Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A Peaceful Swamp

On this past Labor Day holiday, I went with some friends to Lake Chaubunagungamaug, also known as Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg (seriously!), and a bit easier to say, also known as Lake Webster. (No, really, I'm not making those first two names up.)

The idea was to go kayaking on a nearby lake. From looking at a map of the area, this long-named lake seemed like a good place to try - none of us had ever been before. Unfortunately, this was a very very busy lake. It probably didn't help that it was the last holiday of the summer, but kayaking on this lake was akin to kayaking down a busy city street. Jet skis and motor boat were constantly buzzing about, the smell of gasoline fumes filled the air, and the shoreline was what might be politely called "thickly settled" - lots of houses one on top of the other directly on the lake shore. (Next time I'll remember to consult a satellite map before picking a kayaking destination.)

This definitely was not an ideal kayaking spot. However, after paddling around for a while, we did manage to find a small patch of solitude. The southern end of the lake turned into a lilly pad filled swamp. Just paddling into it about 100 feet was enough to completely remove all waves from the boats and the wind. Here's the view looking further south into the swamp.

We hung out in the swamp for about 45 minutes or so, just drifting and watching the occasional turtle pop its head out of the water. It was definitely a much needed break from the chaos on the lake.