Friday, May 29, 2009

Old Hickory Run

I made the trip up to Old Hickory Lake today for an early morning paddle. Since I was kayaking with a friend, we were able to manage a point-to-point trip rather than a loop. We launched at the Cedar Creek Recreation Area, a Corps of Engineers property, where quite a few facilities are available right next to the lake. I noticed a well-kept campground, a pavilion, a playground, and a beach. The area definitely seemed like a place worth revisiting this summer. Since we paddled north up and over a peninsula, our take-out was less than five-miles away at the Shutes Branch Recreation Area where there are several fishing docks and a boat ramp. Both the put-in and take-out are just off of Saundersville Road on the south side of the lake.

Saundersville Road Paddle at EveryTrail

Map created by EveryTrail:GPS Geotagging

Conditions were fantastic. It was overcast and cooler, and the sun never broke out of the cloud cover while we were on the water. Total paddle time was around 2 hours, 15 minutes, and our distance traveled was 9.3 miles. We averaged a little over 4 mph despite a few stops for water, a bite of food, or some sight-seeing. This paddle reinforced the idea that it is very easy to cruise around 5 mph in the Essence, but any faster speed requires considerable effort.

I had a new dry pouch for the Garmin GPS handheld. The unit is purportedly waterproof, but my main fear was that I'd drop it overboard, and it would wind up on the bottom of a lake. In the new bag, a Seal Line "See Pouch," the Garmin has even more water protection, and it should float if I somehow let it out of my grip.

Photobucket Photobucket

Just before we reached our take-out, as we were passing by Harbor Island Yacht Club, we spotted (actually, I heard it first) a small island with trees full of vocal birds. Upon closer inspection, they seemed to be in the middle of their spring nesting. They were wading birds of some sort, related perhaps to herons, and I wish I'd gotten a clearer picture so I could make a positive identification. Everything resembling them so far in my bird books does not appear to be indigenous to this area.

Photobucket Photobucket

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