An affordable escape With a sympathetic shrug, he answered my question. “I don’t know either. I’m new here. Counting this one, there are eleven different entrances.” With that, the young man in the booth handed me a packet of information about the amenities at Lake Jordan.
To get there, I’d driven toward Raleigh on I-40 East. At exit 274, I turned right and followed signs for ten miles.
“Those people just came back,” the young man told me. “That must be a good sign.”
I agreed, so I handed him six dollars.
“Only four since you’re a senior,” he told me. “And you can use your receipt at the other ten entrances.”
“Thanks,” I said, and meant it. Two minutes later, I hiked from the parking lot about one hundred feet to the manmade beach. Slipping off my shirt and sandals, I waded into the trout colored lake and its perfect temperature. Aside from the missing salt in the water, it felt just like Israel’s Mediterranean Sea.
For twenty minutes, I had the swimming area all to myself. Far from me were powerboats so distant that their wake came to me as gentle waves.
There were no lifeguards.
Alcoholic beverages were not allowed.
The area was clean. Changing rooms were near. Shade trees were plentiful. There was no loud music. Picnic tables looked out on the shore.
I felt at peace. Had I been lucky? Had I happened on the best entrance?
Finding out was a necessity. Less than a few miles later, I was at the second entrance. All sorts of people were there; many spoke Spanish. They seemed happy as I was to be there.
It was the same with the third entrance. That’s when I stopped exploring. Knowing I would return, I rode to historical Pittsboro on my way home. While there, I found a gift store on the old Main Street that was open.
“Do you need a bag for that?” the clerk asked as I paid for a copy of 1,000 Places To See Before You Die.
“No thanks,” I answered, wondering whether I’d find Jordan Lake in my 1,000 Places book. If so, it would probably be under the section, “Good places to find peace and quiet.”
Only 999 to go!
B. Koplen 7/29/12
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