Friday, March 14, 2014
Last night the breeze kicked up a bit but I slept well. I think after two days of hard paddling I needed the rest.
As dawn is breaking I peek out under the brim of my fleece hat, which is long enough to cover my eyes, and I see some scattered clouds. Yummy; it should be a nice sunrise. I rise, grab my camera gear and head back up the hills to the east to an overlook where I shot a few images last night. A bass boat speeds by on the lake below and is the only person I'll see all day. Solitude.
After shooting a few frames I head back down to camp anxious to get on the water since the overnight breeze has died and the lake is like glass. I eat, pack and launch. I glide along as though on the surface of a mirror; the inky depths reflect the blue sky and red rocks perfectly.
I cross the lake and turn south down Cathedral Canyon. The red, orange and white sandstone walls tower over me as I paddle and drift, stroke and glide, stroke and glide. I frequently pull out my camera (the Nikon AW110 waterproof one) and try and document the beauty, the stillness, the tranquility and the awe I feel as I glide along. The emotions I feel on this mirror are so different from those I felt yesterday while battling through the wind and chop. This is bliss and I try and capture it.
I spend the day gliding through Cathedral, Driftwood and Cascade Canyons. At the back of each, I beach and look at the sand path leading away from the water but choose to pass them up for the opportunity to stay on the lake. I've hiked canyons in this country before and I'm not here for them; I'm here for the lake and from what I've seen so far there's a character here that's worth taking the time to get to know.
After a full day exploring I pull out on an island at the mouth of Cascade Canyon right next to buoy #47.