The north wind was a little cool at the start, but that glorious sun along the sheltered creek kept us warm on our first paddle of the year. All those extra clothes we brought just in case, were not needed. Air temp was 52; feel-like temp was about 63. Water temp was 38 in the pond per Cindy’s pool thermometer. It was 45 in the stream per my wine thermometer. I counted aloud 48 swans and a camper on shore said that was her count as well. These swan were quite friendly, leading the way on some turns. They allowed me to check out a nest (no eggs yet). One did puff himself up at one point, so we did keep our distance. Four loons were spotted. It is the first time we have seen them here. Other creatures along the route included hawks, turtles, horses, red winged black birds, heron, geese, a huge carp, several black/white ducks (breeding male mergansers?) and evidence of active beavers (who flooded a very large area per a man clearing branches in his waterlogged yard). We saw some buds on trees – a welcome sign after this long cold winter. The water level was low, as noted by the old rusty bus, which is usually partially submerged. We took a vote and chose to take a right turn along the stream for a quick break instead of going an extra 3 miles to the Nature Center in Sterling. It was a nice and leisurely paddle totaling 8.5 miles. Oh, need internet ? – see Jim.
We chose Turtle Cove as our new refreshment stop. Loons were in the bay there as well. The cook was out of a few items, so the majority ordered hamburgers. Alas, they were low on hamburger as well, but if the six of us would hang out while they made a grocery trip to Tops, we could enjoy an extra free round of beverages. We gladly agreed. It was a no-brainer on this first sunny Sunday, with a nice water view and happy kayakers to chat with. The wait was well worth it. Burgers were good.
The nine who warmed up their paddling muscles today were Dave L, Bill E, Kim, Eric, Cindy MP, John S, Jim, Cindy P. and Rick in his older boat with a smaller cockpit, so that any splashed cold water did not chill his legs. Good thinking.
The 2018 paddling season is off to a good start. See you on the water – Kim W