Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lake Durant and Rock Pond, part two

Well, first let me apologize to my few but faithful followers! I am sorry it's been so long since my last blog post.  When I started this blog, I expected to write a few times each week with no problem-- we've kayaked a lot of different places and I have TONS to say about it, and I like to write. But I found out that many of my time-consuming interests coincide with kayaking season.  Between our son's marriage, our visiting daughter, and my commitments to 4 different community music groups, I couldn't seem to get any blogging done at all.  Here's hoping I now have a better handle on my time and will not let such a long streak of non-blogging happen again!

So, to finish off Lake Durant and Rock Pond:
The views of Blue Mountain were stunning, even on a day that was cold, windy and only partly sunny.  We all kept looking toward the mountain as we paddled.  I think part of the attraction to a mountain view for us is that we enjoy kayaking on small streams, lake inlets and outlets, marshy areas, etc. and many of these places are either closed in with vegetation all around, in a flat area, or in a valley.

When the sun was out and the wind wasn't whipping up ripples on the water, there were even some reflections on the lake.  Here is one shot with a pretty blue sky in the water:

After paddling around Rock Pond, we headed back to the footbridge, hoping the winds would stay calm while we ate our lunch.  I think the men were hungry because they took the lead again:

Back at the footbridge, we beached the kayaks and sat on some rocks and logs along the trail to eat.

After lunch we bundled up (more clouds were moving in) and headed toward the eastern end of the lake, exploring along the way.  Here is Karen with her pretty robin's egg blue kayak.

Along the south shore we found a stream flowing into Lake Durant by way of a waterfall:

Being the mighty (or mighty curious) adventuring kayakers that we are, we had to check it out:

The stream was pretty narrow and a bit too twisty for our 12 foot kayaks.

But we had to try to get to the waterfall anyway.  Dick got stuck and stood up, trying to get around a tree branch.  I would not recommend trying this move!  I don't have a better shot, but Karen took one of Dick wiggling and wobbling as he stood in the kayak.  We thought he would tip over for sure... but he didn't!

Finally, we all got up the stream far enough to see the waterfall.

I know it doesn't look like much-- a shallow stream of water flowing over some rocks... but we sure had fun inching our way up to it!

There were some huge boulders on the south side of the lake.

I liked seeing Blue Mountain with the boulders in the foreground:

As you can see, dark clouds were moving in steadily and it was getting darker and windier as the day went on.  We reached a little set-back on the south shore.

I found the moss on this boulder intriguing.  There is no sunshine on that boulder, that is the color of the moss.  It looked out of place-- too bright, considering everything else around it.

The set- back was a good break from the wind, but as you can see by the clouds, not-so-good weather was approaching.

We decided it would be best to head back to the put-in.  As I said in part one of my Lake Durant and Rock Pond blog post, the winds picked up and the waves picked up, so I stowed my camera in the dry bag before we headed across the lake and west to the put-in/take-out.  It's a good thing the camera was safe and dry because the lake was choppy, with waves about 1 foot, and they came crashing over and into our kayaks, spraying us a few times.  The only loss was Dick's favorite kayaking cap.  It was thin, faded and comfortable-- just right for kayaking.  But the wind snatched it off his head and before he could fish it out, it was sinking down to the bottom of Lake Durant!

I'll be back with a new location description in a couple of days.  We've kayaked 13 times this season and about half of those have been new to us.  (Including some I have already blogged about.)  I am looking forward to sharing our paddling experiences and photos with you!