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ZION NATIONAL PARK UTAH This image was made during the fall of 2015 in SW Utah. It was one of three parks that we visited on this tri...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Jack Jeffers - THE GREAT DISMAL SWAMP 1970

The previous entry featured my daughter Hilary. This one will feature my son John.

Backpacking and canoeing used to be my primary activities and this trip to Lake Drummond went into the books as one of our best. Lake Drummond is located right dead center in the Dismal Swamp, and the ideal time to take a canoe trip into such a place is during the late fall when the leaves are changing and the mornings are crisp and comfortable. I have always had a difficult time with high temperatures and humidity, and that is one of the reasons I headed west following my early retirement.

Finding a dry place to camp in the swamp is always a bit of a problem, but we managed to find a spot to pitch our tent. I often slept in my old kayak when taking long trips with the Boy Scouts, but this time we roughed it on dry leaves and soft ground with a light plastic tarp to keep us dry. In those days my camera pack was fairly light and the kayak was the perfect means for maneuvering into places to make exposures.

This image of John just sorta happened. As I recall, fishing was poor to nil in that lake, but we gave it a try. We did catch a few perch along the entry canal and that provided us with at least one nice meal. John was standing out on that log along about dinner time and I could not resist making several exposures on a roll of Kodachrome. This was my choice of the lot, and that transparency is as good today as it was forty years ago.

Adventures such as this stick in your mind, and the image brings back fond memories from the old days.

I can remember another camping trip to Buggs Ialand Lake near Clarksville, VA, shortly after the lake was completed. I was crusing along with a double bladed paddle when I spotted a pretty good size snake out near the middle of the upper lake. At my present pace, we would likely come pretty close to one another. I pushed it a little harder just to see the critter a little better and I got to the crossing point first. That blasted snake darn near jumped into the kayak with me. He literally made a jump to get over the kayak, and I quickly pushed it off with the blade of the paddle. I never could tell exactly what kind of snake it was. It could have been a water snake or quite possibly a cotton mouth. They are both short tempered. I have heard that the cottonmouth might range inland that far, but who knows. It was another memorable moment on a beautiful trip up the lake.

To view a larger image, left click on the photograph

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