It’s the time of year here in SW Virginia, when many outdoor recreational areas have already closed, or are getting ready to close, for the winter. It was not too many days ago when swimming, fishing and canoe/kayak paddling lakes such as you see below, were full of happy people splashing about in spring fed, cool waters. Now, it’s very quiet. The floating diving dock and slide have been packed away until next May or so.

And then, there’s the lifeguard stand, deserted and looking out at an also deserted lake surface. I suppose you may wonder at the sign on the stand. Why “no swimming or wading?” Well, the sign is seasonal…in the months when the lake is open to swimming they take it off.

My family and I have had lots of fun on this lake over the years. Canoeing, kayaking, and swimming. I have caught a few fish there as well. One large catfish I hooked there while fishing from my kayak, literally pulled me to shore while I was trying to get him into the boat…one hand holding the fishing pole, and the other struggling with the paddle trying to steer. Finally, I whacked the battling fish with my paddle to make him settle down, before then releasing him near the shoreline…and with a big flip of his tail away he went. Good times all.

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