Another sweet night on the water, as calm conditions and a distinct lack of powered water craft prevailed (also a lack of fisherman made for a much better parking experience than in the recent past). For the second week in a row, paddle imps were creating havoc among certain of our paddlers. Keith arrived on the scene, only to find that his paddle bag contained one half of his bent shaft paddle, and one half of Louise’ straight shaft paddle, with neither side designed to work in close cooperation with the other. Keith later revealed that he’d found his pair of boots that morning were made up of one of his boots and one of Louise’ boots. Maybe they’re relationship is so close that their boots and paddles are intermingling… It would have been interesting to see Keith paddle with a mixed-breed paddle, but this week enough of us brought spare paddles that we didn’t have the opportunity to see if he was onto something new. I loaned Keith a spare paddle I had with me that saved him the indignity of trying to duct-tape the two halves together.
Paddle issues resolved, we launched from the Duke’s Bridge put-in and headed out along the extensive channel (actually the North Branch of the Elkhart River) into Waldron Lake, which we transversed on our way to and through both basins of West lake. With the rapidly diminishing daylight, we limited our usual visitation time in West Lake to a minimum, and headed back. A few of us rounded Waldron Lake for a bit more distance on the water, while I believe Mike made his way into Jones Lake. As far as I can tell, we didn’t lose a single paddler in the process. With darkness coming upon us, we loaded up our water craft and shared a few cookies (Thank you, Louise!), then proceeded to get out of Dodge (or in my case, in my Dodge) before the skeeters made a meal of us. Thank you Jay for calling this paddle!