The September day was sunny and warm as I launched my stand up paddle board (SUP) in the South Fork Rivanna River Reservoir (see map) just outside Charlottesville.
The dam, built five decades ago, held back the water of the 450-acre reservoir that was busy with canoes, kayaks, and anglers. The lake offered miles of tree-lined shore to explore along with many coves and inlets.
Paddling past the forested shoreline into the wide expanses of the reservoir, I continued my journey up the river and under the Earlysville Road Bridge …
… then paddled my board under Woodlands Road Bridge heading toward Jumping Branch Creek.
With each stroke the river became narrower and the water became murkier with algae. Like a scene straight out of a 1950s horror movie, I could only imagine what lurked below.
Perhaps some creature with webbed hands and sharp claws would grab my board and drag me to the bottom of the river.
Not to fear, the water became clearer again as I continued up the Rivanna River to my destination, Jumping Branch Creek.
Looking over my shoulder, I noticed two kayaks were closely following and, as we greeted each other, they commented that they were continuing further up-stream to Ivy Creek.
However, I had reached my destination which was three miles up-river from where I started …
… so I turned around to begin my trek back to the dam.
I paddled to shore where my journey began and loaded the board onto my vehicle for the drive home. My day ended with a bucket of soapy water that was used to wash off the green water line of algae from the hull of the paddle board. The South Fork Rivanna River Reservoir had provided a good SUP experience and a great workout.
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