Mike and I went out to kayak on Lake Glenville the other evening. It was the first time we have been out so far this year, and it was spectacular. The weather has been pretty hot during the day, well, hot for us, high seventies/ low eighties. But the evenings are just right for a little physical exertion. I am pretty new to kayaking, and I have not tried any whitewater rivers or anything. I like a leisurely paddle on the lake or a slow river. The lake was as smooth as glass and there was just a light breeze.
We launched the kayaks from the public launch on Pine Creek Road. From there we paddled past the new fishing pier and around the left side of the finger of land that juts out from Ralph Andrews Park Campground, a county campground. The winter storms had caused some new errosion, and more trees have fallen into the lake. I assume that fallen trees make good fish habitat, and we wove our way around the trees while sticking close to the shore.
Kayaks are perfect for watching wildlife. We could coast up to the shoreline with very little noise. I could see small holes burrowed into the mud and rocks exposed above the waterline. I am not sure if they are merely the result of water lapping against the shore, but some of the holes seemed pretty deep. Perhaps checking them closer to dusk or dawn would reveal any animal inhabitants.
Blooming along the wooded hillsides were Flame Azaleas. FlameAzaleas are a gorgeous native shrub from the Rhododendron Family with flame orange flowers. They are plentiful this year, and I could see bright orange flowers sprinkled about throughout the forest.
Directly out from the Pine Creek Launch are two small islands. We circled these before heading back to the ramp. One island is barely more than a couple trees a foot out of the water. I could see two unusual looking water birds perched high up in the pine tree. The other island, right next to it, is big enough to camp or picnic on. It is a popular spot for boats to stop.
We kayaked back to the launch along the dam side of the finger. Several times a summer, Duke Energy opens the dam to allow water to flow through the west fork of the Tuckasegee River, making the gentle stream into a class IV/V whitewater rapid. This draws kayaking enthusiasts from all over to make the run down the mountain. To get to the put in, you have to carry your kayak down the High Falls Trail about 6/10 of a mile from Pine Creek Road.
It was so relaxing to kayak on Lake Glenville. There is nothing like being on the water to let all of your stress just float away. Mike and I need to paddle out more often.