Kayaking Lake Wanaka

On Monday, four members of the Wanaka Crew spent a couple hours kayaking on Lake Wanaka.  What a blast!  Photo credits go to Alys, Danella, and Joanna as I left my camera and phone on shore.  Information about Lake Wanaka was taken from various online sources.

Lake Wanaka covers an area of 192 km2 (74 sq mi) and is New Zealand’s fourth largest lake.  It is estimated to be more than 300 m (980 ft) deep.  The clarity of the water is remarkable, especially to one who is used to the New River and Claytor Lake, which are full of organic matter.  The name Wanaka is Maori and means ‘The place of Anaka’, a local tribal chief.

At its greatest extent, which is roughly along a north-south axis, the lake is 42 k / 26 miles long. Its widest point, at the southern end, is 10 k / 6 miles.  The lake’s western shore is lined with high peaks rising to over 2000 metres / 6500 ft above sea level.

Wanaka lies in a u-shaped valley formed by glacial erosion during the last ice age more than 10,000 years ago. It is fed by the Matukituki and Makarora Rivers, and is the source of the Clutha River. Nearby Lake Hawea lies in a parallel valley carved by a neighbouring glacier.

We rented the kayaks from Paddle Wanaka, and while they did not provide much instruction or information (thank goodness I am not a novice!), they did encourage us to paddle out to Ruby Island.

Ruby Island – photo credit: Me!

We put in along the beach of Wanaka’s town center and paddled past an area of construction.  This tourist town is rapidly growing as evidenced by several new areas of development.

It took us about an hour to paddle out to the island.  Ruby Island has a boat jetty, a picnic table, and even a toilet (the word restroom is infrequently used here).  Our happy group posed in front of the Ruby Island sign.


Joanna took this great shot looking back out across the lake to our put in.

Other than a slight sunburn, it was a glorious day on the lake!

Morning on the River

Just a couple hours on the water.

That’s all it takes to make me breath deeply and smile big.  It’s similar to how I feel on the bike.

Karen encouraged me to set aside the chores for the morning and get out on the river.

We are so fortunate to live on the New River, and can be on the water within 20 minutes of leaving our homes.  The New River is 360 mi (515 km) long and flows through the states of North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The part that runs through my little city has just a few Class 1 rapids, but it is often as smooth as glass, offering stunning reflections.

We saw lots of Great Blue Herons, and the fish were jumping right up out of the water.

The roots of this tree reveal evidence of the rise and fall of the water.

When floating this part of the river, you pass under 3 bridges.  The modern day train trestle, the remains of the historic bridge, and in the distance, the new Memorial Bridge.

I’ve posted images of this trestle in the past.  You may remember it.

Despite the risk, it’s hard not to pull out the camera when floating the river.  I keep the camera in a Scuba bag so as to protect it in case the kayak tips over, but even still, I’m always taking a chance when pulling it out of the water safe bag.

It was a perfect morning, and I feel such gratitude for natural wonders and dear friends.

As you read this scheduled post I am enjoying the annual Girls of August (GOA) get together.  You may remembering me telling you about the women that I attended graduate school with over 20 yrs ago.  The Girls Of August have been spending the first week of August together for over 20 years, and it is one of the highlights of the year for all of us.

See you when I get back!


Everyone knows what it’s like to come home from vacation with a ton of digital images to sort through, delete, edit, and post.  Well, add to that my ignorance with technology and getting photos from camera to tablet and back off tablet.  Ah well … lessons learned (and still to be learned in terms of patience).

Part 1 of the 2013 Bike Trip involved a 550 mile ride to Urbanna, Virginia and back.  It was a glorious 3 days on the Rappahannock River and on the Middle Peninsula.  I’m home for 24 hours before heading back out. Lots to do, including figuring out that technology problem, before getting back on the bike early tomorrow morning.  Can’t wait!

For now, know that I enjoyed …




The beauty of the water …

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The elements …

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The wildlife …


A whole lot of fun with the GOAs (Girls of August; friends from grad school 20 years ago; this was taken with someone’s phone; I’m in the VT cap) …


And a little history on the way home … Appomattox, Virginia … the old jail house


Hope you enjoyed these! More to come!!

Life. Is. Good.

Not that there aren’t roadblocks and hurdles, but those challenges allow us to appreciate the peaceful, soulful times.

I am a fortunate woman.


First Kayak Float of the Year

The extensive rain and unusually cold temps have made this such a strange spring.  I’m way behind on gardening and some of the weeds in my yard are as tall as I am!  I’ve put fewer miles on the motorcycle than is typical for this time of year and I haven’t even  had to turn on the A/C yet!

Despite all that, the temps are finally starting to rise and today, Karen and I were able to get on the river.  I’ve got the truck; she’s got the kayaks.  We knew that rain was coming but enjoyed the peace that floating the river brings and reached the take out spot right before the storm set in.

Simply lovely!