With the sun just rising and a gentle mist clearing off the water, I slid my boat onto Lake Ashtabula right from my campsite on the west bank. The sky was clearing. Weather forecast was for sunny and a high of 77.
I saw some pelicans off in the distance, paddling softly along the eastern shore of the lake. Camera along for the ride, I wondered how close I could get to snap a photo. At that, the pelican flapped off southward to the river. So I followed.
Kayaking today was easy and almost effortless; the lake was like a mirror, the water warm as I dipped my paddle in and out, the sun warming my back as it evaporated mist and clouds.
Passing under the bridge which took me to the Sheyenne River, I exchanged Good Morning with a fisherman who was standing in his boat, small fishing poles in both hands. He caught a couple of perch while I drifted by.
A contingency of pelicans were downstream. Another chance. Turning my boat toward them, I noticed dark clouds coming up from the east, blocking out the sun. Odd, I thought, as the rains were not predicted to arrive until tomorrow.
Closer now to the big white birds, camera ready, I felt something looming at my back. Darker clouds accompanied by a wind that was picking up speed by the second.
Quick decision ~ Bye for now, birds ~
Paddling back from the river cove, under the bridge, I headed across the open expanse of the lake toward my camp. The head wind was strong, relentless, the water became choppy. Forget about the sun; nowhere in sight.
What seemed like forever was probably 10 minutes when I made it safely to the opening in the reeds that led to my shoreside camp.
How the weather can change in a heartbeat here on the North Dakota plains. How blessed I am to be warm and dry and safe.
Pelicans ~ good for another day