Sunday, June 05, 2011

Mountain Island Lake

Carole and I took the canoe over to Mountain Island Lake today. The lake is one of the sources of Charlotte's drinking water. It's also only a mile from Carole's mom's house. When we go, we always access the lake from Latta Plantation Park, which is a county-run park. As county parks go, it's very nice. Superlative, I'd have to say. It has a nature museum, a historic exhibit (the Latta Plantation Home) and the Carolina Raptor Center where birds of prey are rehabilitated. And several hundred acres of woods and shoreline providing trails for horseback riding, hiking, and canoe/kayak launching. Lots of good fishing, too. It's a great county park and I can't say why we don't spend more time there. It's also a short jog from Carole's family church.

We spent the lion's share of today canoeing around the shoreline. We put in at around 11:00 am, thinking that we needed to beat the after-church crowds. However, as things turned out, the park never got that crowded, at all. There were some speedboats and skiers on the lake, a few jet-skis, but mainly other canoes and kayaks. It was nice not having to worry about getting run down by speed demons on motorboats.

We went to one of our favorite places on the lake--a series of boulders at the water's edge (and in the water) where we went swimming and sunbathing. After that we headed back to the canoe launch where we'd parked the truck and returned to Carole's mom's place where we grilled chicken and had supper. It was a day well spent.

Early in the paddle. We actually passed between these two rocks in the lake. I was hoping for sirens, but all we saw was big piles of bird poop.

One of the rocky beaches where boaters like to pull up.

This was taken as we paddled beside a big rock formation called Buzzard's Rock. They have a nice overlook platform built on top.

A huge boulder at our favorite lakeside spot. The young ladies on the right thought I was taking their photograph, I suspect.

I took the Kodak waterproof camera, as I did not want to risk any damage to the Canon. One nice option is being able to take it out in the water where I got this perspective.

We swam across the lake at this point.

Underwater shot. Murky water nothing like the clarity of the springs of Florida.

The flat rock where we like to sunbathe.

This spot was weird. We noted a park bench in the woods. Once there, it became obvious that the bench was on a now-abandoned trail forgotten by the park. The bench probably only sees occasional use from people like us who spot it from the water.

This shot made me wish I'd had the Canon with me. A Great blue heron in flight. But of course I lost all the detail with the cheap little waterproof camera.

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