|Larry and I arrived at the lake a little after 10 AM, punched our entry ticket and were greeted by a large land tortoise strolling along in the center of the park’s entryway.
After photographing our large reptilian fellow creature we fell to wondering where all of our fellow hikers were. We spotted Foster who had just come from patrolling the camping areas for more of our group, and the three of us picked out a nice table under some very tall old pines.
Danny, Kim, Chelsea, and Emily rolled in just as we were debating how to light the grill since we had remembered everything on our list but forgot the fire element. Just about that time, Betty and Tom arrived with their canoe and our kayaks, and most importantly a weather beaten pack of matches that Tom found squirreled away in his truck.
That problem having been solved, we next tackled unloading the boats. With the help of Chelsea and Emily this was a breeze. They decided to ride with Tom and Betty in their fairly new Merrimack, 43-pound cherry wood canoe. Larry and I put in our old beat up but lovable Necky and Walden kayaks, and paddled in search of our group. Along the way we enjoyed views of Pickerel weed (which is technically a rush) and that southern favorite, Elderberry, sporting its berry filled head.
By the time we landed the boats, Jennifer, Anthony, Jim and Yvonne had arrived and the table was laden with good things to eat. Every morsel was enjoyed, and the conversation was buzzing. Someone mentioned rain and voila, we heard thunder. Looking up we quickly surmised we’d better rescue our boats, since it would be easier to load them up before the rain hit. Well actually, Tom, Betty, Larry and I did get pretty wet since the rain came down about halfway back to the put-in spot.
When we got back to our group, they had thoughtfully packed up everything and were standing out in the sun! Most of them were just a wee bit wet having enjoyed a stroll under the trees down to the dam. Foster had already departed and since there were more clouds on the way and no pavilion to shelter under, our party came to its close. I didn’t even get to try the fishing rods or sample that much acclaimed coconut cake. Worse yet I forgot to take a group photo, but hey there’s always next time. See you in Cataloochee next month?