Boating on South Holston

In the early spring,  I asked my brother-in-law, Gerald, if he’d take me out in his boat.   Since I had about 60 other “little boats” (kayaks) to think about shortly thereafter, we didn’t  go until this week.   We picked what we thought would be a perfect day.  It was going to be 70 degrees and sunny.    It did turn out that way, but we left at 10:00 am  and for some reason, the fog hung over later than usual so most of our time was not in the sunshine.   Instead it was a gray, silvery morning on the lake.    Very pretty.   We’re getting ready to launch in the picture below.


I was the helper who got to hold the boat.  Gerald backed it down and then went to park the truck.   My job was to stand on that slim little ramp with a cord both keeping the boat from floating off and keeping it from hitting the ramp which had some rough metal sticking out that would scratch it.   I did not tell him but I wasn’t paying attention and almost fell off the ramp.  What if I had fell in the water and let the boat loose?   I would have had to make up a story that a bear got on the ramp and pushed me in.


I’ll be super careful next time!

Everything went well, and off we went.   We both had sweatshirts on so during the cooler morning.  The water was so pretty.  It was warm at 75 degrees.   It takes a while for this much water to cool off, and just last week, our temperatures were in the 90’s.


Here’s the Captain.  I suppose I was the first mate.  I was Gilligan.


Just like on Gilligan’s Island, here’s a deserted island.  I’m glad we didn’t capsize because there appears to be no Professor, Maryanne, Ginger or Mr. and Mrs. Faust.   There was no tv crew.   The only picture of me was my feet.


Look how pretty the water is.


We had a Garmin which showed us where fish were, allowed us to follow the same path back and displayed the depth of the lake.   The deepest place I saw on the Garmin was 214 feet.   This is very important as the water is low as we approach winter and if you’re not careful, you could end up in a shallow area and tear your boat up.

This is the famous 421 Bridge.  It is so pretty and , back in the day, I know people who have jumped from that bridge.  Me?  I jumped from the Nordyke Bridge in Mendota.  It was so shallow I had to wear tennis shoes because I knew I’d hit the bottom.   The people who jumped from this bridge didn’t have to worry about hitting the bottom.

In the picture below, this is a pump station where Bristol gets drinking water.


So…about 2/3 of the way into the trip, the sun finally showed up.


Look at the Holston Mountain in the background.   It was hiding in the fog just minutes before I took this picture.


There is lots to do in our area.   We have lakes and rivers and mountains.   Feeling lucky.

Pretty homes.


It was over too soon.  The sun was really nice as we left.   Getting a boat out of the water is interesting.  If the propellers aren’t running, you can’t steer a boat, so you actually have to drive it up the boat trailer and hope you center it.  Gerald did a good job.  We then made sure everything was hooked up and tied down and took off.


A very fun day!  I did learn, however, that when you are hauling a boat, you better not need to go through a drive through and eat.  No one accommodates boats!



My World September 24, 2106

WOW!  Has it ever been hot and dry in Mendota, Virginia!    It was 90 degrees yesterday when I took this picture from the Mendota bridge.  I was waiting on kayakers to come in.   I’ll go back to this same spot next week and the following week so that I can record how the leaves will change as we approach real fall weather.

Clinch Mountain View From the Mendota Bridge

Clinch Mountain View From the Mendota Bridge

For some reason, this lady and her little one cooling off in the river was a sweet view for me.   When I grew up there was no air conditioning, and the river was a place we went to cool off.    That is when my relationship with the North Fork of the Holston began.


Adventure Mendota is suspending kayaking until it rains and we have more water in the river.  Hopefully, the rain will come concurrent with the leaves changing.   During this time, between taking afternoon naps and going to the movies and eating out–like all the time–Mike and I are getting ready to have all of the trim and a few rooms in our house painted as well as have all of the hardwood sanded and refinished.   We have movers coming October 6 to move the heavy stuff so the next ten days will include our moving the small things next door.  We’ll be staying in the guest house while all this is happening and using the garages for storing larger things such as mattresses, etc.  Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

A few years ago, our son and daughter in law put their house on the market and were told that the trending paint colors were lighter…blues, grays, beige and “greige.”   “Not me,”  I thought.   Our son jumped right on it, and I thought it was a mistake.   Well, I guess this old girl might be a few years behind, but I’m having our master bath, guest bedroom and laundry room–all painted in shades of blue.

Mike and I are NOT painting ourselves which is the best news of all.  Our painter will use whatever paint we choose, but he likes Behr paints from Home Depot and can provide a 20% discount on the paint.  It’ll be a Behr paint.   It’ll be a color like these which I borrowed from Pinterest.


Can you imagine how dirty my house will be after the hardwood is redone?



Ruby Smith…. A Century Of Life


My mother had two best friends in her lifetime.   One was Connie Collier and the second was Ruby Smith.    On Saturday, Ruby’s 100th birthday was celebrated by her friends and family.   Here’s a picture of my sister, Pat,  and Ruby that was taken at the event. Pat wrote about Ruby on Facebook, and she expressed […]

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Door Knobs Or Channeling Aunt Clara


We are moving next door in about three weeks while our house is being updated a bit with fresh paint and refinished hardwoods.    Since we essentially have to move out of all the rooms with hardwood, and that is all of the bedrooms, living room, dining room and hallway, this is a great opportunity […]

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My Goals – One More Thing Done


I’m still working on my 2016 goals.  So far, I’ve got my ears pierced and they grew right back up.    I’ve lost 11 pounds but still have about 15 to go.   I’m on to a new goal.  I have always wanted to enter something into the Washington County Fair!    This year, I did.   And guess what?  […]

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I Choose Love

Good picture

My favorite picture of the past few weeks.    I choose love.  How about you? (8)

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Shopping in Abingdon, Virginia


Our small river outfitter, Adventure Mendota, got rained out today.   We had to return a child’s PFD (life vest) to her grandmother at The Virginian in Abingdon, so we decided to head up to the Abingdon Farmers Market. I bought bread.  It’s actually made in Mendota. Picked up some treats for River at Barkery […]

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Magic Black Raspberries


I am not on this blog often in the summer since we own and operate a small outfitter on the North Fork of the Holston.   We’ve been very busy until this week when it rained — much needed rain.  We are like farmers — we watch the skies and the weather diligently. The rain […]

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The Vines On North Fork

Vine in the hole

What I like about blogging is chronicling time.   In Mendota, things move slow but we do have change.   Some very good changes, but we remain a rural farming community. It’s such pretty country… While only a very few tobacco farmers remain, we still have several organic operations, RiverGate dairy, sheep, cattle, and finally, […]

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Some Things Work Out

Crate of Tees

Remember the crates that I found in Gate City at Memory Lane Antiques?   Here’s how they’ll look with the tees in them.  This is the Canada Dry crate which works well for small t-shirts.   I take no credit.  Mike thought this up. Also, long ago…here…I talked about the kayak quilt square Mike was […]

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