Hey, I did my first solo camp and paddle trip over the weekend. I was nervous about it at the beginning of the week, but the more I thought about it, the more excited I became. What a blessing it was.
Due to some very poor directions from Google (wth?) and a bit of unexpected road construction, I arrived at my site after dark. Not to worry, I just happen to be a seasoned camper and setting up in the dark was no big deal. A quick dinner and a glass of wine, and I was off to explore my surroundings. Actually, I went down to the lake to see what I could look forward to. The moon was nearly full and the lake was lit up beautifully. Oh, this will be fun.
I was up before dawn and on the water before the sun rise. You can't tell with this view, but there was quite a bit of fog on the water. Oh, and I shared the lake with duck hunters. That was a little disconcerting, but they stayed on their side and I paddled on the other, and hoped that when they did shoot, it would be into the air.
It was beautiful and peaceful (in spite of the hunters) and I moved about the lake for nearly 4 hours. Not unexpectedly, I didn't see much wildlife, but the Autumn colors were in full bloom. And the weather? Wow, once the sun rose above the horizon it warmed right up and it would be in the high 70's later in the afternoon. Not bad for October. Actually, it reminded me of paddling the Crystal River a few years ago when it was also 80 degrees at this time. Mm hmm, but then the temperatures plummeted the following weekend.
I reluctantly left the lake and returned to camp for a quick breakfast/lunch. All that beautiful paddling makes a person hungry. After lunch I set off to explore the hiking trail. It was well and thoroughly marked, until it wasn't. The blue blazes simply disappeared and I didn't realize until later that I was no longer on the trail. There was no marker telling me which direction to go so I took the most travelled route. I looked carefully on the return trip and even though I never saw a marker, I suspect I should have taken a path to the right when my trail turned into a two-track. Next time. Still, my route was beautiful.
I have to remember to bring my mushroom book with me so I know if I'm finding edibles or not. I'm not afraid to forage in the woods, but I sort of want to know exactly what I'm eating.
This was wonderful and I couldn't help grinning to myself over my good fortune in the weather and location. Where to next?