This was a great day for this paddle trip. Cool weather, calm to no wind, and crystal clear skies. We all met at the Lake Martin boat launch to help get the boats in the water quickly and take advantage of the early sunset. Much to our surprise, we found ourselves sharing the peninsula with a wedding. The location was the perfect back drop for a wedding, with the sun setting and the beautiful Cypress trees hanging over the water. The ceremony was starting soon, so we quietly got our boats together and just as we were getting in to launch, the ceremony ended and we were able to pass without interruption.
Just as we were entering the water, the sun was ducking behind the horizon which created a beautiful sunset, and we all gathered some photos. It was getting dark fast, so we moved quickly to the south end to get deeper into the Cypress trees. The darkness surrounding us made this very difficult, as we were hitting dead ends and having to turn around, so we moved back closer to the tree line. As we made our way north, counter clockwise, the moon came up to rise and the howling began. Seriously, most of us howled at the moon which was quite humorous.
We stayed mostly at the tree line as we moved around the lake since we were having trouble spotting the trees in the water until we reached the north end. I tried to get in closer to hear the frogs bellowing out very loudly, but again the trees were getting in the way. Moving back toward the boat launch, we had the moon in front of us, and it was an absolutely beautiful sight. It lit up the lake like a giant search light and at times made it difficult to see since the brightness of the moon interfered with our eyes looking into the darker areas of the water. Sharing this trip on Veterans’ Day was very special because of the tranquility that the lake offered. It provided the perfect moment to remember all who have served and paid the ultimate price for our country and who gave us the freedom to enjoy our country’s gifts like Lake Martin.
Also, I could not help but stop and think of my son’s teammate and friend Dylan who we had to say goodbye to earlier that day. He died on November 8th in a car accident, and he was only 12 years old. The setting was a place of quiet and peace, and it was of great comfort to me on this trip. Making it back to the boat launch site was not difficult since there were plenty of lights. Judging by how slow everyone came in, it seemed as though the group was sorry for the trip to end because they enjoyed it so much. After everyone landed, we passed the dinner out. It was a delicious red beans & rice meal from Hub City Diner with sausage, corn bread and cookies. What a great ending to a beautiful night.
-Kevin Wallis, Trip Leader