Saturday, June 13, 2015

Visit to Lake James State Park

 Friday-Saturday (June 12-13):

Friday was a day we stayed around the campground. Connie slept in while I took a walk around the campground before going over to the Camping World store to see they had some replacement parts for the motor home. They are in the process of remodeling the store and did not have any of the parts I needed, so we will look for them on Amazon or at another store down the road. I ended up doing some maintenance items on The Duchess along with working on our bikes. All in all in was a pretty laid back day.

Saturday morning we found a spider web between the windshield and passenger side mirror this morning and took it as a sign that we have been here too long and it's time to move along. We are headed to Tennessee to a campground west of Knoxville on Monday morning.
You can barely make out the spider web on the photo.
We decided to visit Lake James State Park to do some hiking and to put the inflatable kayak in the lake. We drove over to the state park which is on the other side of Marion from the campground. It was about 30 minutes from our campground (the joke here is that everywhere you want to go is a 30 minute drive) to one of the two hiking areas in the park called Catawba River.

Entrance to park
We parked the Jeep and walked down to the picnic area that overlooked a dock and swimming area. The dock was open but the swimming area had been closed down. It did not look like there was any easy place to launch the kayak, so we decided to walk and then look for a different area of the park to put the kayak in the water. We ended up hiking for about 2 hours and then we ate lunch in the picnic area.

One of the fishing piers in the park

Hiking along the edge of the lake.

The signs warned us of possible death if we went off the side
of the trail.

Some of the trail was up & down
We traveled a couple of miles down the park road before finding a boat launch area. It was very busy and there was not a good way to launch the kayak. Connie asked a couple of guys waiting to launch their boat for a recommendation and they told us to go back up the road to Hidden Cove boat launch on the other side of the dam. We went there and it was not crowded along with being a much easier place to put in. We aired up the kayak, put it in the lake, and paddled around the lake for about an hour. We went across the lake (it is not very wide) into a cove on the other side and then back again. This is the first time we have had the kayak in the water this year, so we did not want to over do it.
Lake James looking back to Pisgah National Forest. Lake James was formed by
a dam built between 1916 and 1922 on the Catawba River and two of the creeks
that empty into the river.

Looking back up the Catawba River

Heading out from Hidden Cove

Bringing the kayak back to shore
After the hike and kayaking, we were both tired upon our return to The Duchess. When I was putting the kayak and gear out to dry I met our neighbors, Gene & JoAnne, who are from Sunrise Beach on Lake Buchanan near Austin. Gene was born in this area and they are here to deal with some health issues of his mom and his brother. Two Texans side by side in Marion NC.

We both took a short nap after which Connie cooked us dinner. It is getting quite warm here in North Carolina with temperatures near 90 today. The locals say it already feels like summer here.