Monday, September 25, 2006

Under Sail, Under Wraps

The New York Times published a great article this past Friday in the travel extreme and unlikely example of counterintuitive sailing journalism...all the more notable for its source. The feature is titled, "Under Sail, Under Wraps" (registration may be required to view) and discusses at length the appeal of Lake Sakakawea, a deep reservoir of the Missouri River in western North Dakota. According to the author, Sakakawea, which is perpetually windy, is regarded as a hidden gem by the sailors who frequent its empty and open waters.

My heart beats more quickly when I cross the Pell Bridge into Newport and it thrills me to uncover discrete anchorages in well known cruising grounds like the Chesapeake Bay...but between these two ends of the spectrum - widely known and accepted sailing destination like Newport and lesser known spots within these places like Trappe Creek off the Tred Avon River near Oxford, MD - are frontier outposts like Sakakawea. I really enjoy learning about spots like this...even though my chances of sailing North Dakota are slim to none.

"...Sakakawea’s myriad channels and bays prompt a lifetime of exploration. Tight, long arms of the reservoir, which spread inland like tentacles off the body of the lake, let sailors float into the remote canyons that were flooded a half-century ago when the Garrison Dam was completed. These nautical badlands — scenic and unique to North Dakota — are strange Martian seascapes of tiered and multicolor hills, canyons, hoodoos and ash. Lines of lignite coal lace the hills. Cactuses dot the land. Fossils and petrified trees bake in the summer sun. The pumice stones of the region, airy and million-holed volcanic creations, actually float on water."

1 comment:

Pat said...

Funny, that almost sounds like a normal sailing sort of place to me.