On Thursday morning, January 29, an enthusiastic cadre of members of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church Hayesville gathered at the Ledford Chapel Road boat ramp on Lake Chatuge to fulfill their promise of periodically freeing the area of debris. The low tide at the lake did not dampen the spirits of these volunteers.
Following a prayer by Good Shepherd's Rector, Father Bill Breedlove, and a briefing of procedure by parishioner Fred King, the group split into small teams and dispersed into different directions, through the forest and along the shore, so that the entire boat ramp point was covered. Thanks to the 10:30 a.m. sun peeping under the scattered clouds, team members spotted shards of glass sparkling in the sunlight that otherwise would have gone undetected amid the many rocks.
With the lake at what seemed like an all-time low, extensive lake floor was exposed. Some of the most interesting finds included articles of clothing, an abandoned punctured raft, and gooeyrubbery imitation worms and crayfish. But perhaps a prize should have awaited one pair of volunteers who tenaciously untangled an entire string of Christmas lights from an irascibly prickly tree which, under normal conditions, would have been submerged near shoreline.
Within an hour's time, the volunteers reconvened at the starting point. Judging from the excited chatter, laughter, and numerous bags of haul, all departed from the scene of their morning's efforts with their spirits uplifted. And they left behind a cleaner Ledford Chapel Road boat ramp, which now awaits the return of the season of avid fishermen, boating enthusiasts, and hopefully a higher shore line.