How’s that for interesting? This was all on Thursday, May 9th in the afternoon. I was heading westbound on Sand Lake Road approaching I-4. A couple of fire trucks zoomed by. Destination unknown. When I got to I-4, that’s when it became apparent where they were in such a rush to get to. It was during the time of day when traffic is light so nothing was backed up but for anyone trying to get on the westbound onramp, it wasn’t gonna happen. I bring my camera with me everywhere and saw the photo opp staring me right in the face. I wasn’t in the closest lane to the flipped SUV so I had to slow down and wait for traffic to clear to get the right shot. Yep, I was that rubbernecker slowing everyone else down behind me. I know, you’re hating me right now.
It’s not that I was rubbernecking. I just wanted to get the best possible shot. Good thing I had a clean windshield because that’s how I made it happen. The flipped Chevy Equinox was obviously a rented vehicle because of the license plates. The other vehicle was a car. Not sure what make and model. It looked like it had a damaged bumper but I don’t recall exactly. Believe it or not, this ain’t the first flipped over vehicle I’ve seen. Definitely not the first remnants of a car accident I’ve seen. Other than ones I’ve been involved in, I’ve never seen a car accident with my own eyes as it happened. I’ve heard the crash from a distance. I’ve seen the aftermath (nothing gory). But never anything as it happened. I didn’t see any bodies strewn about the road or being stretchered away for this one. The latter could’ve happened later, though.
Examining the pic, I’ve never seen and never knew they put wooden blocks underneath flipped vehicles. Why, I have no idea. Maybe someone can enlighten me. I proceeded to the spot I parked in last time I went kayaking at Big Sand Lake. Actually, to start my adventure, I had to put the kayak on my car at home and since I haven’t done it in a while, I forgot some steps in hooking up the straps. Had to pull out the manual as a reminder. Took me a while to do it but once I started remembering, it became a breeze. Some guys were out trimming the grass when I parked and once I had my kayak ready and laid it down in the grass, ants started crawling all over it. Wasn’t many of them but the little sons of bitches were a nuisance. They got riled up from their home being destroyed or disturbed and took it out on my kayak. What did it ever do to them?
I managed to flick them off and get all my gear ready to hit the water. A lady was walking by and tried to strike up a conversation but I wasn’t there for chit chat. I didn’t wanna be mean, because I’m not that type of guy, so I responded in a way that wouldn’t generate a reply from her but she kept replying anyway. She was out there to look at the water lily blooms. I didn’t know such a thing was an attraction for some people. I entered the lake behind the hospital. It’s one of the very few ways in from the Turkey Lake Road side. The weather was just right. Once I was in, I saw the blooms that attracted her and I saw her checking them out. If you look at the lake on a map, I was gonna do the bottom 3 parts of the lake. I admired the big, expensive homes. It’s something to strive for, that’s for sure. It also got me to thinking, if you’re gonna jack someone’s house, why not do it in a boat? Not that I’m a thief but living lakeside, these are things those people should keep in mind.
I went down the west side of the lake first. Nothing but homes for a while until you reach the end of the second part of the lake where there are trees instead of people’s back yards. Many homes have piers but a lot of them, much like the homes, don’t look used or lived in. Some had boats but some of them, along with the pier they were in, were all cobwebbed up. I only saw one person that whole time. He was working on his pier. Other than him, I saw no activity on the street or in the homes but there was one fishing boat and a pedal boat out on the water. Both of them came from Westgate which was on the other side of the lake.
After passing the trees, to get to the last part of the lake, it becomes narrow. So narrow that you could walk from one side to the other because the water level is extremely shallow. In some parts, less than a foot but not more than 3 feet. Getting through it was a bit challenging because of the tree stumps sticking up from the water and the ones that were submerged. Couldn’t go too fast through it because I didn’t wanna risk puncturing the kayak hull. That was fine by me because that area was full of nature. A crow was becoming an annoyance because it wouldn’t shut up (fucking up the peace and quiet) so I had to chase it away.
On the last leg were more homes, a forest that was behind a school, a park, and some private land where someone was rocking away in a hammock. It seems that Great Egrets like to hang around these parts because I saw a lot of them. In the narrow part of the lake, I saw one fishing. I got within 12 feet of it. It didn’t seem to mind me much. What you see above isn’t the pic I really wanted. There was a better shot when the egret stuck its head straight up, looking directly into the sky. With the surroundings and the background, it would’ve made for an awesome shot. Visually, it was stunning and one I won’t soon forget. I’m glad I was there to see what I saw at the moment it happened. I didn’t get the shot because I was too busy playing with my camera to take a picture of a water lily bloom but the sun being directly overhead wouldn’t allow me to get the shot I wanted.
On the east side of the lake past the private property but before Westgate, it’s pretty much inaccessible. You can see cars going down Turkey Lake Road in the distance. There’s an area around and behind the post office that was litter-free and very inviting. It was like a little beach area that was calling to me because I was originally gonna start heading back up the lake. I saw some dead trees that caught my eye amidst all the greenery and that’s what made me go over. I’m glad I did because the area I went to was wide open. There was probably a time when it was open to the public from the street because the clearing appeared too man-made but that time had to be a very long time ago. I docked and got out of my kayak to relax in the water for a while. It was just the right temperature and still not very deep. Sparkling clean, too. A big fish even swam right by me, disrespecting my status as an omnivore. It better be thankful it was me and not someone else who would’ve scooped his ass up for dinner.
As much as I wanted to stay there longer, there was more to explore and only so much time in the day. What I really wanted to get a closer look at was the abandoned Westgate pier. Some cormorants drying off on some poles also didn’t seem to care about me. Those birds ain’t afraid of humans. I’ve gotten within a foot of one in the past. I was gonna get out of my kayak to go onto the pier and the island it attached to but an employee on the main shore was trying to get my attention. There was a boat tied up to a pole and he asked if I could get it for him and push it to the island shore. I helped him out and he thanked me which is all a guy could ask for in that situation. Little does he know that he messed up my plans but I’m glad I could be of assistance. The boat belongs to the resort but it was abandoned. I guess he saw me as an opportunity to retrieve it.
Why they’re not using that island is beyond me. The pier is in good enough shape that the employee walked along it. From what I saw, it’s still in good condition on the island although they could clear away a lot of the brush that’s grown from the lake. I’d use that thing to throw parties and shit since it connects to a pool and restaurant on the mainland. Shit, if I had the dough, I’d buy the fucking thing outright. Build a house on that motherfucker. That’s a prime piece of land that’s gone totally unused for years. They don’t want it, I’ll take that bitch. Put it to some use instead of rotting away like it is now. It’ll have to get explored some other day, without a doubt.
I proceeded back up the lake to my entry point and called it a day. I really need a kayak skirt and what did I see in the water during my journey? A skirt in good condition. I wasn’t about to go dumpster diving in a lake although I did remove a plastic bag that I saw floating around. This is The City Beautiful, after all. Putting the kayak back onto the car was a cinch now that I was back in the groove of things. And wouldn’t you know it, some old guy walking around approached me and wanted to talk. What am I, a church confessional?
Other than going back to explore the Westgate pier, that’s it for me when it comes to Big Sand Lake. In total, I put in about 5 miles on the kayak. I could feel the burn in my core while out on the water but it wasn’t until I got home that my arms and shoulders were feeling it. It was my mission to get out and kayak because it’s been so long and I had some time on my hands. Don’t know when my next adventure will be but I have a pretty good idea of where I’m gonna hit up next. The day started windy but it died down. When I was going south in the lake, I was going with the wind. I wanted some resistance when going north but nature wouldn’t cooperate. First the sun fucks up one of my pics and then the wind decides not to play well. At least the animals still love me.