Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lake Marburg, PA

I saw this barn south of Carlisle, PA, on my way to Marburg Lake.  It was on Rt. 34 between W. Old York Rd. and Mt. Holly Park.  Everything is beautifully maintained, and again, I love the architecture.  You'll see it better in another picture, but notice the intricate brick work in the ends that allow ventilation through.

This is when I wish I had a 400mm lens.  This is the only wood duck
I've seen, and here I got a male and female.  You can click
the picture to enlarge.

This is a great lake with numerous coves that are wooded and natural. Some continue into a wetland or bog. The lake water was a beautiful aquamarine, and so clear that I feared running aground when I still couldn’t reach the bottom with my extended paddle.
Using a ramp adjacent to the marina (No. 1 in illus.), I paddled south into an unnamed bay and then into Wildasin Flats. The lake is on a waterfowl migration route, so there was a lot of activity to see. I got to the headwater of Wildasin Flats and continued into a feeder stream. When I ran out of water, I tried to turn around in a spot barely wider than my 17-ft. 9-in. length. I stuck the rudder into the bank (No. 2)  behind me and broke the rudder cable. The rudder should be raised when trying that, but I had been having problems with the rudder not wanting to drop freely when released, so had left it down. I pulled into the marsh (No. 3) and sounded for something solid enough to bear my weight, and climbed out while looking about for snakes. I tied the rudder off to create a skeg that would assist my return to the ramp. After only an hour and a half, my day was over after 3.7 miles.

A purple martin on a bluebird nest box.

I called Jean, and while I was loading Ibi on the truck, and the gear back inside, she started searching for a place to locate repair parts. She found Blue Mountain Outfitters on the bank of the Susquehanna River, in Marysville, just north of Harrisburg.

(Blue Mountain Outfitters, Ph. 717.957.2413, 103 S. State Rd., Marysville, PA. Just north of Exit 65 off I-81. Closed Sun & Mon.)

Black-capped chickadee in birch.

They have a very complete inventory of everything a paddler could want. A very knowledgeable member of the staff knew exactly what I needed, and had me fitted out with a replacement cable and compression sleeves in short order. If you happen through the area, it would be a great place to just browse.
As it turned out, the day may have been a challenge anyhow. I had no sooner loaded the canoe back on the truck than the wind picked up to 25 mph. As I began to work on the rudder, the sky darkened. I got the rudder apart, cleaned all the parts, greased the bolt with lithium grease, and reassembled. The aircraft-style nut on the bolt doesn’t need to be tight because of its nylon bushing, so I wound it on just enough to engage the bushing and keep it from backing off. The rudder was much freer.
Canada Goose

By the time I got Ibi back on the truck for the third time, it started to rain and continued through the night. At 128.5 miles for a 90-minute paddle, the day didn’t go quite to plan, but I still got on the water, met some nice folks at Blue Mountain, and learned more about my boat.

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