Saturday, July 9, 2011

Late Summer Afternoon Paddle at Hickory Hill

July 9, 2011 - Hickory Hill, Durham, NC

Rachel and I had a number of domestic chores to complete Saturday morning... with one of them to do a "dry run" out to a new paddle location for us - Hickory Hill on Falls Lake. I was really excited with what we discovered at Hickory Hill - four boat ramps and a really beautiful section of Falls Lake! We decided to wait until late afternoon to return to Hickory Hill and get in a good paddle. Saturday late afternoon the temperature was in the mid 80's, partly cloudy, rather high humidity, and a slight breeze out of the west.

Entrance sign to the Hickory Hill boat ramps. This location on Falls Lake was only a short 20 minute drive from my house, but only just discovered! I wonder how many more "gems" like Hickory Hill are within easy driving distance?

Getting ready to put in. There were only a few trucks with boat trailers in the large parking lot. I was a little suprised (but glad) of the lack of fishermen. Rachel and I had the boat ramps to ourselves.

We put in and paddled SE, hugging the right shoreline. Here is what's left of a dock.

Just beyond the partly submerged dock pilings, on a small headland, were the remains of several camp fires.

Interesting "tree islands" with new growth foliage. Obviously, there is no lack of water!

Another headland.

I nicknamed these two side-by-side dead trees "the couple." Look, they are holding "hands." ;-)

Saw a lot of erosion effects and the impact on dead tree trunks that littered the shoreline.

Witnessed this egret make a landing into the top of this tree. I was amazed the bird was able to balance and perch itself upon the small and more delicate leaves near the tree top. It reminded me of a scene from the martial arts movie "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" when two Samarui warriors are balancing themselves and fighting on the tops of trees in a forest!

On our return leg, we encountered this dangerously overloaded motorboat. Let's just say there was some rather heavy "ballast" on board. The family was having engine trouble...

... and were able to call for assistance. A wildlife service high speed craft answered their distress call. Earlier in our paddle, we had a "close encounter" with this boat as it sped to assist the overloaded boat in the above photo. It threw out some rather heavy wake and we had to stop paddling and turn the bow into the waves generated by the wildlife service craft as it passed within 50 feet of our kayak!

The next four photos are "beauty" shots. Enjoy!

We mearly scratched the surface when it came to exploring Falls Lake at the Hickory Hill put in / take out area. You can bet both Rachel and I will be back to enjoy this newly discovered "gem" soon!

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1 comment:

  1. What a treat to find someplace interesting to paddle and not too far away! Great photos!


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