Captain’s Blog: Mile 32835. June 6, 2014.
Kerr Lake State Recreation Area, Kimball Point Campground, Site 51.
Nights at site: 2
Miles hiked: Negligible*; Miles rowed: enough
Back in the summer of 1988 I went on a group camping trip to Kerr Lake. Among those there were Rene and Arnold. I remember Larry was there; when I asked him if he remembered, he said, “Yes. I got a tetanus shot.” He did not elaborate; I don’t recall the tetanus shot.
Who else was there was Rebecca, a friend of Rene’s. So the current trip to Kerr Lake (better known as Bugg’s Island Lake in Virginia) was something of a return to the scene of our first meeting. Inflating our new rubber kayak brought back another memory: Blowing up a float. Funny how memories can re-emerge. The other thing I remember from the previous camping trip was standing waste-deep in the lake tossing a Frisbee with Rebecca and Larry.
We took a Frisbee this time, but we didn’t ever break it out.
This trip was supposed to be another training trip for the Big Trip next summer. The new aspect was supposed to be using the internal septic system. When we got camp set up, we couldn’t find the chemicals, so we wound up hiking to the campground’s bathhouse when nature called. Funny to call it nature calling. You’d suppose you could just go pee in the woods at a campground. But as you might be able to tell from this photograph, there really wasn’t a lot of privacy, other than at night. And the moon was pretty bright, too.
Riddle: When is a quarter a half? When it’s the moon. The moon was a half moon, which meant it was in its first quarter.
The other New Thing we were to try out was the Sea Eagle, an inflatable kayak we acquired. We like to paddle around in our kayaks, but it’s really impractical to transport two rigid-hulled boats on the camper. The Sea Eagle is a a tandem boat. When we bought our Old Town Loon kayaks, we debated between two singles and a tandem. The salesman then suggested a tandem kayak was a quick ticket to divorce. After a couple of turns in Kerr Lake, I think our marriage will survive sharing a boat.
Kerr Lake was completed in 1952. It is a very large lake, with over 850 miles of shoreline (according to Wikipedia). We stayed at Kimball Point, but there are another six or seven campgrounds in the N.C. State Park-
managed recreation area, plus whatever is in Virginia. It’s a long way to drive between these campgrounds, but you can row a rubber kayak to the next one in five or ten minutes. It looks like from a map of the area that we actually rowed through a bit of Virginia.
So far we haven’t been able to pick up any television stations on our media center. We were able to watch the Belmont Stakes on one of our campground neighbors big-screen tv mounted on the outside of their very large trailer. If California Chrome’s owner Steve Coburn really wants to know about “fair,” he should ask Ben Hogan. Hogan won the Masters, U.S. Open, and British Open in the same year, but failed to win the Grand Slam because the PGA championship was played at the same time as the British Open.
As you will see from this brief video, the Sea Eagle really has landed. You might call it a dry run.
*Whereas I report the miles hiked as negligible, we actually did get in a fair amount of walking, touring all the camping, boat-launch, and picnic areas (not to mention the round-trips to the bathhouse). There was a sign for a loop trail at the entrance gate, and we followed that trail as far as we could. It was not well-maintained, and it wound through the woods for maybe a quarter mile before terminating on a short dirt road.
Perhaps the loop was just via that road back to the main campground road. We did not complete the loop, but turned the other way and sought out the picnic area. The picnic area was pretty nice, although I wonder if anyone ever uses it, given the area is a campground and all the campsite have picnic tables. What the picnic area did have, on one side of the drive into the area, was a lush crop of poison ivy. Those are mostly pine trees in the photograph, and most of those green leaves are poison ivy.