Monday, January 23, 2012


click photos to enlarge
I stayed up late last night working on the Scona Lodge blog entry and was really beat this morning.  Somewhere during the night I heard thunder and the sound of heavy rain hammering down upon the house roof.  I think all that rain action just made me sleep better.  I went out on the porch this morning with a coffee and found a fair sized tree limb hanging off the front porch roof.  I guess it was quite a storm.  Later on in the day I heard about the hail, tornadoes, and heavy rain that fell on Central Tennessee.  I slept through the whole thing.
I was scheduled to run the boat on Douglas Lake in the afternoon today in what is designated area 3.  Area 3 is a bay area of the lake without tributaries.  It amounts to a water corridor straight up the lake to a stopping point where I turn around and cruise back down to the start.  I would not be going on any side creeks or inlets and coves at all.  I knew this would be a very quiet day for fishermen as they do not fish in the bay areas very often.  Crappie and Walleye species are the targeted fish this time of year and those fish are not where I would be today;  nor would the fishermen.  This would be a good day to take Shade along for company.  That girl has turned in a stellar performance in the obedience category and has become a first class boat and woodland companion.  I pointed to the boat and she ran down the ramp and jumped onto the deck.  Not a word was needed from me.  I just pointed to the boat.  I don't know what has happened to her over the past couple months to make her so obedient.  She even runs to the truck in the morning and waits there for me.  Last month I couldn't get her near a truck.  Well;  she's a woman and can change her mind I guess.
This afternoon was unseasonably warm.  The sky was bright blue and sunny without much breeze.  I couldn't wait to get on the water.  We left the ramp and made for the main lake at about twenty miles per hour. 
I scanned the broad expanse of the lake and saw not one fishing boat.  We had just entered our area so we kept idling along carefully examining the shoreline for fishing boats.  As I said earlier;  I knew this would be an unproductive day.  Shade was being great company.  Sometimes I just like to look at her.
This is one contented girl.  She's almost asleep.  Funny girl!
Shade always looks straight into my eyes.  She knows she'll get her way by doing so.
We were on the lake an hour and a half and the wind had picked up just a little.  It actually felt good.  I couldn't get over how warm it was out here.  I can't wait until the lake fills up for the summer.  The mountains in the distance will be accented by the lake and the photography will be excellent.
I am told by reliable sources that Douglas Lake is a favorite stop for migrating shore birds in the spring.  All the species will be here.  The big camera will be on the boat daily.
The wind had kicked up a few knots rather quickly.  I don't like it when it does that.  Storms can occur out of nowhere when the wind acts like that.  I suppose it has something to do with the storms that occurred west of here.
The surface conditions changed within a minute and a half. Amazing!  The big boat was doing a crash and splash onto the rollers and white caps.  It isn't a big deal at all as this 22 foot bay boat can handle anything any of these lakes can dish out.
Shade seemed right at home in the turbulence.  She stood tall on the decks with muzzle in the wind and ignored the heavy seas.  She reminds me of another close golden friend who did likewise.
We talked to one fisherman and his wife about an hour ago and he had just arrived to the water a half hour before.  That was before the wind picked up.  I doubt they are still on the water now.  We had been running for two hours and starting to take a beating slamming into rollers.  There wasn't a boat in sight.  We would beach at the first opportune spot we came across and have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Oh yes;  Shade gets one too.

It wasn't the prettiest place to beach at but not bad for Douglas Lake.  It sure felt good to get off the bouncing deck of that boat for awhile.  Shade took off to inspect the beach area.  There's not much to inspect as it's all rock and mud.
There certainly isn't anything pretty about this beach.  Actually, it's ugly.  One has to remember that this will all be under water by March.  The water will be up there where the trees are. I like to walk around and scan the ground for fishing lures.  There are many, many of them stuck between stones and snagged on logs.

I wrote two stories yesterday that will set the stage for the third story which is about Scona Lodge.  I can't seem to get that place out of my head.  It's a little touchy writing a "story" that revolves around history.  The dates have to be accurate and decisions have to be made weather to use the names of living people who are associated with the story.  I wish I could just go camp there at Scona so I can get a real emotional bond with the place while I'm writing.  Maybe I could talk to a Haint.  I think I'd like that.
I think I have a mountain dog here.  "Shade;  look here!"
She snaps to attention at the command "look here!"  Perfect, instant response.

I guess you've noticed the absence of Falcor in the entries.  I had to find Falcor a foster home.  His obedience level was simply too low.  It wasn't his fault at all.  I fear I pushed him too fast too soon.  I made him get on the boat and in the truck trying to get him to react to those commands.  I think it was too much for an 8 month old pup to absorb quickly.  My work and my play times take me to dangerous situations and Falcor was ignoring all my commands "most of the time."  The simple boat dock or ramp is dangerous for a dog who doesn't obey.  There are trucks moving to and from the ramp, and some very quickly.  Aside from that, there is the issue of water.  I practically live on the water daily.  When I tell him to "come,"; I need him to get back here to me.  An example follows:   My boat approaches the dock and I cut the engine so it glides in without power.  It is gliding a bit fast and will contact the dock a little heavy.  When it does, the boat will suddenly and abruptly stop dead.  Falcor is standing on the very tip of the bow.  When that boat contacts the dock he will be hurtled forward and out of the boat.  Hopefully he lands on the dock.  He could be pinched between the dock and the boat.  So, when I see this and I yell  "come," I need him to move to me.  Falcor would not.  That is one example.  I won't bore you with more details.  I found him an absolutely wonderful home where he will be an indoor dog and loved very much.  At first I felt I had forsaken him but;  now I feel I've given him a new start on life.  He is in my heart and it wasn't easy to do but;  it was for his own safety.
It was time to hit the water and finish this run down the shoreline and get off this bucking horse.  I see shade;  I yell "Shade;"  she stops and looks at me and I extend my arm and point to the boat.  She's on her way.
She gets there well ahead of me.  Where did she learn to do that?  I never taught her hand signals.
She is amazing me.  Is this the dog I had for the past seven years?
I backed the boat off the beach and turned it toward the main lake.  The wind was whipping the water hard.

Every time the boat would slam down into the water off a roller; the wind would blow the resultant spray into the boat.  I was soaked in five minutes.

There was no way I was going to pull alongside another boat out here.  We're definitely heading for the ramp.

Shade was ignoring it all.  She stuck her nose out into the wind and loved every minute of it.  She was really liked the wind blown water spray wafting over her.  Is this really my dog?  Wonder if someone pulled a switch on me?
I'm proud of her.
I'm soaked.  The faster I go the more wind blown spray enters the boat.  We're almost back anyhow. 

Next two days off, weather permitting, will find us camped at the old Scona Lodge site.  Yep.  I've decided to visit with the Haints.  Keep your eye on the blog for the Scona Lodge story.  It;s the only one EVER written.  I hope you like it.

Your in my heart Douglas.  I miss you constantly golden boy