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HomeNL-2011-11 Lake Charlotte
Lake Charlotte & Trinity River
October 1st, 2011
by Paul Woodcock


 Sleeping in
the bow
   Figuring out the
bent shaft
I have four grandchildren and two of them really like to paddle with me.  My youngest, Angie, accompanied me on the Lake Charlotte trip.  We had not paddled together for about two years. On the last trip I had tried to teach her a few basic strokes, but she spent the last half of the trip asleep in the bow.  I was pleasantly surprised at how strong a paddler she had become.  At first she had the problem common to all first time paddlers with a bent shaft.  Which is front and back?  After solving this problem she hardly missed a stroke the whole trip. 

As we  waited to start the trip I saw a large flock of egrets in the trees off in the distance. They turned out to be wood storks.  I was told that is is very unusual to see such a large flock. 

 Waiting to start
the trip


 Wood storks

 Wood storks

Trip map
With a strong bow partner I had no problem keeping up with the kayaks.  We stopped for lunch on the Trinity River and she did not flinch as we tried to find a place to spread the picnic blanket in some place devoid of the numerous cow patties.  I had bought a couple of tuna prepackaged lunches for us but when I was looking for them in the pantry this morning I could only find one. With three teenage girls and a mother in law who forgets that she has just eaten, I did not hide them well enough. Luckily I had some peanut butter crackers and fruit for myself.

 Bow paddler
   The Trinity

We got to see a large gator but I was not able to get a picture of it as it jumped off the log when we got close to it. We then started back up the cut and took side trips to all the little lakes and she just started doing draw strokes to maneuver the boat around all the obstacles.  Once in while when we were approaching an obstacle Angie would start to do a draw on the wrong side but I was really surprised how quickly she figured it out.  We were following John and Cindy Bartos and I think she learned a lot just watching them paddle their tandem canoe. 

Lake Charlotte
   Paddling in
the wind
When we got to lake Charlotte the wind had picked up and the waves started to bounce the boat. The paddle to shore into the head wind was a challenge.  I was surprised when she said this was the favorite part of the trip.  After we loaded the boat we drove to Romayor to look at the put-in for an over night camping trip I am thinking of doing.  Angie had a great week; not only did she get to paddle with grandpa and see a flock of wood storks and alligators, she also got her first set of point shoes.

The rest of the pictures of the trip are posted on the web site, and I am really proud of the wood stork pictures:
Lake Charlotte, Oct. 2011

the earth is my mother.
the sky is my father
the animals are my brothers
the canoe lets me get closer to them
   - Paul Woodcock

 Paul Woodcock and Angie
(Photo by Philip Matticks)