extensive as the beach, but it still accumulates many tree branches that can interfere with loading and unloading boats.
The work is messy and always a little wet, but it also provides a source of pride.
“I enjoy my work with the city,” Vasquez said. “When we leave here each day, everything is clean and fresh for people to enjoy the beach.”
While the trio might be considered “professional” beachcombers, the men haven’t found any gold coins or other valuables. The beach is a site for amateur metal detectorists who scoot away with their treasures.
“We find lots and lots of wood and other items to put in the dump trailer, but we haven’t found any gold chains or stuff like that,” Juarez said with a laugh.