You might be wondering (if you aren't, please humor me) why I haven't posted anything if I've been doing all of this paddling? Good question! One reason could be because all of the posts from my Ozark adventures depleted my stock of words.
But the larger reason is that this spring most of my trips have been with a group from the Kayaking in Houston Meetup. It's been great meeting new paddlers and adding a larger social dimension to paddling, but it has cut down dramatically on my picture taking. It's partly that the noise of a large group scares away some of the wildlife I might have photographed. But also as I have gotten more involved with organizing these outings, I've taken less time to "stop and photograph the roses" (or water lilies, as the case may be). I'll have to work on that.
My trip with the group on Saturday led me to believe things had changed. The water level in the lake was only about a foot and a half below the maximum and the vegetation levels were well below their full summer density. I set out from the launch on Pineland Road and headed generally north, more or less hugging the western boundary of the lake. The first couple of miles were quite easy, as I mostly just retraced my route from the day before. But the last mile grew a bit trickier. The water depth kept decreasing as I traveled farther north. In addition to the beds of water lilies, there were areas of aquatic grasses which clogged the channel, tangling my paddle blade as I tried to pass through.
I cruised under the bridge, needing to duck slightly, and Carpenter's Bayou opened up before me . . . and then closed again almost as quickly. After only a brief stretch of open water, the left side of the channel was blocked by masses of tall flowering grasses. To the right, the channel passed into a fairly dense grove of cypress trees. I made my way into the trees, tied up to a cypress knee, and had lunch while listening to the chatter of the birds.
On the way back to the launch I took a side trip to the spillway and landed there, taking a few more minutes to look around enjoy the day before heading for home after a very enjoyable seven mile paddle.
More Pictures from Sheldon Lake