Driving to Sequoyah Marina in winter is a delight. Not knowing what to expect, we made a left off the winding main road onto Lakeview Drive. We soon passed by an elderly gentleman who offered a neighborly wave and smile. His dog’s joy was also evident as he pranced playfully in the remains of the recent snowfall. As we topped the hill to the marina entrance, we were in awe of the expansive view of Norris Lake and the surrounding mountains. The barren trees stood strong as sunlight popped in little bursts through their branches; snapshots from heaven.
On this lovely brisk afternoon we had the parking lot to ourselves save for a golf cart and that one very sought-after rolling bin (which the marina graciously provides it’s guests for hauling of any needed gear.) Walking down the snow-covered boardwalk we were welcomed by our self-appointed host, a lone duck who seemed anxious for our arrival. He trumpeted his greetings and escorted us along the length of the dock to the gentle-hued green and white boathouse, only recently built in the last few years. No one else was around, everyone having gone home for the holidays, but that was just fine with us. This marina is a perfect spot to just peer out at nature’s bounty.
Fishing and boating are both common here in winter. We watched as a rustic wooden barge forded slowly atop the lake as if not wanting to disturb its calm floating mirror image underneath. Other boaters also fished for the small-mouth bass Norris Lake is so well known for this time of year.
Jet ski, boat, and houseboat rentals are limited here in winter but the marina still rents a brand new second floor banquet room for parties and events. This giant facility features an outdoor deck overlooking the lake’s numerous boats and slips. Downstairs from the grand room is the restaurant and market. The restaurant is closed in the off-season but the market is open limited hours for snacks and drinks. Gasoline purchases can also be arranged by contacting the marina.
When we returned to the walkway, our host welcomed us back with an assured “quack.” He again led us the length of the boardwalk as if to ensure our safe return to the parking area and our awaiting vehicle. It was a unique, fun day and it made us wonder if perhaps such a connection to nature is a rare experience. Here, in the wintertime at Norris Lake and Sequoyah Marina, it is not.