Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day Paddle at Beaver Dam Lake!

7/04/2011 - Beaver Dam Lake, Wake Forest, NC

Independence Day - July 4, 2011. God bless the men and women who defend our freedom everyday... and to those individuals who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe and free.

Monday, Rachel and I had the day off... and decided to get in a morning paddle at Beaver Dam Lake. 8:30 AM, the temperature was in the mid 70's with a steady 9 - 12 mph easterly breeze, sunny and rather humid - pretty good paddling conditions.

Put in at the Beaver Dam Lake boat ramp. Even at 9:30 AM, both the boat ramps and beach areas were crowded with more folks arriving by the minute. It was; after all, July 4th!

Rachel and I met this couple (Bruce and Kim) just before we put in. They had been paddling for about a year and Bruce mentioned he maintained "several Websites" that dealt with paddling. The object mounted on Bruce's kayak is a waterproof video camera.

After we put in, Rachel and I paddled east towards the Old Weaver Trail road bridge. Near the bridge, we explored this dead forest that had been reclaimed by the lake waters. I estimate there were over 50 - 60 old growth trees submerged in these waters.

We had to paddle slowly and pick our way carefully through this "forest" because of the number of submerged tree trunks and other debris lurking just below the surface.

Encountered several fishermen in small boats, kayaks...

... and on the shore. We chatted with these folks as we paddled by and learned that the boy had just landed a catfish (Siluriformes)!

A quiet cove on Beaver Dam Lake. Can you spot the two kayaks in this photo?

A suspected beaver lodge located down a small cove.

Back at the put in / take out area at the Beaver Dam boat ramps, it had gotten considerably more crowded - both with boaters and swimmers at the beach!

Spotted all kinds of water craft today including this two person "pedal boat."

As Rachel and I were taking out our kayak, we met this nice couple (Keith and Bambi). They had just purchased "his" and "her" kayaks on July 3 and this was only their second time out paddling! Keith was admiring my Extend-A-Truck bed extender and we got to chatting about... guess what? Paddling! I gave them both my "blog card" and encouraged them to visit my blog and leave a comment. Keith sheepishly admitted to me that he had flipped out of his kayak on his first time out in the water. He was not wearing a PFD... had reached behind him... and the next thing he knew, he had spilled out into the water! He did tell me that he would "never" go paddling again without wearing a PFD and I was glad to see that both Keith and Bambi wearing PFDs when I saw them earlier paddling near the boat ramps. Interesting side bar... I also learned that Keith was chief of police for the town of Henderson. I'm always excited to chat with folks who are getting started with paddling and I hope that both Keith and Bambi keep enjoying this wonderful sport!

Happy July 4th everyone! :-)

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