Saturday, May 7, 2011

Flooded Priest Loop

Yesterday morning started with a dammit to hell. I was supposed to meet Jimmy at the lake around six-thirty. That's antemeridian, so I needed to be up by five-thirty to install my Thule racks, load my sea kayak, grab all my gear, and drive over to the launch at Smith Springs. However, when I checked the clock with one bleary eye, I saw 6:17. Bingo. A bonafide dammit-to-hell moment. Frenzied activity and a record-time boat loading ensued, and I'm proud to report that I did not forget a single item. Sure, I did not get a shower or have any breakfast, but I was pulling out of my driveway at 6:37, and I was at the boat ramp by seven, only a half-hour late.

By the time I got there, Jimmy had already launched. The water was even higher than Saturday's run out to Tick Island, and we were the only ones in the parking lot. Once I got on the water, we headed north toward the Anderson Road Recreation Area, where we toured the flooded picnic grounds. There, we saw some geese, baby goslings, and a rather sinister looking turkey vulture eyeballing the young birds. In the Everytrail GPS capture below, it appears we paddled over land, and I suppose we did. The land was simply under water.

In all, we made a 5+ mile loop on a quiet lake. Few fishermen were out because of the flooded ramps, but we did see a lot of great blue herons doing their morning fishing. On the return leg, a light rain and accompanying breeze kicked up, but by the time we got back to the parking lot, the sun had popped out. It was a good loop that we'll likely do again soon.

Flooded Priest Loop

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