Monday, May 31, 2010


click on photos to enlarge
It's Monday and the last day of the Memorial Day Weekend.  I really wanted a canoe ride but the boats on the lake were many over Saturday and Sunday.  I thought it might be different today, Monday.  Rather than drive a hundred miles to a pristine mountain lake;  I would investigate the grassy waterways down at Tellico Lake.  The water is shallow at the top of the lake just below the Chilhowee Reservoir and in the Summer water channels form that meander through and around the mud islands.  The grasses and reeds grow tall and the greenest green you ever saw.  It would be different and something to do today.  I should be MOWING GRASS right now but can't force myself to do it.  The mower is not working properly anyway and it is a labor some chore muscling that thing up the steep banks on that lawn.  I grabbed Douglas and off we went.
I pulled off the road onto a grassy place along the lake and unloaded.  Canoe's don't require much of a launch area.
Douglas was acting like an old hand at this canoeing routine.  He even waits until I get in the boat first.
The day was hot and I didn't want to be out on the open water with Douglas for any long periods of time.  There is a notch in the shoreline (top center of the above picture) that we would head for.
We cut through the notch and paddled to our left over the above wide channel.  I was looking for a place to float into one of the many tiny ditch like waterways that cut through the islands made of mud and trees.  Some of the waterways follow the solid shoreline that usually turn out to be farmer's fields.
I noticed a small waterway directly ahead that would take us off this main channel and into the weeds.  Again, that waterway can be seen top center of the above shot.
This was perfect.  There were a number of tiny channels we could take.  The canoe slipped along silently and thankfully, Douglas sat still.  Actually it's no big deal if he moves around.  A  year ago I would have been on pins and needles when he moves and shifts his weight but, I have come a long way since those early canoe days.
The tall grass is beautiful and greener than green.   The bright sun makes the shades of green bright and vivid
We move very quietly yet I can not even see a bird.  I think the wildlife is holding to the shade back in the woods.
Douglas wants to hit the ground.  He doesn't realize that there is no ground under those weeds.  They extend out into water twenty to thirty feet from the shore line.   I'm looking for a tiny water through way to paddle on and then we will beach the boat for a little hike.  It's too hot to get real serious with the hiking.  Now;  this is what I was looking for.  We'll go up this ditch for a little while and put ashore.
The water back here is isolated from the lake and is mostly stagnant.  We paddled up this little channel until it dead ended against a dead fall.  We beached just below the blown down tree.
The tall grass makes a pretty spot to pull a canoe ashore.  I wonder if the chigger folks are here.  I know they are.  I applied the Sawyers tick and chigger repellent to my clothing so, I hope that stuff works.   This is super prime chigger country.
Wow!  I'll have to mark this spot well in my head.  It would be easy to walk away from the canoe and not find it again.  Oh, it would certainly be found but it could be a time consuming process if a fellow returned and struck the water below or above the canoe and searched in the wrong direction.
We walked about two hundred feet and came out of the tall lake grass onto a mown hay field.   Douglas changed into his old searcher self and started investigating every blade of grass.  I walked with him until I felt the urge to be on the water again.  This is a very pretty part of Tellico Lake in the Summer.  It's different in the Winter.  Everything appears to be dead and brown.  The water is kept very shallow and it is a morbid place when the weather is dark and cold.  But today it's shining green and beautiful.  We walked back to the canoe and launched for the return trip.
He's a handsome boy and is in his element.  We paddled along the shoreline for three or four hundred yards and headed back through the notch and across the main channel.  All of a sudden a jet ski came roaring down on us.  He was a good distance away but we would have to turn the nose of the canoe into his wake.  And then my heart jumped for joy!   A TWRA boat came blasting up the center of the channel from around the corner and closed in on the jet ski.  That boat had to be going 60 miles per hour.   Blue light flashed and the jet ski was pulled over.  I don't know if the TWRA Officers pulled them over due to their discourtesy toward a canoe or if they were doing a routine stop.  But, I loved it.  I felt great about seeing TWRA presence on the water down here.
The rest of the channel crossing was uneventful and quiet.  The few hours with Douglas and the canoe were enlightening and peaceful.  Love canoes.  I hope your Memorial Holiday was a good one.  I wish you fare well.