Thursday, November 3, 2011

Exploration On The Water - Part 1

Yesterday morning was a cool day but also one more very sunny day and again LC and I took our new fishing boat out for another spin on Woods Reservoir.
It was cool when we began but quickly warmed up, and in early November every warm day is becoming a gift.
My Mountain Boy had bought a second battery for the trolling motor and so we knew that we could safely venture further than we had on our first trip, and as it turned out we unexpectedly spent more than five hours on the water yesterday.
We explored more coves, saw beautiful areas along the shore that we would like to find via surface roads and then explore on foot, saw many herons and ducks and other birds as well as a surprisingly large number of duck blinds.
We traveled under a highway bridge to find out what was in a section of the reservoir that, until yesterday, we had never ever seen before.
We found that the reservoir was much larger than we had ever imagined and that there were many islands that we had no idea existed.
It was a quietly fun and life affirming day on the water, in each other's company, and in the ongoing sunshine of a season that is too quickly winding down.................
The first of untold numbers of coves that we explored yesterday.............
A bobber in a tree...............
I woke up this morning instantly aware of the fact that two years ago today I was on a plane heading for Juneau Alaska for a series of interviews for a job.
Between written exercises and phone interviews and two days of in-person interviews and exercises in Juneau I had never worked so hard in my life to actually secure a job.
All I wanted to do was get a job, move to Alaska and live a quiet life.
Two years ago today I was on a plane.
It seems like a lifetime ago.
Sometimes now, sitting back in my own house in Tennessee watching Jamie fall so quickly and easily back into her pre-Juneau and pre-Cody routines, and going back to the places LC and I used to visit frequently it almost seems as though the last two years never even happened.
But it did.
Today was a day filled with rain and cold.
We knew that was the forecast and so chose yesterday to take a long boat ride.
Other people must have checked NOAA as well before heading out because for the first time since we arrived back in Tullahoma there was a surprising number of other boats on the water.
Fishermen mostly, knowing that Fall is moving along, and that there are not a lot of days left to fish on the water..............
The first of many duck blinds we saw yesterday.
They still seem like a lot of work to me just so that people can shoot at ducks, but the more I see them the more interesting they become.
Some are right beside the shore and others are far enough into the reservoir that all supplies had to be boated out to the blind.
Some have lean-tos attached so that would-be duck hunters can keep their boat right beside the blind under cover.
Some have extensive camouflage and others have skimped and seem to care little about being covert.
I find it extremely interesting watching to see how hunters have approached their small structures and the varied construction designs.
I see artistry and order and interesting lines in things that I did not even realize until I began taking photographs just before heading to Juneau in January 2010.
My right hip is bothering me more and more these days.
A hip flexor issue that I believe it attributable to a number of factors.
Weak abs.  Lack of overall flexibility in general.  Lack of hip flexor flexibility in particular.  Over-compensation during the time my left knee was injured two years ago.
I had better get my act together and strengthen abs and stretch or I may not be running for too long.............
My Mountain Boy loves his boat.
I love it as well.
Partly because we are having a lot of fun on the water exploring areas that we have never seen before under our own steam when simply paddling a canoe or kayak.
But mostly because he loves it so much.
He smiles more nowadays.  Is more relaxed.  Is happy to be back in Tennessee.
LC brought his fishing rod with him during our trip yesterday and tossed it into the cold water a few times in each cove.
No.  The bobber in the tree was not his..............
There are more leaves on the trees deep into the coves than there is on open water.
More leaves and brighter colors.
The trees along the shore in open water are increasingly becoming brown and bare.
Both the threat and the promise of Winter is hovering in the air.............
A surprise found deep into the cove.
A bird house on a pole in the water..............
LC and I have been viewing Tennessee with new eyes since we came home after being away for 21 months.
I miss the mountains in Juneau and Wyoming.
Actually I miss many things about both of those states.
But scenes like this are very beautiful to me.
This place is only a few miles from the house.
It is very quiet.  Very peaceful.  Very beautiful.
It is part of an area that I have a special attachment to because I have spent so much time kayaking, canoeing, trail running and mountain biking here over the years.
It has not changed at all in the past couple of years and it feels good to come home to this place and know that it is still there for me................
We had been on the water for over an hour and were heading towards the section of the reservoir under and then beyond the bridge.
Neither LC nor I had been to this section of the lake before and were excited and eager to explore further.
A link to a TN state map of the reservoir:
When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.............John Muir

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