Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Scenes from Lake Jocassee

Every once in a while when I visit a spot that's relatively close and really nice, I have to ask myself why it took me so long to finally visit it. So it is with Lake Jocassee. This reservoir in the upstate of South Carolina was created by the Duke Power Company to serve as a hyrdo-power generating plant. Damming the river created a large, clear lake of exceptional beauty that lies just below what is commonly called "the Blue Wall", the Blue Ridge escarpment that drops precipitously down to the Piedmont.

Indeed, when one is on the shores of Lake Jocassee or plying the surface of the lake in a canoe, kayak, or sailboat, you can look around and up at this great blue wall looming above.

Carole and I pick out lake destinations carefully, because we do not like having to share the water with high speed motorboats and jetskis piloted by assholes with no regard for swimmers or for human-powered craft. That's why we don't go back to places like Lake Norman and Lake James. Since this was new territory for us, we were a little worried about traffic on the lake, but we needn't have been anxious about it. All day we saw--perhaps--a dozen motorboats on the vast surface of the lake. And these were far outnumbered by kayaks, canoes, and sail boats. Knowing this, we'll head back to Jocassee soon.

The view that greeted us when we got to the boat ramp.

The lake was dotted with kayaks and canoes, but hardly any motor boats.

As usual, I don't feel confident taking my good camera on a lake, so I took one of the lesser cameras. I tried to get a good shot of the rhododendron blooming on the slopes above us as we paddled into a cove, but the sun was too bright for the camera to deal with.

A stitched panorama from the spot where we stopped to have lunch and go swimming.

The shoreline erodes from the rise and fall of the lake level. It was created to be a source of hydro power, so the level waxes and wanes constantly. Here the water is collapsing an old ridge, creating a small arch.


Jack said...

Jocassee has to be my favorite lake in the Carolinas!

HemlockMan said...

Yeah, I was really surprised at how beautiful it is, how uncrowded it is, and how few motorboats there were on the lake! Definitely a must-return-often spot!