My previous paddling partner having wimped out on me, I found a new one! We took a 12 mile trip on Sunday, starting at Bledsoe Creek State Park, going down Bledsoe Creek, and then out onto the Cumberland River. We went upstream a bit and then returned. The day was overcast and COLD! Maybe got to 40F. But probably not, as it started to briefly SNOW on my way home in the truck! It was quite the "birdy" day. We saw an entire island full of these blue heron nests. I'd never seen something like that before. There were dozens of them! We also saw a cave up on the cliff with buzzards perched in the trees around it, and buzzards coming out of the cave itself, one after the other. I never thought birds were really into caves much. Apparently, buzzards are! Didn't get a pic of the cave. I liked this bird blind, which some perverse Canada geese have claimed as their own! There was a really neat cave, into which we were able to paddle a ways. That's Joel, going in ahead of me. And Joel as far back as we were able to get, after scaring some roosting pigeons half to death. Me in the cave: One of the coolest things we saw was this osprey's nest, WAY up high on a power thingy. I knew there were ospreys in the area but had never seen one here (only in the PNW). I think I'm looking at the ospreys here! Joel and the river bluffs. On the way back, the wind kicked up and it was coming right at us much of the time. It was a pretty hard slog the last hour or so! My hands got soaked, and they were frozen. Next year: waterproof, serious gloves for wintertime! We were pretty tired after fighting that wind, but it was fun, too. Joel is an avid backpacker with lots of camping experience (although he's never camped from his kayak). He brought along a stove, which I have never bothered with on day trips, but WOW was it welcome, as it enabled me to have a cup of hot tea at lunch, which warmed me up. Will have to do that in future.