Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tims Ford Lake

Tims Ford Lake is part of a state park located 10 miles from Tullahoma, and after the last two very cool days LC and I spent a couple of hours on the lake today in the fishing boat we bought a few weeks ago.
I had debated briefly about kayaking while LC was fishing, but although the day was warmer it was also very windy.
With water that choppy there would not be a lot of fishing happening and I decided that kayaking could also wait for another day.
Although I have biked and run many times on trails out at Tims Ford in the past I have never been on the water there.
Neither of us had, and we were both excited and looking forward to doing some exploring.
My Mountain Boy and I, along with our dog Jamie, visited Tims Ford briefly only a few days after we arrived back in Tennessee.
We spent the day that day moving too quickly from one old stomping ground to the next in the area - from Tims to the base to the house to Tims Ford Dam to some of the surrounding towns.
Still high strung from the journey across country from Wyoming.
Still unable to stop moving, or to really even slow down yet, we were eager to see these places. 
To see if they had changed.  If they still looked the way we remembered them.  If they still felt like "home" as we again tried to get oriented to life after Juneau and Cody.
What surprised me initially this morning was the boat dock in the picture above.
When we visited this place in early September the ramp leading down to the dock was flat rather than steeply angled as it was this morning.
On that day only two months ago LC and I walked down to the boat dock briefly while looking out at the lake and still trying to get used to there being so many trees, after living in the almost treeless plains country of Wyoming.
I had to drag Jamie down the ramp.
She was scared of the narrowness of the ramp, and scared of having water on both sides of her.
Unsettled and disoriented, much as her humans were on that same day.
As we looked out over the lake again this morning we realized that the water level had been significantly lowered over the past couple of months.
As much as 15 or 20 feet lower.
As I waited for LC to park the truck up the hill after unloading the boat I looked out over the water.
The sky was incredibly blue but the day was unsettled.
More rain is on the way and the entire time we were on the water today the sky literally changed every few minutes.
The bright green leaves on the trees in September were all now gone.
The water, cold but not yet freezing cold, was choppy and very blue.............
A picture taken from the porch of the small supply store at the top of the boat launch.............
I love this old boat.
Hanging from the roof outside the front doors of the store............
I had forgotten just how beautiful this place was.
There were three or four other boat trailers in the parking lot outside the store but there were no other people visible anywhere around us.
A very quiet place.........
After briefly visiting the store and then unloading the boat and then unloading the truck and then driving the truck back up to the lot, we were both finally ready to head out onto the water.
LC tooled the boat over the the ramp, picked me up and we were finally and really ready to go..........
The supply store and small restaurant seen as we headed towards our first cove...........
Recently I looked back over previous blog entries since we arrived back in Tennessee and realized just how much things have changed in only a couple of months.
When we first arrived in early September the temperature was still very very warm (even though we just missed 100 degree weather by a couple of days) and everything was still very green.
Now into the third week in November everything is different.
Unsettled weather.  Leafless trees.  The growing season now finally done for at least the next four months or more.
Thanksgiving right around the corner and then Christmas and then finally another year.........
Every Winter there is a 6 mile trail run at this park.
Because Tims Ford is so close, and because I know the organizers of this race well, I used to either run it or volunteer for it each year.
I preferred to volunteer for it because at the time it was too short of a race for me and a lot of it disappointingly and for unknown reasons took place on paved trail as opposed to dirt trail.
But either way, I have crossed this bridge many times as a result of my involvement with the run.
It was a blast-from-the-past to troll slowly underneath it this morning and relive the memories I have of this place.........
I have never seen signs such as these before.
Buoys letting fisher.......persons........know that there is large amounts of brush on the bottom of the lake in this area.
Which LC (while educating me on such things this morning) told me draws in the fish.
I am certain that there is logic behind deliberately dropping brush and leaving buoys and pointing out to fishermen where groups of fish are but I am just not interested enough in the entire thing to search it out.
Regardless, I have never seen these buoys with these signs before, and I liked them..........
Looking back the way we had come.
Heading back into the wind with a very unsettled sky...........
And then a few minutes later an almost clear sky.
Such was our entire time on the water.............
Even though the water was very choppy in the middle of the lake we found multiple quieter coves and multiple opportunities for LC to throw in a line..........
I found this picture interesting not only because it clearly shows just how much the lake has been lowered but also just how much erosion has occurred over the years.
The line of exposed tree roots is clearly visible...........
Heading back the way we had come before continuing further along the lake............
Heading for, and then circumnavigating the island.
We were having a great time, as usual on the lake.
I have never had a boat before that was not a canoe or kayak and I never realized just how much fun it is to see the world from a totally different perspective.
Big and quiet fun...........
Lakeside park cabin rentals...........
We briefly pulled the boat up on to the sandy shore of the large island, intending to walk and explore the island.
We quickly nixed that idea when we saw just how muddy and boggy the sand was.
The sand was deeply water logged after spending so many months under water.
An exploration that will have to wait until Spring, when the water is higher and we can unload directly on to the island..............
There is big money on this lake, as evidenced by not only the huge home in the picture above but also by the many homes and private boats and boat docks that we saw during the last half of our trip this morning...........

A person should go out on the water on a fine day to a small distance from a beautiful coast, if he would see Nature really smile.........Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare

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