Summer is upon us, one or two days a week. That’s how the weather has been going for the past few weeks, so getting the boat out on the water is more regular happening, and caching is lots more comfortable than it was in Mid February.
I took the kayak out for the first serious paddle, more than 1/2 mile, about a week ago. While scanning the map of caches that I hadn’t found yet, one on Rocky Gorge Reservoir caught my attention. Zooming in on Google maps put the location pretty close to shore. Wow, only 1/4 mile from a parking lot, but probably over a mile hike each way, while not a hike I’d shy away from I thought about paddling to it. But then 1/4 mile paddle (each way) is hardly worth the effort to load the boat, launch and reverse the process when I’m through. Ah Ha! Across the lake, almost a mile away is another boat ramp. What better reason to get the boat loaded, so on a warm morning I put the boat on the SUV, and headed to Scott’s Cove – on Rocky Gorge, near Laurel Md.
The day was sunny, with a very slight breeze blowing, both of which added up to make this about as closest to a perfect day to paddle as I could imagine. The first leg of the trip, 0.94 miles to the cache was an easy run. Then I had to land and find the cache, both were ease. I located the most likely spot for the cache before I even landed the kayak. The closest I could get to it by boat was about 15′. Once I found the cache, and signed the log I did a little CITO (Cache In – Trash Out), one of the activities that Geocachers partake of regularly, it makes caching lots nicer when we don’t have to dig through old drink cups and candy wrappers.
The return trip was a bit longer, why waste a good day heading directly home. All in all my GPS recorded 3 miles for the day.
Then yesterday I felt the urge to get out again, this time on Tridelphia Lake, another watershed between Howard County and Montgomery County, a few miles upstream from Rocky Gorge.
I started out on the Howard County side, the northeastern side, at a boat ramp known as PigTail, and headed out upstream to a boat ramp on the Montgomery County side about 3 miles away.
This was a bit more ambitious for my second paddle of the season, and my arms are feeling it today. There was about 5kt breeze right up the lake making the trip out rather easy. I heard a few woodpeckers and the call of what I think was an Osprey, but didn’t see either of them. Once at the other end, lunch was in order. The paddle back was, of course against the wind, which at times was a bit stiffer, making me work just a bit harder. One thing I finally worked out was the ‘proper’ paddling technique. Guides and Instructors had been saying to use ‘core muscles’, not arms. On the way back paddling into the wind I realized that was the way I was paddling. With more practice it will probably become my ‘natural’ paddling style, but till that time comes I’ll have to work on it.