I really REALLY needed to get away from the madding crowd, given that here in the US, that involves a certain completely insane person who is inexplicably running for high office. I spent much of the day yesterday on Center Hill Lake, one of my faves around here, on a completely gorgeous day. I went about 8 miles, launching from the marina at Cove Hollow about 10:30 AM. The wind was against me this first part, so it took me way longer than it normally would to go just a few miles. I was fighting it pretty hard. I went up to the dam, which I had not seen before (I usually launch way at the other end of the long, skinny, winding lake). The water level is quite low now, and has been for a while, and will be for a while more, since they are doing construction/maintenance work on the dam. Nearby I saw this lovely rocky promontory. It looked like it was, perhaps, a previous version of the current "saddle dam" next to the real dam (filing in a low area), as it was made of man-made chunks of concrete. I landed there and climbed up the rocks, where I set up my chair, made hot tea, and had my lunch. I don't normally stay long on lunch breaks, but the election stuff had gotten to me, the day was perfect, and the place was gorgeous, plus I had a book with me. So I stayed there about an hour, eating lunch, sipping tea, and reading. Ahhhhh! Here are the views from my eyrie. This is the view behind me. Finally, I loaded back up and headed back down the lake. As you can see from the map, I did a lot more AFTER lunch than before, although it took about the same amount of time because the wind was now behind me for most of it. If I had installed my rudder, I would have been FLYING--as it was, I went pretty fast, but had to keep correcting my tracking as the wind kept pushing the stern over. I swear to god, I will get that damn rudder installed THIS MONTH!!!! I saw 5 large "party boats" all attached together and travelling together down the river. I guess they were transporting them from one marina to another. It was quite a sight! Then I headed back to the marina. It was a really lovely day and I felt much more sane after being entirely away from news, "news," social media, and the insanity that is the surreality in which America is currently gripped. THANK YOU, MOTHER NATURE!