Friday, September 14, 2012

During Work or After - Paddling is the Best Therapy!

 Location: Beaver Dam Lake, Wake Forest, NC. Temperature: 84F Wind: Light Conditions: Mostly Sunny

Thursday, I had made plans to meet my wife Rachel and friends Carol and Gracie at Beaver Dam Lake to enjoy an after work paddle. But, after a particularly "challenging" morning at work and than being pleasantly surprised that my afternoon meetings got canceled... I decided I needed additional paddle "therapy!" So, around 2:30 PM, I closed up shop for the day, packed a dinner, loaded up my truck with both kayaks, and got on the road to Beaver Dam Lake, a favorite paddle "haunt" of mine! I arrived at the park soon after and by 3:30 PM I had started my therapy!  ;-)

 It was a beautiful and still day with low humidity. Large cloud formations contrasted with the vivid blue skies and the lake waters were warm with a few ripples produced by the occasional light and interment breeze. Who can work on a day like this? 

Lots of dead trees and brush populated the west bank. It makes sense since weather fronts normally move from east to west, and along with currents, pushes debris to this side of the lake.

 Looking out from a quiet cove on Beaver Dam Lake.

 This tree branch formed a perfect arch as it jutted out from shore and into the water. Fresh and alive tree foliage near the water line suggests that this branch may have developed a root system near the submerged tip.

 When the slight breeze died down and the water was still, the cloud formations would reflect nicely on the water surface.

 A beaver den on Beaver Dam Lake - how fitting?

 This Heron was standing a few yards from the beaver den in the above photo. The bird allowed me to approach it fairly close, but than took to flight, squawking..

 Gorgeous and large cloud formations!

This photo is dedicated to Peggy, the Baffin Paddler! This couple were out for (at least) 1.5 hours, standing and paddling and they looked like they were having fun. However, they put in without water, sunscreen, and neither was wearing a PFD. Frankly, when I'm paddling, I need to take along water (to stay hydrated) and the necessary safety gear, that starts with wearing a PFD. But, for me, I'm simply not into standing for long periods of time while paddling. All my paddling will be done sitting! But, I guess different strokes for different folks?   

The end result of a poor cast. This fishing tackle was dangling from a tree branch twenty feet above the ground.

A Banded Water snake enjoying a fish meal. I spotted the snake earlier swimming in the water, its jaws snapped shut on a dead fish. A young couple, with two small children, were fishing off the Beaver Dam Lake dock and warned me to "watch out for the Water Moccasin!" that was curled in the rocks next to the floating dock. Water snakes are typically mistaken for the more lethal Water Moccasins. One way you can identify a water snake is to look at its markings. Water snakes have stripe-shaped markings on their bodies while Water Moccasins have diamond-shaped markings. Here is an article to help identify Water Moccasins versus other water snakes.

My wife Rachel (left) with our friends Carol (front seat) and Gracie (rear seat) approaching the put in / take out area after an enjoyable paddle! While the ladies were paddling, I picked up trash around the dock area and was able to half fill a 30-gallon garbage bag. It seems that folks can "haul" full bottles and cans to the lake shore... but have a difficult time taking the empty containers when they leave? BTW, the park provides trash cans that are scattered around the dock, beach, and picnic shelters, to properly dispose of waste. There was a garbage can only 25 yards from where I picked up the trash.

The end of a beautiful day on Beaver Dam Lake.

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  1. This is beautiful! I love the sunset and its cool seeing people paddle boarding! I love paddle boarding its lots of fun and it makes you use your core, good balancing exercise! And the snack looks scary! If I came across of that I would have screamed! It seems like your enjoying being out there, espcially with the cooler weather!

    1. Yes Caroline! Late summer can be some of the best paddling weather in North Carolina. The low temperatures and humidity make for a very enjoyable time! Thanks for your comments.

  2. It seems like the perfect afternoon and evening. Like you, I have trouble when people can't walk a few feet to properly dispose of trash, but the cleaner an area is the more likely those who follow on will keep it clean!

    1. I don't have a lot of patience for folks who litter our earth and are both inconsiderant and just plain lazy when it come to disposing of litter properly. But you are 100% correct in your statement that the cleaner an area, the less chance someone will pollute it!

  3. Love your shots of the "gorgeous cloud" and the water snake munching on a fish! Looks like this was a wonderful day :)

    1. The cloud formations have been spectacular the entire week and the water snake was a bonus! Many thanks for reading and commenting!


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