Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunset Paddle

This was only the second time I’ve ever been kayaking  --ever! The first was Fontana Lake just about this time last year. (see below).

Sunset Paddle is just a test drive on Watauga Lake in Carter County, Tennessee. There were four of us in four singles. The lake was very calm. Our route paralleled the AT from where it crosses the Watauga Dam and begins the climb to Vandeventer Shelter about 5.5 miles from the dam, northbound. (Although the direction of the trail is more northeast. The lake runs more easterly.)

We kayaked two miles one way. On the trip back, I wondered about the trail, up there on the ridge over us. I’d hiked it a couple of times. (Trust me, it’s uphill all the way. I’ve done both directions --north and south, uphill and downhill-- and they’re equally brutal.) The shelter was long ways beyond were we stopped. This was the first time I ever wondered about that part of the trail from this point of view.

Saw one Great Blue Heron and three Cormorants. Lots of Canada geese. One kingfisher. Crows. Pileated woodpecker. Jays, all over the place. No eagles!

The lake is lowering, of course, the bathtub ring is starting to show. The ever present litter is just more obvious now.

Still, a person can’t ask for much more. Elegant blue skies. Green forests. Not a cloud in the sky. Four colorful kayaks skimming across the water.


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