Well, the winter has been lingering on, delaying blooms & buds and keeping most of
us cooped up indoors. And even as April started to show promise of spring, the
temperatures for the weekend of the Switzer to Forks trip dropped.
Still, that didn't slow down the 'Paddlers'. A small, but hardy, group of eight
braved the forecasts to reap the benefits of a beautiful day on the water. Rain on
Friday helped the cause by bringing up the water level, temps rose cautiously
during the day and the sun shone bright on our old Kentucky creek.
For those who haven't paddled this stretch before, it is an 8-mile flat water run
on the Elkhorn's North Fork. It flows past farms, small cliffs and house sites
through a canopy of forest. For our trip, the trees were just starting to leaf out
and the flowers were just beginning to bloom. Virginia Bluebells we were told by
one of the participants, though I still use the generic "blue flowers" name
to describe them. Plenty of bird life was seen - ducks, Canada Geese,
woodpeckers, vultures, hawks, even a Kingfisher ,plus a myriad of smaller swallows,
sparrows and warblers.
Alas, with the water level up, the trip ended much too quickly. The sun on our
heads kept us warm through the paddle and a good time was had by all. The trip
also managed to snag 4 new members who, I hope, will join us for further paddles
on Kentucky's waterways. Some of them even had ideas for new paddle opportunities.