Weiss Lake / Alabama Scenic River Trail June 10-13
I joined Alabama Scenic River Trails and I am so glad to have done so. Headed up to Weiss Lake in north east Alabama not knowing a soul but meeting 50 great paddlers. Arrived on Wednesday night and was welcomed into a group of about 12 campers all early arrivers for Thursdays great event. Gathered to register at 9:00 on Thursday and was very surprised to see 50 other like mined people. This was very organized and we were on the water by 10:30. The paddle that day was led by Richard Grove. He is the guy that did the Alabama River Trail in 49 days starting in Georgia and ending at Ft. Morgan. The entire event was orgainzed by Jim Felder. He is the author of a couple of books. This group comprised of very experienced paddlers to novice paddlers out for their first adventure. It was awesome to be in such large water that was fresh. Oh, to feel clean after a day of getting sprayed. The views were fantastic with Alabama mountains all around.We headed out Thursday, cut across the lake to an island with a boat loaded with Subway sandwiches, fruit, water and sodas. A horrific lightning storm came our way, but passed around us. The skies were fantastic. Just a small shower. Back into the water and on our way to the first night camp site at Alabama Belle Resort. No! we did not stay in the resort, just camped on the grounds. We swam, set up camp, visited, located facilities and ate. Due to the chance of bad weather again (which once again never came) we were served in the restaurant. That evening we were given a talk by a professor,geologist, author (can not remember his name) who talked about what would be expected and seen on the Alabama Scenic River Trail trip. We do live in a very wonderful state. We all crashed after this. We were also introduced to the couple to helps with portages around the dams on the Alabma Scenic River Trail. This group is good, I am impressed.
Up Friday to fresh coffee and breakfast, had our trip talk and were on our way. We were broken into two groups, experienced and novice. I chose the slower group since they were taking the scenic route. Wow! I was so glad. the birding was great and we came across a huge!! area of American Lotus just opening. We paddled on to lunch fruit, vegetable trays, homemade cookies and good sandwiches. I am loving it.The wind was kicking to high so all conoes and novice paddlers were shuttled to the next campsite. I joined 8 other paddlers and opted for a paddle across the lake. Winds were at 10 -12 and kicked up to 15 + it was a great workout and once again it was no nice to get sprayed with FRESH water. Yes! I was tired.Came to our campsite, set up tents. how neat to see 40 some odd tents spread out through the woods. Dinner served - bar-b-que(beef, pork and chiken), slaw, beans, cake, fruit, and then entertained by a blues grass band. What a life.Later there were about 5 campfires to wonder back and forth to. Bed around 12:00 up and out by 8:00.
For some reason that Richard Grove thought everyone needed to be awakened every morning at 5:15. could have done without that. On to our short paddle of three miles to the Yellow Falls and dragon boat races. We were in the race and trying to coordinate with 20 others was a blast. We lost. Oh well, we had fun. Had a small lunch and headed out. The fun I had was great and did I mention the cost for all of this was only 35.00 Now! that is a once in a lifetime event. Juli day