Join a few other self-sufficient types for a paddle at the upper end of Center Hill Lake to a back country (primitive) island campsite on Davies Island. The plan is to carry everything on our boats (even water) that we need for a 2 night campout. It's only a few miles by water, but a few hundred years in time.
We will leave Friday PM, and return Sunday, the 12th of May. We can spend Saturday exploring the island on foot, exploring the lake by boat, fishing, or just laying around and soaking up Mother Nature. Canoes are most convenient 'cause they are easier to load, and carry more, but you can also use a kayak. Boats are available to rent from MTSU, and probably other places as well. (We set up this trip a couple of years ago, but the weather went Biblical on us, and we had to cancel.) This is supposed to be fun, (not a stress test), so if the weather forecast is bad we will reschedule for the following week. This outing can also help us prepare ourselves and our gear for longer future expeditions.
Center Hill Lake is not a wilderness, but it's close enough to one that this trip is not for inexperienced paddlers or campers. The leader (that's me) must confirm that those joining in are fully prepared for our trip. Note also that we have to conform to a permit issued by the US Army Corps of Engineers, so the number of campers is limited. If the spaces fill up, please put yourself on the waiting list, we invariably have a number of cancellations, and it's probable that spaces will become available.
We will meet at the Kroger at 1:30, and leave as soon as everyone is assembled. If there are some stragglers, we will have a drop dead departure time of 2:00 sharp. Figure on bringing Subway or something easy to eat for a camp supper that night, something for a quick breakfast bite the next morning, and a brown bag for Saturday lunch. At some point we'll make plans for cooking a nice big Saturday night camp feast, and a hearty Sunday breakfast.
Update: We will leave our vehicles at Puckett's Point boatramp. Our campsite is Davies Island East, about 2 miles one way from the boatramp, across the open water of the lake. As required by state law, the camping area now has portapottys. No fireworks or firearms are allowed, and you must have a fishing license to fish - we will be visited by rangers during our stay.
Update #2: For those who are interested, there are supposed to be a number of huge butternut trees in the area. Because they are very scarce, and will soon join the chestnut tree as a species wiped out by blight, the exact location of these trees is not publicised. In addition, two of the largest American Chestnut trees remaining in the world still live on this island. (They have been studied, and unfortunately, are not fertile.) If any of you dendrologists wanna research this, please post for us.
Update #3: Fancher's Falls, also called Taylor's Creek Falls, is 5.5 miles away by water. (11 miles round trip.) It's well worth a visit. It is not accessable by land, and the water is too shallow for powerboats to get up to it, so very few people get to see it. Kayaks/canoes are ideal for the trip though, so no doubt several us will want to make the trip. There are other intermittant falls in the area, including the mystical Mist Falls, that only exist in the Springtime (or possibly when the Wee People dance nearby) and it's not on maps. Katherine has taken the remarkable photos that are attached. Hopefully we will have enough water to see them like this as well.
Update #4: As leader of the trip, I feel responsible for the safety of our group. Therefore, I am asking anyone who cannot get off work in time to meet everyone else at the Kroger by 2 PM on that Friday, to cancel their RSVP. The campsite is very hard to spot, and we need to paddle out there as a group. There is a very great chance of getting lost on the lake in the dark, which is not an acceptable risk.
We'll have a big camp breakfast on Sunday morning, and head back together in time to be in Nashville by afternoon for Mother's Day celebrations.