There’s one really good thing about being a member of the Church of the Double-Bladed Paddle. Services can be spectacular. Such was the Easter Sunrise Service Houston and I shared on Lake Oconee.
I have to admit it wasn’t easy. We had partied a bit the night before, with drums, instruments, and Moscow Mules. 5:00 am came far too early. Even so, we were up and ready to go to meet the sun.
Originally we had planned to launch from on Apalachee River branch of Lake Oconee. However, we were unsure of the launch site and didn’t want to fumble on an unknown bank in the dark. We decided to head back to Dyar Pasture, but this time we would explore more of the open lake as the sun came up.
We launched just as the sky was starting to brighten.
We made one misstep back into a cove, but were soon headed toward the main body of the lake. The waning moon hung over us.
There were multiple channels out to the lake. We had to just pick one and hope that it got us where we wanted to be. Tall grasses grew on the sides, and a pair of beavers crossed in front of us.
Sunrise was at 7:01 am. However, it would be later than that when the sun finally crested the trees. We lingered a bit to watch it come up.
As the skies grew brighter we paddled on down toward the lake, then turned back into one of the other channels. Water quality had not improved miraculously overnight. There was lots of floating trash. There was also a lot of wildlife enjoying the early morning.
We made our way back upstream, threading back through the channels that brought us down this way.
While looking at our GPS track from yesterday we noticed that if we had been able to push through that initial swampy area with the clumps of vegetation then we would have been able to find a passage through to another part of the lake. We decided to see if we could approach it from this side. We continued up the chosen cove until it began to narrow. It was tough going, and at one point we had to pull ourselves through some tough grasses, but eventually we made it through. We were back in the first channel we had explored the day before.
From there we paddled back out to the Oconee River. This being Easter Sunday boat traffic wasn’t nearly as bad as on Saturday. We made it back to the ramp and got the gear back on the truck. We had paddled just under five miles for this trip.
Here is the overlay of both trips. You can see the section where we pushed through to connect the two sections.
In eight days I had done five paddling trips and done about 30 miles. My arms were starting to get just a bit sore. We spent the afternoon napping and recuperating before I headed back to Greenville. I had cats to feed and a house to put back together before Laura’s return from Florida. However, it had been a great Easter weekend spending time with my brother.