Monday, October 6, 2008


click the pictures to enlarge I have traveled on many lakes and rivers in Tennessee searching for that one piece of water that embellishes all that I desire in the wilderness experience. Someplace I can lose my soul in. I have found it. Calderwood Lake is the crown jewell of lakes in North Carolina and Tennessee. It resembles more a river than a lake. It snakes through the Cherokee National Forest, smooth and clear. Her banks rise up vertically on both sides for hundreds of feet. One could not erect a tent on her shore line in more than three places on the entire lake. And a very shallow running boat or canoe would be required to reach those three spots. Of course, I have just the boat. If one daydreams a bit through half closed eyes; sometimes it is difficult to see where the water touches the shore line and the cliffs begin. The water is so smooth, so clean and reflects the vertical banks so perfectly that the resulting vision appears as a kaleidoscopic image to the eye. I truly am amazed at the reflective properties of these waters. The lakes in the valley contain a brown tinge to them. They appear rich green when the sun strikes from directly overhead or from the West when it falls. A scum line of brown crud surrounds the boat at the water line when it is withdrawn from the lake. This must be washed off promptly or it will be a bugger to remove when it dries. Caldeerwood's waters are cold and deep. I have been floating over depths of 135 feet all day with surface temperatures of 54 degrees. That is cold! In retrospect; the waters of Tellico Lake, a valley lake, are showing temperatures near eighty degrees. This lake is made for a canoe. I can envision myself paddling along enjoying a Calderwood sunrise on a chilly morning, carefully dipping the paddle into the mirrowed surface gently and softly so not to disturb the perfect fluid, silky finish of the surface. Deep breaths take in and savor the fragrance of hemlock, crab apple and maple trees. The occasional smell of pine and wintergreen waft past for only a moment. A kingfisher dips to the surface while in flight to get a drink on the wing. This is a fantasy lake. There are no floating cans or junk along the shore line. It is out of the way. It is safe from the onslaught of the tourist and their ilk. It appears to be used by folks who appreciate it. No Ferris wheels and board walks here. No hot dog stands and marinas exhist. Only fresh air, clean water and sounds of nature. My little boat is supurb for this lake. I cruise along at no more than eight miles per hour all afternoon. I was and am in awe of the spectacular mountain views afforded me from my vantage point here, on this bed of glass. A canoe is definitely in my future at some point. That is the absolute best way to saver and enjoy waters such as these. No hurry. No rush. No noise. No other boats. Quiet and more quiet. Only the trickle sound of falling droplets from the paddle as it is withdrawn from the water in preparation for the next paddle stroke. And for the next trip to Calderwood; we'll add a dog. A golden dog. [URL=][IMG][/IMG][/URL]