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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Reelfoot Lake - Cypress Knees - March 29, 2015

Reelfoot Lake State Park                                            3.6 miles today              523.6 miles total
11:45 to 1:45, put in at end of Carrington Road
Me, Scotty, Dina, Dick & Nashville Outdoors Meet up Group/Kelly, about 30 total?
Morning started off at 25 degrees, got up to 58 degrees on the way home.

This trip was with Nashville Hiking Meetup.  There were 7 canoes total and about 10 kayaks.  Several of the group had camped the night before.  Thank goodness I was at home in our nice warm bed - it had been a cold night.  This group was a little different than most of our paddles as I think the majority of the people had none to little kayaking experience.  This was a great trip, though.  The scenery was unlike any other paddle. We went through many cypress trees and there were lots of cypress knees.  Apparently, this route can only be paddled in the spring before there is too much foliage, and also possibly the water level goes down.  We had to go through a canal like part at first and then we got out into the cypress trees.  We saw a huge eagles nest, it was about 10 feet wide.  There was one section of the lake filled with gar.  As we paddled through, they were jumping everywhere.  This was also the section where there was a duck blind.  The ranger said that the vultures like to sit on the blind AND if you go under and surprise them, they react with fear and regurgitate as you go under.  There were also 2 tree house structures here.  Years ago, Reelfoot Lake introduced eagles into the park.  For 6 months, there were some volunteers that lived in a structure here and every 2 hours climbed up into these houses to feed the baby eaglets.  At the visitors center, we saw owls, hawks and eagles in cages.  I think the majority of these birds were rescue birds.  Inside the center were also some snakes.
On the way home, we ate at Trollingers Barbecue in Paris, Tennessee.  It was a 3 hour drive over, but a beautiful way to spend a Sunday!

The 'canal' section leading out to the cypress trees.

The large 10 foot Eagles nest.

Duck Blind.

Houses where baby eaglets were introduced years ago.

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