Brian - Laurens County adventure
By BRIAN WHITMORE
It’s official, my family and I are enjoying the Yak Life.
The week of Easter, I purchased kayaks for the family and this past weekend was the maiden voyage, a trip to Boyd’s Mill Pond on both Saturday and Sunday.
It was a family adventure and we didn’t have to leave Laurens County.
We had a blast. My daughter, Lydia, really took to kayaking quickly.
The small 184 acre lake is near Ware Shoals in Laurens County and operated by Laurens County Parks, Recreation and Tourism. It is a dream for small boats (15 horsepower or less) with calm water and a peaceful setting.
Full of bass, catfish and bream, Boyd’s Mill Pond also is a popular destination for fishermen.
Karl H. Dixon Memorial Park was built in 2012 and provides public access. There is no cost to fish or launch boats.
Not just a fishing pier and boat ramp, the park boasts a beautiful walking trail, picnic shelter, playground and bathrooms.
After launching our kayaks, we went into the main body of water and paddled well over a mile.
The biggest joy was watching Lydia. I bought her a 6-foot pink kayak and she handled it like a pro with limited instruction.
My wife, Jane, and I were piloting 12 foot kayaks.
I’ve been in yaks before, but it is only when you make an investment in a hobby that you really own it.
And I needed this. I have a stressful job and it’s good to get away and lose yourself in nature.
Well, that’s the idea. But when you bring a 6-year-old, there isn’t a lot of peaceful silence.
“Daddy: I want a drink.”
“Daddy: I want some chips.”
“Daddy: This line (tow line) is tangled.”
“Daddy: There’s a stick. I want to keep that for my memories.”
Hey, I love it. Lydia and Jane are my happy place. And I love getting into a hobby that the whole family can enjoy together.
It’s so awesome to enjoy God’s creation together. It seems the farther you get way from man made things, the closer you get to God.
Kayaking is a relatively inexpensive way to enjoy the beauty of nature. You don’t need a lake house or an expensive boat. A yak and paddles are plenty.
It’s good exercise. I’m a big boy, so I needed a bigger kayak. That makes it a little tougher to transport, but totally doable.
And paddling gives a upper body work out. Towing Lydia back to the boat ramp took some muscle. A little sore after week 1, but it will get easier in the coming weeks.
Our next stop will be River Fork near Waterloo with access to Lake Greenwood. This spot also provides public access, with a boat ramp, fishing pier and mini-beach - all free of charge.
Lake Rabon also is popular for small boats (fee required for boating).
There are numerous other spots in the county to kayak, see www.lctrails.org/kayaking-canoeing.
I love that I don’t have to leave the county to enjoy my hobby. An outdoor paradise is one of the reasons I love Laurens County and call it home.
Brian Whitmore is the publisher of The Chronicle. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Chronicle. Whitmore can be reached at email@example.com.