After our outing on the canoe last weekend, a friend of ours pointed out that he has two kayaks we could borrow if we wanted. Seeing as how we had a kid-free weekend coming up, we decided we would take him up on that offer. We picked up the kayaks Saturday evening and headed to Cove Lake State Park in Caryville, Tennessee, early Sunday afternoon.
We had heard from our kayak bearing buddy that Cove Lake was an awesome spot, and he was right! No gas-powered boats are allowed on Cove Lake, so it’s really quiet and the water is really still and calm. When the wind isn’t blowing across the water’s surface, it’s like you’re gliding across a pane of glass. The park does rent jon boats, and visitors can bring their own electric motors for said jon boats, but luckily we were the only ones out on the water that day. Probably because we were the only ones that didn’t think to check the weather….
We paid our launch fees, unloaded the kayaks and dropped them in the water. We hopped in with our bag of snacks and our cooler and started paddling. We couldn’t have been in the water more than 10 minutes before it hit. *crack……BOOM!!!* Lightning strike. Out of nowhere. Right behind me. We spotted a little cove where we could pull the boats out of the water and very quickly paddled over. (This is where being in the Pelican Kayak came in handy – it was the lighter of the two and went faster.) We yanked the kayaks onto shore right as the sky opened up and started pouring buckets of water down onto us. We’re talking monsoon-type rain. It was insane. And the lightning was brutal. It wasn’t safe standing in the clearing next to the water so we took cover in the woods under the thickest covering we could find. We were drenched within minutes. This went on for about 45 minutes. Thank goodness the Perception Kayak had a waterproof compartment or else our towels would’ve been useless and our phones would’ve been ruined.
After the storm passed, we relaunched and continued paddling down the lake. At this point we were glad for the storm. It had cooled the air a bit and had made a beautiful fog that hung over the water and up in the mountains. As we paddled, we encountered fish leaping out of the water, tons of Canada geese hanging out along the sandbars, herons gliding over the water, and some of the biggest snapping turtles I think I’ve ever seen in a lake.