Thursday, July 11, 2013


I drove from Pennsylvania back to Tennessee in a constant, unrelenting deluge of hard rain and got hit again on Cherokee Lake on Wednesday.  Is there no end to it?
There isn't much new to put on the blog this entry really.  I am, however, selling my Mohawk 17 foot tripping canoe.  Pictures can be found on the blog site.  I bought that canoe specifically for the purpose of taking Shade on canoe camping trips.   It is a very stable canoe on all fronts.  Well, Shade will not get in it.  I've tried and tried.  She has an aversion to getting into that tight space I guess.  I'm not one to keep things for the sake of keeping them.  The canoe is for sale and there isn't a scratch on the inside or outside.  It is new.  I'll price it right if anyone is interested and can deliver as far as Knoxville.  So, that's that.  Dogs - who can figure em?

I cruised past an old friend that I've photographed on previous occasions   She is the crazy osprey that attacked the boat a couple weeks ago.  She seems to have calmed down today.
Her nest is in a tree on a very small island and I think that bass fishermen float beneath her nest frequently and probably keep her in a constant state of turmoil.  That's the only explanation I can come up with for her seemingly attack on my boat last week.

She appears to be calm and sedate today.  She isn't even chirping.  The recent harsh weather has kept fishermen off the water lately and maybe she's had a period of isolation that has created calm in her.

"I see you down there.  Don't get any ideas."
She has allowed her wings to droop and hang at her sides to facilitate a cooling affect.
I pulled into an isolated little cove to eat a peanut butter sandwich and let Shade cool off in the 85 degree water.  I think she cooled off.  The wind passing over her wet body as the boat moves along will cool her off.  We didn't stay long as it was a long, long way back to the boat ramp at the camp area at the bottom of the dam.
I looked down stream and saw a storm rapidly building.  It was moving directly toward us at a fast pace and vertical lightning bolts were slashing through the skies.  Thunder could be heard above the boat's engine.
This thing materialized in the blink of an eye.  It wasn't there when we went to the cove and we were only in that cove for about fifteen minutes.  I put the hammer down on the throttle and drove dead into it with hopes of making it to the ramp area before things got dicey.  A check over my shoulder indicated that the storm moved around behind us also.  There must be two pieces of this nasty little front.  If you look at the cove shot above, you'll see pretty sky.  Look below as we speed away downstream.
The sky ahead became darker and darker and the wind was starting to pick up velocity.  We would not make it.  
The shot above shows hard rain coming down on the horizon.  That's the last shot I took as things got interesting real fast.  The wind suddenly hit us with such force that it pushed the bow of the big 22 foot boat to the left as if it were a leaf.  I had to over- steer to the right to keep it going straight down the lake.  Rain hit next and I had to keep my face against the windshield to see.  I made one attempt to beach it on an island, but the shoreline wasn't conducive to that maneuver.  I just pointed into the dark ahead and hit the throttle.  Wind whipped the waves up  as high as the sides of the boat.  That's never happened to me before and I began to be concerned.  Shade was laying tight against my ankles.  That was good.  It's just where I wanted her to stay.  In about two miles the wind abated and the sky started to clear.  The rain stayed.
The white area in the above shot is hard rain.  The wind was still strong as you can see by the ruffled surface of the lake, but we'd be at the ramp in another ten minutes.  Shade was shaken pretty bad as the thunder was loud and the boat slammed onto the high waves constantly.  If Douglas were on board, he would have stayed out on the point through it all standing staunch and tall.  He was a brave dog who feared nothing it seemed.  Douglas trusted himself in tight spots.  Shade trusts me.  And, that's ok.

So, that was how Wednesday went.  Gotta love it.