Ian on the Lake

by | Oct 17, 2022 | High Rock Lake

We should have anticipated a storm during hurricane season on a long-awaited visit with friends from Kansas City, Judi and Brad, who made plans to visit us the weekend of September 28 – 30. That was the weekend Hurricane Ian also made plans for a direct path to High Rock Lake and surrounding communities. We had grandiose ideas for boating and kayaking all weekend, well tropical storm Ian welcomed our friends with open arms and white caps on High Rock Lake which is the tell-tale sign that lake recreation was not in the cards. The weather forecasters called for 30 mph winds with 50+ mph wind guests. Our friends laughed at that, stating in Kansas, that was a summer breeze. Does anyone remember Dorothy and Toto? It is all perspective.

Calm before the storm

Experiencing a storm while living on the lake does add a few items to your ‘to do’ list for your overall preparedness and anxiety – is the dock furniture/décor put away, are the umbrellas taken down, is the boat secure? Are the dock floaters in good working condition?

Regardless if you live on High Rock Lake or in downtown Salisbury, I wanted to share a few points on how to be prepared as best as you can.

  1. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. Do you have a plan?
  2. Have an emergency preparedness kit with food, water, and medicine. Having a three-day supply is ideal.
  3. Get your home ready. Have a quick repair kit with things like a roll of plastic, and nails and nail strips for lose or cracked window. Having flashlights and batteries at the ready is a must. Living on the lake, we are certainly going to lose power.
  4. If advised to evacuate, do so when instructed and go to a safe place. Being at the lake, there are many recreational vehicles dotting the lakeshore. RVs cannot provide safe shelter from tropical storms or hurricane-force winds.
  5. Plan to stay connected. Back up batteries and chargers for your devices. Do you have an ‘old-school’ battery powered radio?
  6. Don’t forget your pets. Bring them indoors, and have an emergency kit with leashes, carriers, food, water, bowls, litter/litterbox and even photos of you with your pet in case you are separated.

Many of these helpful tips are taken from the American Red Cross Prepping for Hurricane Season site.


The national and local newscasts made mention that we were on a direct path with a Tropical Cyclone. What? That weather term I am not familiar with and did what most folks do when perplexed, I googled it- ‘A very intense low-pressure wind system, forming over tropical oceans with winds of hurricane force.  Rotating storm system that produces heavy rain and squalls.’  Great, not the weather that I wanted to highlight to our friends. What will happen to our  boating and even fishing plans?

Tie down the furniture

Moving the Adirondack chairs

First, it was get ready to get ready by moving outdoor items such as lawn/deck/dock furniture away from the lake, to prevent them from being blown INTO the lake by high winds or bouncing docks from waves. After an evening of anticipating the worst, we received a post tropical typhon Ian which no longer possessed enough qualities to be considered a tropical cyclone. Although the storm can still carry heavy rains and high winds.  Ian turned out to be less of major storm and more a cold, wet nuisance.

Ready for boating

Rain, rain go away


With a new day dawning with lots of rain, we decided to see what Rowan County has to offer visitors and our first stop was downtown Salisbury.

Our friends enjoy cooking and hot tea, so I knew where our first stop should be, Salisbury Spice and Tea! I frequent the store occasionally and love trying the spice packets for grilling and smoking, but am certainly not a tea aficionado. Owner Dionna Milam was working and gave us a grand tour of the offerings including the seasonal teas. Judi and Brad were in heaven! The major decision was not what to buy but how much to buy, since they were traveling light for the flight home. Well, talk about southern hospitality, Dionna made the offer to ship their purchase on for them. #BeAnOrginal Happiness.

It was time for lunch, and we have so many diverse options in downtown Salisbury, but I really didn’t want to get into the BBQ debate – Carolinas vs. Kansas City. We decided on Sweet Meadows Café for lunch. There is nothing better than their creamy tomato basil soup on a rainy/cold day. We all ordered something different, and everyone enjoyed and devoured their entrees.

We proceeded to visit the array of retailers on Main Street including the Stitching Post. I’ll admit, I did not have anything on my ‘must-have’ list but walked out with a new purchase of doggo slippers. I suggest that needs to be added to the storm weather prep list – warm, fun-foot coverings.

With all that shopping and browsing, we were up to enjoy a variety of desserts with coffee from Tita’s Cake House. One of downtown Salisbury’s newest eateries, a Chilean traditional family bakery. I like my coffee authentic without masking it with flavored creamers, spices, and sugars. And this is the place – authentic Chilean specialty beverages. #BeAnOriginal YUM.

Can’t wait to try these

It’s coffee time


Finally, on the last day of our friends visit, the day was beautiful, and we took the boat out for a tour of the lake. I always love the initial reaction by our guests when they see HRL from the water –

Wow, this lake is larger than I anticipated.

Was that an osprey?

Wait, was that a bald eagle?

Did that fish just jump out of the water?

What kind of fish do you catch here?

Where is all the other boat traffic?

What a beautiful house.

Is that a dam?

And more…

And yes, there is a restaurant we can boat to, Waters Edge Dock & Grill and we did! Sunday Brunch by boat (or car) is ideal with beautiful views of the lake, waterfowl diligently looking for their meal, and even simply waving to others enjoying recreation season on High Rock Lake. #BeAnOriginal #Lifeisbetteronhighrocklake

Good-bye Ian. We had a blast in Salisbury, even with your visit!

 The Carolinas still have another month left in hurricane season so if you go by my bare dock, let’s just say I am already for the next storm coming.

 I would love to hear from you on what your favorite lake activity is, or someone that you would like me to feature in the coming months. Please email me at highrock@YourRowan.com


#itsaROCOthing         #lakeliving      #YourRowan  #BeAnOriginal     #HighRockLake


About The Author

Joyce Caron-Mercier

After three decades of working in the motorsports industry from track and team management to public relations, and overseeing sponsorship and driver contracts within NASCAR, NHRA, IndyCar and World of Outlaws competition, Joyce wanted more. She came to ACS Charlotte in February 2020 as the staff lead for the annual Taste of Hope Charlotte gala. Joyce’s role encompasses event production, sponsorship cultivation and implementation, public awareness, and interaction with the Charlotte gala Board of Ambassadors, and launched the Young Professionals CLT ABOA in 2022. Joyce and her husband Paul of 32 years discovered High Rock Lake, situated between Rowan and Davidson Counties, and quickly became full-time lake residents on North Carolina’s second largest lake with their two Great Danes, Max and Molly. Joyce writes a monthly blog for Your Rowan, a county marketing initiative to share the positive attributes of Rowan County with its residents and visitors. Joyce’s blog and social handles are called ‘Joyce on the Lake’. Being community minded is important and I serve as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the High Rock Lake Association, High Rock Lake Clean Sweep, and assist the Rowan Chamber with their annual Dragon Boat Festival.