Last week it was a surprise snowstorm here in the South Carolina Midlands. Today, it was sunny with temperatures in the high 60s. Now, who could resist going out for their first paddle of the year in weather like this?
So, around 11:30 a.m., I abandoned work on the CarolinaConsidered website, and headed for the small lake in Sesquicentennial State Park, just across Route 1. A “no fishing in the lake” sign at the entrance suggested there might be a problem. So before inflating the kayak I went down to have a look at the lake.
So, off to Lake Monticello. About 40 minutes away, but well worth the drive.
Some readers have asked about the Advanced Elements inflatable kayak that I carry in the back seat of the Mobile Studio’s “tow vehicle.”
Well, here’s a photo of the kayak and its accompanying gear in the back seat of the car. If you click on the photo, the gray oblong is the folded body of the kayak. The paddle is on the floor to the right. The accessories all are in the black bag atop the kayak body. And the little trailer wheels are just tossed in over the whole thing.
With the floor installed above the bow-to-stern aluminum “backbone” and inflated it’s certainly a kayak. And not at all bad looking. No inflatable pool toy this! I wrote some time back about the backbone. Click here to read the post.
All that remains is to install the seat and strap on the pneumatic tires for an easy trip down to the water. More robust paddlers carry their boats to the water over their shoulders. Well …. Those days are over for me. These wheels are a great addition to the kit. And, they fold up and travel comfortably on the back of the boat while paddling.
There was just enough breeze to cool the bright sunlight, and to give the surface of the lake a little character. It’s impossible to see in this photo, but on the way to the island ahead I heard, then saw, two loons. Couldn’t get close enough to photograph them. They’re wary birds. Good to see them again on the lake this year.
This island hosts quite a number of bald eagles. Their nests are just in from the shore where this great blue heron stood sentinel. No sign of the eagles this trip. Must be vacationing somewhere over on the shore.
This wasn’t a long paddle. Only a few miles. But it was the first one of the year. So that alone made it worth writing about. Tomorrow, off to Huntington Beach State Park on the Atlantic shore of South Carolina, in Georgetown County. So stay tuned.