Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Great Morning Paddling the Eno River

5/08/2010 - Eno River, Durham, NC

Howdy! Saturday was a sunny day with temperatures in the low 80's and gusty 15 - 25mph winds. Not ideal paddling conditions, but with my weekends getting "busy" again... this looked to be my only opportunity to get out on the water for a couple of weeks. So, I went paddling! :-)

Put in was at the Eno River boat ramp. Water levels were very low. The Raleigh-Durham area has not had significant rainfall for several weeks. The dry conditions, coupled with the high winds, prompted a fire risk warning to be issued. All open flame burning was strongly discouraged.

I headed west on the Eno River. Beautiful morning conditions with the sunlight reflecting off the water. I decided to head for Oxbow Island and see if I could complete the circuit around the island.

Along the way, I came across this turtle swimming beside my kayak. At first, I thought it was a snake, but was pleasantly suprised it was not! He was a small one.

Spring in full bloom and so is the vine growth! I estimated there were 20-30 feet of vines wrapped around this tree.

Spied this interesting "dab" of sunlight providing a backdrop to these twisted tree trunks. Lots of beauty on the river... you just need to be looking out for it.

Approaching the Red Mill Road bridge over the Eno River.

What made my paddle special today were the 100's of yards of Honeysuckles (disambiguation) arching and twisting in huge shrubs along the river banks. I could smell their sweet aroma out to the middle of the river!

I discovered this neat little cove near Oxbow Island. The trees formed a canopy while sunlight filtered through and illuminated the shadowy corners. Beautiful!

Interesting tree trunk jutting out over the water.

I made it 3/4's of the way around Oxbow Island before I was stopped by low water levels, fallen trees, and other debris that clogged the channel back to the wider and deeper area of the Eno River.
I also passed two fishermen yakers, who were paddling east on their return leg to the Eno River boat ramp. I greeted them and asked about fishing. They had caught a few, but there were large areas of film and scum on the water surface that was interfering with their bobbers. They were not very talkative. I paddled on.

Here, about 1.5 hours into my paddle, I started to get hit with gusty 15-25 mph winds, that made for some hard paddling. I gave up after a short battle with the wind... and decided at this point to begin my return leg to the boat ramp.

Funnest conversation I had on the water occured on my return paddle. I like to really paddle hard during my last leg. So, as I was nearing the Eno River boat ramp, and digging hard, I saw two elderly African American fishermen standing on the river bank, casting their lines into the water. I greeted them with a cheery "Good Morning" as I passed. One of the fishermen called out to me in a puzzled tone of voice; "Where's the motor for that thing?" I held up my paddle and yelled "This is the motor!" He laughed and exclaimed; "You can really move out in that thing." Thing = kayak! :-0 Yep, you sure can. Great morning paddle!


  1. Your mention of honeysuckle brings back memories... I live in New York state now, and that's where I kayak, but I lived in West Virginia for about 8 years when I was a child. Love the scent of honeysuckle! I've had the same type of experience with a few "things" in the water... seeing just the head makes you wonder, doesn't it? One recent afternoon, my husband and I couldn't catch up to whatever was swimming away from us, but we think that one was a snake!

  2. Hi Ang! Honeysuckles were always a favorite of mine growing up too! As a kid, I loved to pluck the central stem and lick up the nector! And yes, lots of creatures are home on the waters, we are just visitors! Check out this early post of mine for other critters I came across while paddling.

  3. Good morning Mighty Mike!
    The pictures of the scenery on the Eno are absolutely gorgeous!
    I'm proud to say that I've had opportunity to take a scenic cruise of the Eno! Thanks to you and Rach!!

  4. I try to paint pictures with my narratives as well as my photos and I am glad to have succeeded here for you!


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