Monday, May 30, 2011

Day Trip - Burden Lake

So the weather finally cooperated today, and I decided to head out for a few hour paddle to a lake that's not far from here called 'Burden Lake'.

View Burden Lake Paddle - 2011-05-30 in a larger map

I'd done my recon (using google maps) to find a parking spot where I could launch the canoe nearby, and it worked out perfectly. There was a nice big crushed stone area to park, and a couple access points on a small road.

Parking and launch

Just after I got there some other people showed up and started doing some fishing. I had to pardon myself and squeeze past the one guy to get in the water. Was a little awkward.

The launch point was a bit boggy. With that stinky-ass water you get in a marshy bay. That was really my only complaint. The parking was excellent and the people around seemed nice enough.

I paddled around a little bit in the bay, coming across a bunch of fish nests underwater. It was really neat to watch them chase each other around to defend their nests.

I probably saw more fish today than most times I go out. Maybe it was the time of year, but I saw everything from tiny minnows to large bass cruising around.

I came across a little inlet stream running into a secluded bay, so I decided to paddle up it a bit.

The little river

It was pretty neat, just wide enough for the canoe and pretty grown in. I didn't go in too far, since I realized I was picking up a large number of hitchhikers (spiders, grubs, crazy bugs). I stopped for a bit to squish spiders and whistle at a red-winged blackbird that was going nuts chirping at me. I must have been near his nest or something.

Red Winged Blackbird

Getting out of the little stream was harder than getting in, it seemed like all the branches were pointing in the opposite direction, but I eventually made it.

The big reward of my little side-trip was seeing an absolutely HUGE snapping turtle digging itself into the mud on the way out. I couldn't get the camera out in time, but he was probably at least two feet across.

After that little interlude I paddled up the lake, slipping through a culvert and under a bridge.

A dank dark tunnel

It was extremely nice weather, so people were out on the lake. There was quite a bit of traffic for a lake of that size, which surprised me.

I stopped on the side of the road where there was a nice little landing to stretch my legs, eat some of the sandwich I'd brought, and go for a quick swim. The water was WAY warmer today than it was when I went camping last weekend. It was very comfortable.

Gone for a swim.

After that I paddled down the other side of the lake. This side of the lake was a lot less populated for some reason (it seemed a lot steeper, and I think it was much more rocky).

I passed by a deer carcass in the water, which was really surprising. I would have expected that snapping turtle to be there instead of the other side of the lake :).

Oh noes!

I pretty much continued around the lake and back to the place where I put in my canoe in.

As a side note, I tried using the new bent-shaft paddle I picked up to replace the one I broke last weekend. It is really nice, giving quite a bit of power. It's a little more difficult to J-stroke with though, since the bend reduces the amount of leverage you get for the correction part of the stroke. I'm still really happy with it though, and it got more use today than my other straigh-shaft paddle.


All in all, an extremely nice day. The sun was shining, there was a slight breeze, and the water was warm and clear.

Looking up the lake

The full set of pictures from the day are available here.

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