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HomeNL-2017-08 Champion Lake

A Pickup Trip to Champion Lake
June 20th, 2017
by Natalie Wiest

Ah, the pleasures of retirement living, and being able to paddle on a weekday when the working folk are – at work. I put up a last minute trip on the HCC Forum and by golly, five of us got together to put on the water the next day.

The original idea was to paddle Jones Bay, but with winds predicted near and above 20 mph, we decided Champion Lake would be a much more agreeable paddle for Tuesday, June 20th.

I got there quite early, and a good omen for me, getting to see a swallow tail kite dipping in the water right in front of me. This isn’t a great picture, but the bird was unmistakable and I’ve only seen a pair of them once before.

The lake was serene and well protected from the wind. Pink and white hibiscus were in bloom, and many of the buttonbushes too.

The water level was very desirable, an even 6’ on the gauge at the fishing pier.

We paddled along the south shore, then a bit farther north through the big trees, wandering the entire length of the lake and back again on Caney Creek.

The duckweed was in full “bloom” as we left “contrails” through the mass.

Linda Day brought her new puppy Felix along for the ride and he sure seemed to be enjoying it.

Nature left behind a beautiful wood sculpture from an ancient cypress tree, surrounded by the green duckweed.

There is always some interesting wildlife to be seen, and here is a huge spider hanging out on a tree trunk. It was about 6” across. I sure hoped it wouldn’t object to my picture-taking by springing at me.

It was another day of beautiful swamp paddling, we wish you could have been there too.

Natalie Wiest