Saturday, April 23, 2011

First Paddle of the 2011 Season!

4/23/2011 - Beaver Dam Lake, Wake Forest, NC

Finally! Our first paddle of the 2011 season was Easter weekend at one of my favorite haunts - Beaver Dam Lake! Rachel and I had a few "domestic chores" to accomplish early Saturday, but by late morning our kayak and gear was loaded into my truck and we were heading down Highway 50 to Beaver Dam Lake. Saturday late morning was cloudy with temperatures in the upper 60's and a slight breeze. Nice paddling conditions.

Our tandem Mainstream Escapade at the Beaver Dam Lake boat ramp.

Spotted this dog silhouette and four others positioned on the beach near the swimming area. I assume these "dog scarecrows" were designed to keep the geese and other fowls from "fowling" (:-O the sand and waters. Hopefully, these faux dogs will help keep the Beaver Dam Lake swimming areas in a more healthy condition for park visitors?

Safety is ALWAYS a priority with us. Rachel (wearing her PFD) ready to put in. Note, we always carry a spare paddle lashed to the deck, compass mounted just forward of the bow seat and our other gear in dry bags.

Met a fellow who was putting in this red canoe. He had built the interesting wood seat backs himself because of the lack of such support in a traditional canoe seat configuration. He was looking forward to a day of fishing.

Rachel, in her customary front seat.

We noted that the park had conducted some controlled burns to thin out the thick under brush that bordered much of Beaver Dam Lake.

We spotted this large tree stump that had been deposited on top of the Beaver Lake Dam. The earthen dam separates Beaver Dam Lake from the larger Falls Lake. BTW, we were excited to finally spot a beaver (twice!) on the lake named after the rodent! Unfortunately, the animal was too fast diving under water for me to pull the camera from the dry bag, but we were greeted by a loud smack of the beaver's tail on the water surface as he dove.

We saw new nesting boxes near the water's edge.

Beaver Dam Lake "beauty" photos - enjoy!

All kinds of electric motorized and non-motorized water craft can be found on Beaver Dam Lake. A couple of teenagers were paddling this inflatable kayak and beached it near the swimming area.

Paddling aftermath - "wet" wet shoes! ;-)

Rachel and I had a wonderful time during our first paddle of the 2011 season! I even forked out the dough and purchased a season pass ($50.00) that will give us access to Beaver Dam Lake, Falls Lake, and the NC side of Kerr Lake for the paddling season (April - September). So, we just need to paddle a minimum of eight times at Beaver Dam, Falls, and Kerr Lakes in six months to pay for the season pass. Something tells me that ain't going to be a difficult thing to do! :-)

Copyright Durhamblogger. All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Gear Up! It's Paddling Time!

Howdy! I made the following post last April... and with paddling season essentially here... at least in the south!... I thought it would be a good idea to "re-post" my paddling gear list. So here is a list of what I always pack for short 2-4 hour day paddles on flat water.

Take a look... leave some comments and let me know if I'm missing any essential gear. Let's compare lists!

Update 4/14/2011 - The BaffinPaddler was "first in" with 5 additional items to the gear list! Thanks! Who else?

Mike's Paddling Gear List

PFD (wear it always)

Neo skirt

Pump or bailing device

Throw rope or towing line

Spare paddle (strapped to deck)


Sun screen (apply before paddle and carry on boat)

Paddle leash

Cell phone




Waterproof camera w/ spare battery (or camera in a dry bag)

Change of clothes (dry bag)

First aid kit

Water resistant paddling pants (or shorts) depending on temperature

Water resistant socks

Water shoes

2-3 water bottles

Trail mix

Copyright Durhamblogger. All rights reserved.

Monday, April 4, 2011

What does the Museum of Science & Industry have to do with kayaks?

Short answer - not much. But, read on! During a recent business trip to the windy city of Chicago, I had an opportunity to visit the Museum of Science & Industry during some personal down time. The museum boasts really fantastic exhibits including the U-505 Submarine and the Great Train Story - a model train layout that features over 30 trains running on 1,400 feet of track! But leave it to the Durhamblogger to spot the "kayak connection" in the Great Train Story! ;-)

Three kayakers navigating the rapids below a railroad trestle bridge.

Copyright Durhamblogger. All rights reserved.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Mighty Haw and another Kayak Connection!

Ken, a.k.a. "Daniel Boone" paddling the "Mighty Haw."

Toward the end of January 2011, I made this post Durhamblogger is a YouTube Celebrity! about a paddler named Ken who had captured both Rachel and myself in his camera lens during the 3rd Annual Yee Haw! River Paddle. Well, Ken saw my comment and replied via YouTube mail! Thanks Ken! So the "least" I can do is plug Ken's other Haw River video titled "The Mighty Haw" - all about life on the river. Dramatic music and narration! Paddle on Ken! :-)

Ken, hopefully, we'll meet up again on The Mighty Haw!

Copyright Durhamblogger. All rights reserved.