As last week drew to a close, I slipped away for a few hours of kayaking. The weather was sunny and warm and the lake, smooth as glass. Great conditions for a beginner kayaker.

Of course Carolyn and Deborah were along again because there is nothing better for a new kayaker than to have two other new kayakers along for encouragement. I think we had all been anticipating this next adventure. At this point we rent kayaks, paddles and life vests so we met at Norris Paddling Adventures (lakeside) to sign waivers and gather equipment. The kayak rental shop is located beside Melton Hill Lake, on the east side of the city of Oak Ridge. Melton Hill Lake is best known as one of the best 2000-meter rowing venues in the US. It is also a fine place to paddle, SUP, bicycle, run and picnic.

The rental kayaks are actually sit-on-tops which suits me just fine. These are not quite as nice as the kayaks rented last week as they do mot have dry wells. Luckily I remembered to bring a dry bag.

The rental shop is a short walk to the protected cove where we would launch. We were happy to let someone else drag the kayaks to the water front.

That is Carolyn in the kayak and Deborah on the dock. This area is also used as the staging area for major rowing events.

The yellow buoys on the left are part of the rowing set up, the rowing staging area is to the right.

Total bliss gazing at the sky, mountains and water!

Deborah and Carolyn are bird watchers. Below they are intently watching the shore for any movement. I am ok identifying some birds but would rather paddle harder than sit still in the warm sunshine waiting for a bird to move.

Cattails are abundant in the warm water in the private little coves. We explored several coves but worried about getting lost in the reeds and unable to find our way back to the main body of water. Honestly, that was beginner kayaker mentality. We would have been fine if we just explored.

Note to self… “camera lens fogs up in the heat and my dry bag. Wipe it off before attempting selfies.: 🙂

Bull Run Steam plant stack is in the center of the photo below. It is a coal fired electric plant built by Tennessee Valley Authority in 1962. It is scheduled to be shut down by December 2023.

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