Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Early morning, late summer paddle on the Eno River

 Location: Eno River, Durham, NC Temperature: 74F Wind: Light Conditions: Mostly cloudy

On Sunday, September 7, I decided that an early morning paddle on the Eno River was in order! Rachel elected for more sleep, so it was just me and my Aquafusion Liberty 13. After a hasty breakfast, and quick gear pack, I drove to the Eno River boat ramp, off Red Mill Road, and put in a little after 7:00 AM. Click on the photos to enlarge.

I put in and paddled SW on the Eno River. It was cool, with temperatures in the low 70's F and overcast skies - excellent paddling conditions.

As the sun rose, it illuminated beautiful cloud formations.

I rounded a bend in the river, and spotted this Heron perched on a dead tree branch.

Woodland Sunflower in bloom on the banks of the Eno River.

American Bittern perched on a jumble of fallen tree limbs.

Huge power line towers, carrying electricity to Durham and surrounding areas, march off into the distance.

I encountered the same debris field that blocked my way during my paddle on the Eno River (May 31, 2014); however, on this morning, there was clear passage to the left of the fallen trees and debris, due to heavy rains the past week. 

Once I navigated around the debris field, I was able to continue and explore areas of the Eno River I had never paddled. A large birch tree overhung the water.

This tree had fallen victim to rot and a possible lightening strike.

I discovered a sandy cove and took a much welcomed bio break and stretch.

The woods and surrounding underbrush were almost primeval in appearance...

... and with dense growth. I was amazed that this woodland scene was only minutes away from the urban "concrete jungle" of Durham!

Intricate root system exposed by air and water. 

Early morning paddles are one of the best times to observe wildlife and to enjoy a tranquil and quiet outing. It's when "unplug and unwind" become a reality and you forget about all those other responsibilities and just focus on the moment. Life is really about capturing those "moments" and not about collecting "things." This early morning paddle on the Eno River was one of those moments and I was really glad to be a part of it!  

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Paddling Kerr Lake on Labor Day Weekend

 Location: Kerr Lake, Clarksville, VA. Temperature: 86F Wind: Light  Conditions: Mostly sunny

Rachel and I managed to "sneak" in a second paddling adventure (September 1, 2014) while visiting family in Clarksville, VA. over Labor Day weekend! This time we drove over the lake and put in at Occoneechee State Park. But to get into the park cost us $7.00! I thought the admission price was a little steep and asked for an explanation. The park ranger explained that she would have only charged us $4.00 if we were just dropping off the kayak and than leaving the park! Huh? But, since we wanted to both drop off the kayak and park, we got charged another $3.00 dollars! Some kind of twisted logic there? Anyway, after emptying my wallet, we drove in, parked, and put in at the boat ramps located in the park. Click on the photos to enlarge.  

 Preparing to pass under the Highway 15 bridge that spans Kerr Lake near Clarksville.

Beautiful cloud formations produced partly cloudy conditions for some of our paddle.

A heron, perched on a jet ski dock, looking for its next fish meal.

Lots of "big boy and girl" toys can be found on Kerr Lake. This runabout boat has its own covered floating dock with an auxiliary paddle boat lying next to it.

We decided to paddle up Sandy Creek and explore this body of water off of Kerr Lake.

Jeffress Road bridge over Sandy Creek. According to Uglybridges.com, the bridge was built in 1954 and averages 196 vehicles per day.

The Jeffrees Road bridge features interesting underside construction. The underside of the bridge is slanted / angled to facilitate rain water drainage.  

A natural tree archway near the end of navigable water on Sandy Creek.

End of the line! The fallen tree effectively blocked farther passage up Sandy Creek.

Looking back at the tree archway. Beautiful sunlight reflection off the still water surface.

American Bittern perched on a dead tree.

Return to the Occonecchee boat ramps.

Rachel and I had an early morning paddle on Kerr Lake and got back in before the crowds and heat of the day. It was a good paddle. There is lots more lake to explore and we hope to return often!

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