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Wednesday, April 27, 2022

A Short Paddle on Degray Lake

We've been waiting for this stop for several years:  a chance to hunt for Diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park, north of where we are camped in Degray Lake State Park.  We arrived early and were allowed into our campsite, and had gotten set up by 2:00.  After giving Ruby a long, one-hour walk around our campsite and down to the lake, we decided to open up the kayaks and paddle around a bit to get to know the lake.  This was especially important because rain is in the forecast for the majority of our week's stay here.

We feel especially spoiled when we can put our kayaks into the water right at our campsite.  This is the second campground in two weeks where we've been able to do that!  Kathy celebrates:

Pushing out into the calm waters of the lake, we started around the point where our campsite is located:

Around the point, a quiet cove backed up to some of the campsites across from ours:

Degray Lake is not known for hosting flocks of migratory birds, but Kathy did spot this coot plying the water for his dinner:

And many turtles were certainly out, enjoying the warm, sunny, calm weather.  Many were swimming and poked their heads up out of the water curiously as we approached.  We spotted several sunning themselves on logs, but they were extremely shy and dove into the water before we could get close enough for good photographs:

The park has put birdboxes along the lakeshore, and we enjoyed looking at a few of them as we paddled by:

Degray Lake boasts a paddling trail with numbered stops.  We're hoping that (weather permitting) we can try to paddle it.  In the meantime, however, we spotted this observation deck on the north shore of the lake, decorated with a sign identifying it as Stop 5 on the paddle trail.  It made us curious where the other nearby stops might be.

We circled a small island further on toward the Resort on the lake, then worked our way back to our campground, enjoying this view of the point where our neighbors' RV's were perched:

From the point, we could look down along the shoreline, with each campsite boasting its own piece of lakeshore for paddling, fishing, or just plain sitting and looking:

David spotted a shallow water marker buoy out in the main body of water directly across from our RV, and he paddled out to get a photo of it.  Our campsite and motorhome are behind the buoy to its left in the photo below; if you look carefully, you can see Kathy in her kayak in the distance on the far left edge:

We only paddled about 1.5 miles, but it was a relaxing introduction to our new home, and some welcome exercise after having sat in the cockpit seats for four hours or so.

Tomorrow:  The Hunt for the Elusive Diamonds!

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