Monday, October 14, 2013


There are worse things in life to deal with than driving a boat on Cherokee Lake.  That's how I look at it.  In some ways I make it out worse than it is.  I have a mind that thinks like a movie and I've been running the old films of Calderwood and Chilhowee Lakes constantly each night and day.  I even have an old mental film of Santeelah tucked away up there in the vault that I need to pull out and watch soon.  Compared to those lakes, Cherokee is a true water filled stone quarry.  No doubt about it.
The water level continues to fall in the lake and the navigational dangers increase exponentially.  One simply has to display caution and common sense out there.  I've been watching the Fall colors unfold and the change is very slow, even in the mountains.  I wonder what's up with that.  We had an over abundance of rain this Summer and maybe that may be playing a roll in the depressed coloration.  Usually by the middle of October things are well on the way to full color.  Then again - maybe I'm just impatient.

I anticipated a slow Monday as far as fishermen went on the lake, so I brought my best friend along for company.  I would have brought her along no matter how busy it was.  To my delight, the lake was busy with fishermen.  The morning would pass quickly.  All those strangers in boats really get a kick out of Shade.  They all have a comment about my friend and display envy that I can have her with me every day.  Once they meet Shade and me they never forget us due to the unique circumstance that she and I share.  Fishing people are really nice folks but, they all seem to remember Shade's name and can't recall mine.  And, that's OK.

When I saw the scene below I had to pull the throttle back to neutral and shut down the engine.  The photograph doesn't even begin to capture the gorgeous wildness that was projected from the view.  Did the best I could.  It's another of those "WOW" shots I capture from time to time.
The picture above reminds me of an early foggy morning on Santeelah Lake, cruising along the shoreline with Douglas standing on the bow.  That moment on Santeelah is posted on the home page of this blog.  It's a moment in time I flash back to often.  Yes - I still miss him passionately.  (I found that shot and put it below with another one)  It seems like a lifetime ago.

The passageway below joins the main lake to an inland lake behind the mountain.  I've shown this in some previous entry.  There is usually ten feet of water covering this pathway but, it is dry now due to the lowering of the reservoir.  
It was shore time so we walked through this opening to view the inland lake beyond.

Of course the inland lake is now dry land or, better stated, soggy land.  It normally is flooded clear to those trees you see in the distance.

We walked back to the boat and woofed down a couple peanut better sandwiches.  I forgot Shade's treats and it cost me half my food.  No big deal.  We share life together as a team.  So, whats a sandwich here and there along the way?

It's been a nice low key morning and I kept busy which made the time pass quickly on this normally boring lake.  Tomorrow is a river day and I am looking forward to getting up there.  That's critter water and there's something going on all day long even when it isn't apparent.  All I have to do is look -- and see.

As I said in the last entry, Happy rolled in something dead up at the WMA and I gave her a bath when we got home.  She hates baths.  I dried her and lined her little bed with a soft cotton blanket.  She jumped in and I covered her to keep drafts off her until she dried.  She turned away from me and faced the wall.  She was really upset over the bath and was letting me know it.  She's a baby doll.

 Vegetation finds a place to gain a foothold even among the solid rocks on the shoreline.