It's 65 degrees, the snow is melting, and it's time for a day trip. Reelfoot Lake in Lake County Tennessee is a great place to get away for a few hours and enjoy a brief excursion. Just a little over an hour from western Kentucky, it's a wonderful place to hike, eat some catfish, and go bird watching...big bird watching.
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, now's the time to try and catch a glimpse of the Bald Eagle. Reelfoot Lake is one of the largest winterizing areas for Bald Eagles in the United States. Every year tens of thousands of Eagle Watchers come to Reelfoot Lake to observe and photograph these majestic birds.
Tuesday's beautiful weather prompted the quick trip and watching for eagles was top of mind. The best time to scout for these incredible birds is November through March with January being the peak month. Unfortunately, we didn't see America's National Symbol during our brief adventure, however, the ginormous nests were very impressive.
After spending some time eagle watching, we were ready to get a quick bite to eat. There are several restaurants along HWY 21 that serve delicious southern style meals. To name a few there's Lakeview Dining Room, the Blue Bank Fish House (opens after 4 pm), and Boyette's Dining Room. Tuesday's choice was Boyette's.
Boyette's has been around since 1921 and is one of northwest Tennessee's favorite eating places. People come from the four state area to eat at this little slice of heaven. There's a nice selection of ham, chicken and such but the best on the menu is the catfish. The meaty white fish has a wonderful earthy flavor and the breading is light, and perfectly textured. And the husbpuppies...my my. Don't forget the sides; French fries, onion rings, white beans, green beans and vinegar slaw.
If you noticed the big jars filled with buttons, that's a 'Whole Nother Story.' My grandmother kept a big ole jar of buttons in the bedroom under her cast iron sewing machine. Back in the 60's and early 70's there wasn't much to do on a rainy day at grandma's house. The cousins and I would play with those colorful buttons for hours during our visits. It's one of my favorite memories of my grandma's house and there are many.
After indulging in a plate full of goodness, it was time to walk it off. We crossed the street and headed to the Reelfoot Lake State Park. After taking a stroll down one of the many piers overlooking the lake, we snapped a few shots of the frozen water. It's very strange to be wearing summer-like clothing with the sun beaming overhead while standing directly over a frozen body of water.
As we were heading home, a white pelican with an awkwardly long beak came to say 'goodbye'. The fluffy-feathered bird was almost close enough to touch. Then, I tried to have a conversation with him and he swam away.
All in all, a quick trip to this quiet little spot in far northwest Tennessee was well worth the time spent. COVID-19 is still very much a factor when making travel plans. Having quick day trips where you can breathe in the fresh air is the best solution to rid yourself of cabin fever while continuing to social distance.