Saturday, July 16, 2016

Return to Five Fingers

Location: Five Fingers Area on Eno River, Durham, NC Temperature: 70F Wind: Light Conditions: Cloudy 

Saturday morning was made for paddling - low temperatures, moderate humidity and overcast skies. Rachel's back was talking ugly to her and she elected to stay at home. I decided to explore the Five Fingers area on the Eno River - so named because the pond and marsh area bodies of water resembles a person's hand. Click on the photos to enlarge.  

Muddy and swollen Eno River - the result of heavy rainfall in the past several days in the Raleigh-Durham area. I encountered lots of floating debris and these water hazards may have been the reason there was no motor boat traffic encountered during my paddle.   

Close up and personal with a couple of Blue Herons. I was able to get within 25 yards or so of these birds. Neither bird seemed alarmed by a guy paddling a yellow kayak past their positions on the river.

 The Rose of Sharon were in full bloom along the banks of the Eno River. 

 Also, both the bees and butterflies were doing their "pollen thing."

A quiet cove in the Five Fingers area. You can see a large bush of the white Rose of Sharon plants in the left of the photo.

This electrical pole, complete with anchoring cable, was blocking the water entrance to the swampy and marshy area of Five Fingers. I was unable to complete my circuit through the Five Fingers area and was forced to retrace my paddle route. I have no explanation why this water route would be deliberately blocked off. A major disappointment.

Close up photo that details the anchoring cable.

A relaxing and invigorating paddle on the Eno River! It had been over a year since I had last visited the Five Fingers area. I need to return to it more often!

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Kayaking in North Carolina - the best spots for family adventures.

(Guest Writer Post)  

When you are an outdoor enthusiast looking to get some time out on the open water, North Carolina is one of the greatest places to go in order to enjoy some kayaking adventures. There are a variety of spots that offer scenic views, calm waters or even something special for those looking for a little adventure.  Let’s explore North Carolina a little and learn about some of the greatest places to create some memories and hit some awe inspiring kayaking trails.

Kayak spot #1: Merchants Mill Pond

Merchants Mill Pond is a great place for visitors of all ages to jump aboard a canoe or kayak year round. For a minimal cost of $3 per hour, except for the first hour which costs $5, Merchants Mill Pond offers 760 acres of scenic waters and trails and the historic features of a park that has been open for 200 years. Visitors might spot a few turtles and perhaps even an alligator along the way, and they have the opportunity to stay at the expansive campground if their day on the water turns into a weekend of fun.

Kayak spot #2: Lake Johnson

This park is located in Raleigh and open year round. It provides visitors with opportunities to enjoy all sorts of water sports, including kayaks and canoes. Rent a kayak and stay out on the water for as long as you would like for the low price of $5 per hour. This is one of the most popular spots to go in North Carolina with kayaking adventures suitable for the entire family. Visit during your next vacation or even a simple day or weekend trip.

Kayak spot #3: Bear Creek Lake

Bear Creek Lake is a scenic location that provides you with plenty of twists and turns and fun out on the water, in addition to plenty of kayak rentals. Visitors can view three small waterfalls, mountainous shorelines and beautiful vistas in every direction. This spot has different changes in elevation making it suitable for everyone from the novice kayaking enthusiast to individuals with much more experience on the water.

Kayak spot #4: Cape Fear

If you ask anyone to name their favorite kayaking spot in North Carolina, Cape Fear is almost certain to make the list.  Cape Fear offers visitors breathtaking views of giant cypress trees, beautiful birds and exotic wildlife, all enjoyed while drifting along the calm current which makes it ideal for the entire family.

These four spots are definite go-to locations if you are looking to book a kayak trip in North Carolina.

There are plenty of spots in North Carolina worth checking out if you enjoy spending time outdoors and on the water. Add them to your itinerary the next time you’re visiting this beautiful state, or plan your entire visit around one or more of these natural waterways. You’re certain to create lasting memories of your kayaking adventures and get some quality family time in along the way.

About the Author

Joe Crivello is the owner of AmeriDry, assisting customers with water damage and mold removal and inspection. In business for 25 years, his firm is IICRC certified and holds an A+ rating with the Colorado Better Business Bureau. If you are in Colorado and need assistance with water or mold damage, learn more by visiting

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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Falls Lake, NC. - Our First Paddling Adventure in 2016!

Location: Highway 50 Boat Ramp, Falls Lake, NC. Temperature: 63F Wind: E5 Conditions: Overcast

 The long awaited event finally took place today - our first paddle of 2016! Rachel and I had planned to put in at Beaver Dam Lake, but an unanticipated bike rally caused us to detour about a mile and a half down the road from Beaver Dam. We ended up at the Highway 50 boat ramp - a NC park recreational area that boasts six boat ramps.  

Put in at the Highway 50 boat ramp. My sorely missed truck found its way back home and was available for kayak hauling duty.

Looking out from a quiet cove on Falls Lake. It remained overcast and cool for the entire paddle.

A beaver den, but no beaver sighting. The den was most likely occupied - evidenced by several freshly cut tree branches.

 We spotted a brown-headed Nuthatch. These birds are typically 4-5" and smaller than a sparrow. They are quite agile and restless, flitting from one branch to another.

The Nuthatch's nest is located at the lower end of this dead tree cavity. I could not see any eggs.

Very large rock formations that jutted out into Falls Lake. I estimated the rock height to be over 15 feet.

Both Rachel and I were excited to have our first paddling adventure of 2016! It had been nearly five years since we had put in at the Highway 50 boat ramp. This year I hope to return to many of these "long ago, but not forgotten" put in areas as well as exploring other rivers, creeks and lakes in both North Carolina and Virginia. Thanks for reading and always remember to take life one stroke at a time!

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Where's the Durhamblogger?

Howdy Readers! You might be wondering why "old Mike" (aka - The Durhamblogger) had only written a handful of posts in 2015 and has been "quiet" so far in 2016?

A extremely busy work schedule and our youngest son "permanently borrowing" my truck had a negative impact on my paddling routine. Translation - No time and no wheels to get to my favorite put in sites.

But, as they say... all good things come to those who wait. My truck will be coming home for the summer months, so shortly I will be dusting the cob webs out of the kayak cockpits and gearing up for more paddling adventures!

Stay tuned! I can't wait!  :-) 

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