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January 20, 2006.
65F/18C makes for an unbelievably nice January day in North Carolina . Jeff and I were at the Pine Hall access point at four, giving us exactly two hours to paddle before dark. The wind was ripping as we worked our way north along the Stokes shore toward the dam, bouncing me along through chop and waves. Things died down when we turned left into a cove past the last point before the dam, giving us a chance to paddle on calm waters for a few minutes before turning around. The paddle back into the wind was even more fun than the paddle out. It was such a warm day and the spray being blown from the bow as it landed on breaking waves felt great. As the sun set, we let our kayaks drift, snapped photos and enjoyed the show. The birds flying overhead, the cool breeze on a warm Winter evening, the changing color of the cloud strewn sky, the silhouette of bare trees against the setting sun, it all made for a perfect day on the water.
August 19, 2005. Jeff and I arrived at the access point just as one group of about ten boats were starting their paddle to Humphreys. Our group of twelve boats pushed off around seven o'clock. This was my first paddle with members of TPA, and it was nice to put faces with some of the names. It was a warm day, but not as hot as I thought it was going to be. Humphrey's was a nice surprise, dinner was great. Next time I'll order ice cream to go with the hot pecan pie and it will be perfect. Twenty three paddlers were counted at Humphrey's before the paddle back began. Just as we were leaving the marina a gorgeous yellow full moon rose behind us. During dinner I learned that the normal route back is to follow the right shoreline to the island close to the dam before turning ninety degrees left. Then paddling to the left of the next island, and directly to the Stokes shore, and finally following the shoreline back to the access point. Not long after leaving the marina though, I noticed that the group was stretching out across the lake. I decided to paddle on the right and followed the boat leading that way. The group divided shortly after with most of the boats going home along the left bank. I'd like to say thanks to Tim for leading our group of four kayaks and one canoe along the regular return route. The full moon was awesome, completely lighting up the sky and reflecting across the water. We arrived at the access point around ten thirty and just after the first group, which had apparently taking a route that extended beyond the one taken on the way out to Humphrey's. Last night was a lot of fun, the full moon, paddling under the stars, and the pecan pie were all nice treats. I'm terrible with names and can't remember everyone that I met last night. But thanks to Pam I have a list. I would like to say that it was very nice meeting and paddling with Bonnie, Heather, Moses, Daniel, Tim, Linda, Jorge, Mike H., George, Shaun, Graham, Brantleigh, Jeff, Richard C. Cheryl, Jay, Mike F, Bill, Beline, Anna and Pam. I also learned that this was a record number of paddlers for TPA, so it was nice to have contributed to that as well. Mike checked the water temperature and let us know that the water was ninety-six degrees fahrenheit / thirty-five degrees celcius. That's hotter than I like my bath water! I look forward to paddling the lake again when the air temp is a little cooler so that I can appreciate the warm water more.
March 30, 2005. I researched Belews Lake last night online and discovered that the main body stays relatively empty this time of year. I apparently put-in at bass boat central yesterday. So equipped with better information and some new maps I drove back, this time taking 65 from Rural Hall to Pine Hall Road and parked at the Pine Hall Access Point. I was on the water at six and paddled due East for thirty minutes before turning around to paddle back across waters reflecting all the colors of a March sunset. The info on the web was dead on. I only saw a few boats tonight and no one came within three hundred yards. Really enjoyed tonight's paddle a lot. Check out a tiny clip of me paddling at Sunset on Belews Lake (1.5MB)
March 29, 2005. Today was gorgeous and I had enough time after work to do a little paddling. I knew that the week's heavy rains would have Loville's Creek Lake muddy, so I decided to try a larger lake. The kayak was already on the van and ,even though I had to do some backtracking, I still managed to get on the water in time to get a good workout. I used the Piney Bluff Access Point off Highway 65, just past my friends Keith and Sharon's house. I only paddled a narrow section immediately to the south and then just a little to the north of the access point. I got to paddle non-stop for almost an hour and a half. I only snapped a few photos whenever I had to stop for something else. It was my first experience sharing the water with bass boats. I wasn't surprised to see that the throttle went down instead of up when they came by. Overall it was a pleasant evening and nice to be on the water getting some exercise.