Friday, September 30, 2011


click on photos to enlarge
The entire area was somber and quiet as dawn approached this morning.

The wind was picking up and small waves could be heard lapping against the shoreline.
Cherokee Lake, affectionately known as the Stone Quarry, actually appeared beautiful in the dim light of dawn.  It was a short lived moment as the sun climbed higher and higher.

A sinister looking car pulled into the ramp area and parked near the woods.  Two rather scruffy looking characters sat in the front seat eyeing  up the state rig.  I wanted to get the boat in the water but thought I would see if I could wait them out.  All I needed this morning was a confrontation with two high class, professional thieves at an isolated boat dock.  No problem though.  Happy, the highly trained attack, guard dog was with me and she is renouned for her fearless, aggressive nature.

The sinister car with the evil people lurking in it.
It is a struggle getting from my little home in utopia to the shores of this rock quarry.  Interstate roadways make up a large portion of the problem and rural four lanes pick up where the interstate stops.  Cars and trucks dice for positions on the multiple lane highways as vehicles accelerate up side entrance ramps and plunge recklessly into the fast moving may lay with total abandonment holding expectations that the expressway vehicles can and will allow them "safe" entrance into the traffic flow.  Entrance ramp vehicles are supposed to yield to the interstate traffic;  at least that's how I was trained to drive.  Even the rural country roads become miniture race tracks for pick ups and cars at 5:30 AM.  It seems everyone is late for work every day.  And, so, as I trundle down the roads at this early hour, I am mentally taxed to be creative in my ability to dodge close calls and react to careless drivers.  I've never, ever, witnessed such horrible driving in my existance on this planet as I have in this East Tennessee area.  Also, I'm going to write a nasty letter to the auto manufacturers of the world and tell them to please go back to installing turn signals on the vehicles they build, just like they used to.

On the water at last
 All the stressful things disappear when the boat pulls away from shore.  I'm in command of my day.
Watching the sun rise on a lake is nothing less than a privilage.  Even the rock quarry takes on a certain look of , shall we say respectability, when viewed at the start of dawn.  The moment of beauty is short as the rocks and mud are illuminated by the oncomming sunlight. 

"Oh, Cherokee Lake;  the scars have disfigured your face and diminished your beauty but, I appreciate you lending me your waters to float upon."

As you can see, Happy is absolutely thrilled with this early morning venture.  She is a bundle of energy and springs about excitedly anticipating the day's adventures.
Cormorant standing on a rock.  Left of center in picture

I was cruising along about 30 miles per hour when I noticed a bird off to my right that didn't look quite right.  There was a lot of him sticking out of the water.  Good grief;  he was standing on a rock.  I throttled down and banked the boat to the left.
He was standing on a rock that was sticking out of the water maybe a foot.  I was shocked to see this obsticle in this particular bay area.  I documented it on my navigation screen.  That one is a killer for sure.  It's suicide to run this lake at night.
I've always got my eyes peeled for unique sights and pleasant natural points of beauty.  Sometimes when I use the binoculars to search the lake for fishing boats;  I'll scan the shoreline to see if I can locate an area that might hold something of interest for me.  I usually stop for a mid morning break and I like that break to be at an interesting place.  It ain't easy on Cherokee to find beautiful spots to stop but, ocassionally I locate a special little piece of environment that satisifies my lust for  natural wonder.  I found such a place this morning.
Even the mud, shale and barron shoreline seemed flow into an artistic form, sort of.  Anyway;  it was the best spot I could come up with.

Happy is enjoying the break.  It isn't Calderwood but, then, there is only one of those.  It's sorta like if ya can't be with the one you love then, love the one you're with.

Seriously speaking though;  it is a pretty spot here and the views are great.

Now what did she discover.  Gotta watch em close.

The wind is really getting strong and we will have to be under way shortly.

The only two shells on the shoreline.  Wonder why?

It's long struggle for survival is almost at an end.  Erosion has stollen its grip on life.
As with all things in nature;  it is relentless in it's search for life giving nutrients and water but, it will lose this fight for life.  This rock quarry presents a challenge to all who reside here.
By the looks of things;  nature will try to beautify the rock pit with Fall colors.  It will be a welcomed occurance here on these desolate shores.
We've got to move.  The wind and waves are pushing the boat parallel to the shore.  If that happens there won't be enough water depth to submerge the engine prop to pull us away to sea.  We're out of here.
The water did indeed get a lot rougher since we stopped.  Oh well;  that's the way it goes.  No big deal though.  I met some nice anglers later in the morning and had a great day on the water.  Stay tuned because there is a Calderwood camp out in the canoe coming up shortly.  I gotta get back up there.
Douglas;  we're going to Slick Rock Creek shortly.  Taken you with me.
At last;  I've found a flower in the quarry