Monday, April 14, 2014

Upper Tellico Paddle

Tellico Lake

A great tip from a friend and near record-high temperatures brought us and our kayak to the upper Tellico Lake for a delightful paddle last Sunday.

The blue sky over my shoulder.

The water was clear, the sky was blue.  It was a bit gusty on the water; when the wind blew, there was a decent chop and plenty of spray off the paddles.  But then it would subside to total comfort for minutes at a time.

TVA sign about the archeological site on this island.

We chose to paddle out around the shallow islands first.  One had a sign indicating it was protected archeological property.  Someone told us that it was the site of an ancient Native American burial ground.  That of course didn't stop TVA from flooding the valley.

Underwater treelines.

For those that don't know, Tellico Lake, a.k.a. Tellico Reservoir, is a man-made lake created by the Tennessee Valley Authority via the Tellico Dam.  In parts you can still see the stumps of old treelines sticking up through the water. 

Old trees want to snag your boat.  Don't let them!

What that means for boaters is keep a sharp eye out for hidden sticks ready to ruin your day.  It also means there are plenty of shallow areas to explore that motorized boat traffic can't reach. 

A really serene channel three islands back from the boat launch.
We even had to get out a couple times to move the boat along.  It also made for challenging work on the rudder.

Not another soul on the water.

The best part was we had the entire lake to ourselves.  There were a few cars at the put-in, but the entire time on the water we saw only one boat.

Sunlight off the water at the end of the day.

Ramp in, ramp out.
As we were heading back to take out, I realized that although I've lived in Knoxville for almost 12 years, I only recently discovered that the ability to paddle beautiful bodies of water like this, especially on a weekend in early April, is the best part of living in East Tennessee.  I'm really looking forward to next weekend and many more trips this summer.

Loaded up.  Heading home.

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