Sunday, November 15, 2009

Paddling through the fog

We went on the most amazing paddle today, starting out early, about 8, Jordan Lake was not only way out of its banks, so far that we had to launch our boats from the grass and paddle through the woods to get out into the water, the normal launchng beach was about 10 feet under water.  There was also fog, thick fog, shrouding the whole place, if you got more than 100 feet from shore it dissappeared.  We paddled a long way following the shoreline, taking in the incredible atmosphere of being in that mist and staying close enough together not to lose site of one another.

We paddled back into one cove and the water was so high we were able to go way up into the trees and still had several feet of water under our boats, it was strange.   We spotted one mature bald eagle, head and tail bright white even through the thick air.  Then we decided to paddle across to the other side of the arm of the lake we were in which was bizarre, losing all sight of land, quite disorienting and we missed our mark, paddling further than we realized out into another section of the lake, we roamed around for a while, changed our heading a couple of times and finally chose a place where we could pull the boats up onto the land. We clambered onto shore for our ritual paddling breakfast of coffee, pastry and fruit. 

As we sat on the shore the fog finally began to break, first a circle of blue sky above us and gradually the edge of the water began to clear, we watched as the world was revealed again, the sky and light closing in from above and below.  A band of gray remained over the water, slowly shrinking until we could see all the way across the lake and realize where we actually were.  Our fearless leader was pretty accurate in his guess of our location, but I was completely disoriented and thought we were in a different branch of the lake all together! 

The paddle back was in the bright sunlight, the water placid accept for occasional ripples from fishing boats passing, herons, gulls and cormorants plied the waters searching for a meal.  By the time we reached the put-in at 1:30, there were lots of folks out enjoying the gorgeous day, the temp was in the low 70's, jet skis appeared and we were glad to have had the lake to ourselves during the foggy morning. We headed home unloaded the boats and gear, ate lunch and took a much deserved nap.

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