October 22, 2011
Lake Hennessey Report
Bald Eagle (click to embiggen)
Phil and Marilyn suggested a Saturday paddle on 800 acre Lake Hennessey which lies behind Conn Dam along Highway 128 east of the town of St. Helena. Conditions today proved ideal for paddling, bird watching, and outdoor dining.
Tim, Flo, and I wondered where Phil and Marilyn were at our 9:30 launch time and, after waiting briefly by the ramp, we took off to explore the eastern arm of the lake near the boat ramp. Soon we were back to the ramp and found that Phil and Marilyn had already launched their Lincoln tandem and were paddling out to join us on the main part of the lake.
We learned that they had gotten stuck in traffic as a result of stopping too long at the Oakville Grocery to buy a fresh baguette to accompany the gourmet cheese and sliced meat that they brought along to complement the fresh melon, dark chocolate, and homemade muffins that Marilyn got out of bed at 5:00 AM to bake for us just so we could have just the best “snack” imaginable. Their stop at the market meant that they got caught in a construction delay as a road crew laid new asphalt down on their already luscious highway—it’s not by magic that Napa’s roads are as smooth as their chardonnays.
We paddled across smooth waters around the whole lake seeing many birds: common ones including American Coots, Great Blue Herons, Snowy Egrets, Great Egrets, Mallards, Western Grebes, Double-Crested Cormorants; and more special ones including Green Herons, White Pelicans, and a Bald Eagle.
Our snack stop was more of a gourmet lunch, at least I've had lesser "gourmet" lunches. I couldn't get Phil to admit that he hired live music to accompany the birdsong, but you cannot believe everything Phil says. I can say for sure there was live music—good guitar music—right by us as we dined.
|Live music at lunch|
It was such a special paddle that I thought that we ought perhaps to update that tired definition of insanity, you know, the one that talks about “doing the same thing expecting different results.”
For PP’ers perhaps a good working definition might be: “not showing up when Phil and Marilyn suggest a paddle.”