Assorted Bob Paddle Bob

Back in the boat

Not sure why it took this long, but I finally got back on the water. Yesterday was perfect. Breezy. Low humidity. Sunny. I went up to Stroud’s Run and circumnavigated Dow Lake. Despite the fact it was high noon, I saw a good bit of wildlife: an osprey, several blue herons, an otter and a gang of kingfishers noisily working one of the coves. It was a great way to get back in the groove, but I’m definitely feeling it this morning …

Paddle Bob Uncategorized

Kayaking at Burr Oak Lake …

When I sold my kayak in D.C. I knew it was a mistake. One that I just fixed. I picked up a used 17-foot Current Designs Storm via Craig’s List, and despite my concerns that it might be more kayak than our Toyota Prius could handle, a Thule rack system made it so I can get the boat to the water.

Last week, I loaded up the kayak and went to Burr Oak Lake for a paddle. I’m very pleased with the boat. It fits me well, though it could use a bit more room for my size-13 feet, and paddling it was a pleasure. I paddled most of Burr Oak, probably about 12km all in (I forgot to turn on the GPS tracker for the first third of the trip). Lots of wildlife, ranging from an eagle to several osprey to a bunch of herons. I also paddled through a large shallow area where shad were spawning.

I also took time to play with my gadgets, including the GoPro video I shot and a few 360-degree photos I made while floating on Burr Oak.




Paddle Bob

Autumn paddle on Melton Hill Lake

Melton Hill LakeI took advantage of a shimmering autumn afternoon yesterday to paddle Melton Hill Lake. I put in at the dam and headed upstream, pausing to paddle up Hope Creek. Fall colors still were clinging to a few trees along the shoreline, but for the most part the woods had receded into their winter attire. This is part of the Pellissippi Blueway, which I’ve been paddling a section at a time. I saw a lot of blue herons and kingfishers along the way. The highlight was a glimpse of a pilated woodpecker as he flitted from one dead tree to another. I paddled to the rhythm of his thumping as I continued upstream

I really like this stretch of the lake. Much of it is TVA land and isn’t developed. I saw only a few clusters of homes and docks as I made my way upstream. It’s very different from Loudon, which is a sprawling suburb of a lake, bristling with lawns and houses and other attempts to impose order on nature.

I also took a side trip up Hope Creek, where I saw a great crumbling dock. I’ve been thinking about embarking on a mission next summer to start photographing these artifacts of lakeside bliss.

Today, I’m paying the price. I got carried away and put in almost 13 miles of paddling yesterday. It didn’t help that a  headwind came up while I was paddling back toward the dam. The final few miles were a slog. But it was worth it.

Here’s a GPS image of the route I paddled. More images are here.

GPS image of Melton Hill Lake paddle