The Weather Channel app on my iPhone says it will be a cool-ish 82-84 by late afternoon, but pleasantly in the 70s for air temperatures most of today, skies clear and winds light for smooth paddling. Of course, I’ve failed to mention, thus far, that I’m camped at Hardin Ridge Recreational Area which is part of the Hoosier National Forest and close to the largest inland lake in the entire state of Indiana. The campsite reservation I chose (Bluegill #101) from on the internet (thru reservations.gov) was woefully inaccurate and somewhat misleading. “Tammy”, from the park office, called me one day a week ago and said that the spot I had selected might be uncomfortable for my stay and that I might not be happy there, so we made arrangements to re-assign me a different spot when I got here in order to save me the $10 transfer fee through the website. When I arrived, a simple phone call was made in the office and I’m now in White Oak #145 and I have to say, she was right. Nice spot. Five Star review for customer service, Tammy.
|White Oak Site #145. Nice, shady and of good size.|
|A nicely created vista along the road toward the beach and boat ramp.|
Some folks down the lane from my camp site just went by towing their pontoon boat. Gonna be a busy day out on the water.
Time-out. Gotta go paddle.
The boat ramp is out this lane, turn right, then down the road, around the bend and down the hill. Don’t blink or you’ll pass the road that leads to the beach. The beach road isn’t marked .. You just kinda have to sense it with “The Force”. Or, you can do like I did ... turn left and .. “Let’s see where this road goes.... Ah, the beach.” In a little bit, I’ll get to see the beach from the lake side in my little boat.
|The wheels were positioned improperly here, but I learned.|
|It's a long way from the parking lot to the boat ramp.|
|Just after taking out at the boat ramp. It was a nice run, today.|
As I paddled around, staying close to the shore, I paddled over to the beach area. Not very busy yet, but prime rays were a few hours off. I did see some guys in a $20,000 boat over there, fishing 10 feet from the bank. Go figure. So, I changed direction and paddled around into another semi-quiet inlet, when I saw the cutest thing. I caught it on video, but not clearly and seemingly from a distance since the camera has a wide-angle lens. A young mother was helping her very young baby daughter “hang it over the side” of the ski deck to pee when a big wave rolled in and slapped her right on the butt. Perfect timing. Whoa! What a rush!
Video to follow. (Insert video here)
Paddler’s End: I’m tired and I need a shower -- no kidding. I’m staying down-wind of everybody for a while. I wonder if it’s true what they say that you can smell yourself one or two days before anyone else can. I’m not buying that and I’m not taking that chance.
|A Shower, a shower, ... I need a shower.|
Can you tell that the sunglasses I’m wearing have a little camera with 8-gigs of memory in the nose bridge? I shot almost two hours of POV video. It should take me four hours to edit it .. IF, I can stay awake after I get back to camp, get a nice warm shower and relax a bit. What? A question? Why, yes! That IS a genuine Tilly hat. Love it.
Supposed to be another perfect day tomorrow. I wonder if I can paddle in some area where the water waves are a bit quieter. I’ll ask around. Ask any other boater if it’s worth all the hassle to take their boat out and the answer will always be, “yes”.
Over the course of my 14-day stay, the weather cooperated a few more times which allowed two more trips into the lake with my little boat. Note to self: Go in the morning on a day NOT filled with lots of other boaters. The lake is more calm without wakes and cross-wakes from powerboats. It's a lot easier to paddle and enjoy the quiet calm and the scenery.
Of course, I took video each time I went out. I have over six-hours worth, but I still can't bring myself to edit it down to a few short moments for online sharing. Instead, I'll splice the smaller pieces together and add a mellow soundtrack and create an "I can't get to sleep" video. Surely, for the restless mind it adds some focus, but for the agile mind, it adds nothing and will soon be turned-off.
I don't take photos and videos for other people any more. I take them for me and to document a life lived as I want it to be. I'm retired and that's my plan.