Last year, the Bear Creek Lake State Park in July. It turned out to be the highlight of the year. The men and women of the CVHOW chapter couldn’t wait to get back to the park again. The quiet peaceful setting, friendly staff and beautiful lake had won them over. When my Secretary Treasurer planned the 2012 schedule she included one event per month at Bear Creek Lake beginning in May and running thru September.
A beautiful day at the lake at Bear Creek Lake State Park is a great start for the Central Virginia Heroes on the Water’s 2012 event schedule for the year.
On May 30th we kicked off the year with our first event at Bear Creek Lake and things couldn’t have gone smoother. Even Mother Nature decided to cooperate. Although the local airwaves were full of dire predictions of rain, darkened skies, and winds; the day couldn’t have been nicer. A few of those who had signed for the event canceled due to weather but those who braved the elements were rewarded with mild temperatures and clear skies.
Arriving two hours before the Wounded Warrior’s Coordinator and the Veteran’s, the HOW team began to set up and organize equipment for the day’s event. We were soon joined by various representatives of the park’s staff to insure we had everything that we needed. It wasn’t long before the Park Manager himself made an appearance to check out the setup and insure we were being taken care of. From the beginning Bear Creek has made it known that they fully support CVHOW and are behind the program.
Park Manager John Zawatsky welcomes the CVHOW team to the park and insures
that all is running smoothly. He assures that a great summer lies ahead for the rest of the scheduled events.
Once the Wounded Warriors had all arrived we were able to get the guys paired up and the kayaks and gear distributed and the fun began. With partners and equipment, kayaks and personal floatation devices out of the way, off they went for an afternoon of fishing the coves and hideaways of Bear Creek Lake. We love to bring our veterans here because we know that Bear Creek Lake holds several species of nice fish including Bass, Bream, Crappie, and Catfish. Over the last twenty years Miss Tina and I have spent a lot of time on these waters and have caught a boatload of them all, both on the fly and on spinning gear. It’s our turn to share this favorite spot with our men and women of CVHOW.
A HOW Guide and his partner glide across the waters at Bear Creek Lake in search of the Catch of the Day.
The vets love the intimate little lake and the no gas motor policy. It’s quiet and relaxing with no jet skis or glitter rockets to run you over in the kayaks. “It’s a safe environment,” one veteran told me, “rather than spending my day looking over my shoulder I can relax and enjoy the fishing and the time on the water.” Though small, the lake has many little nooks and crannies to explore. It is a great place to spread out and spend a day fishing or sightseeing. You never know what is around the next corner. Could be a Blue Heron fishing in the cove, or a couple turtles sunning on the log around the bend.
When paddling a kayak the stealthy action lets you glide up on the wildlife undisturbed, such as the turtles sunning on the logs in the cove.
While the gang was on the water, it was time to get the evening meal rolling and once again a sponsor steps up. Thanks this month goes to Kevin Siford of Bear Creek Market. Kevin has been talking about getting more involved with our project for some time but just hasn’t been able to find the time, but said he would at least cover the food for this event, then decided that he would like to come up and “cook them dogs!” Sorry sir, I think you are hooked. Volunteer once with the group and we have you. It’s an experience that you won’t forget and won’t regret. When we sounded the air horn, announcing the dinner hour, the kayaks started in and soon we had a full table. The threat of rain had reduced our numbers a bit, but we all had a great time. Our next event at Bear Creek Lake is on June 27th. If you would like to volunteer, contact Miss Tina by click here.
We end each event with a meal and lively conversation, and a trip back out on the water if the gang is up for it.
The park is located about 4.5 miles northwest of the town of Cumberland. From U.S. Route 60, go west on Route 622 and south on Route 629 to the park entrance.
Drive Time:Northern Va., three hours; Richmond, one hour; Roanoke, two hours; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach, three hours.