From the shoreline of Sherando Lake (See Map), I placed my stand up paddle board (SUP) into the water, jumped on, and was off. Traveling at a relaxed pace through occasional patches of underwater vegetation, I propelled myself through the deep forest green water toward the other side of lake. Looking down at my watch, I had reached my destination in a little over five minutes. It appeared that the 24-acre lake, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains south of Waynesboro, was somewhat small for the 12’6″ touring SUP designed for long-distance paddling. But there I was at the far northeast corner of the lake staring at a dam.
Void of any warning signs, I figured it must be safe to paddle in closer. As I cautiously approached the dam, in the back of my mind I envisioned a strong current pulling me over the edge and plunging me to my death. My fears were unfounded when I realized it was only a four-foot drop. After paddling along the brim, I turned back toward the open lake and set my bearing for the island located in the middle of Sherando. The island has been a popular attraction for generations of beach goers who made the swim from the lake’s beach area to the island and back again.
Strangely enough, as I was making the crossing toward the island, I heard a pleasant, low, haunting sound singing in my ears. I was hoping that I had stumbled upon the alluring and dangerous Sirens as described in Homer’s epic poem the Odyssey. However, I was sadly disappointed as it turned out to be nothing more than the wind blowing across my carbon fiber paddle. It appeared that the long cylindrical paddle, with its series of small holes used to adjust its length, would resonate like a flute with every gust of wind.
I made it to the island, brushed up against the shoreline, then headed back to the dam, and then back again to the island. Most of that day was spent crisscrossing the lake exploring its nuances and breathing in the surrounding mountain air. While not a perfect lake for a touring SUP, Sherando offered a relaxing and enjoyable day.
Read more SUP adventures from Kurt Michael:
– Lake Anna – September 2014
– Rivanna River Reservoir, Charlottesville – September 2014
– Beaver Creek Reservoir, Charlottesville – September 2014
– Sherando Lake near Waynesboro – September 2014
– York River, Yorktown – July 2014
More about SUP:
Photos by Kurt Michael
September 10, 2014