I'm always looking for new places to dunk Big Red and I had found a reservoir in Stafford that looked appealing. It's described as being one of Stafford County's most scenic park and lake, so I loaded up the boat on Saturday evening and set off in the morning.
It only took me an hour along mainly country roads to get there with a very bumpy track leading down to the ramp, but there was room to park close by so within a few minutes I was away from the bank and power paddling towards silent serenity.
I was delighted to turn a corner and see this old abandoned boat lift, and moved closer to explore.
Damselflies were fluttering everywhere over the water, many of them landing on my arms or hands as I paddled, or hitching a ride on the kayak. The silence of the lake was broken only by splashes from fishes catching flies, or large bubbles bursting from the silty bottom, silent large circles expanding across the surface. Bullfrogs grunted and mockingbirds trilled tunefully. There were even a few early cicadas clicking loudly from the trees.
I probably paddled about 6 miles around the lake, coming across only 5 other boat owners, most of whom had stayed at the top end nearer the road and the ramp. But I heard shouting and laughing from some rocks as I was finishing my afternoon, and stopped to watch a group of kids who were daring each other to plunge into the water below. I learned from their comments that a short sprint needed to be made before the leap, and seeing their hesitation, I smiled. And actually felt old! I wouldn't have thought twice about making that jump a few years ago, but nothing on earth would persuade me to do it now. I watched for a while but only two of the lads dared to take the challenge. Not wanting to make them feel more uncomfortable than they already were with me watching and chuckling, I left them to complete their antics in peace, and paddled the last few yards to the ramp.