Let me introduce you to Alice, my wonderful Bay Area kayaking buddy. She wrote this guest post about our quick trip up to Lewiston Lake over Memorial Day weekend. We also paddled on Whiskeytown Lake, which you can read about here. The last time we paddled on freshwater was at Clear Lake in June 2013, so this was quite refreshing!
After dilly dallying waterside at the Berkeley Marina (Nena had just completed a heroic game of kayak water polo and we were watching the more advanced paddlers warm up), Nena and I left the Bay’s sparkling waters for the heat of mid CA. At first it didn't feel like it made sense to leave such pleasant weather behind because the Bay was so glorious, but it was cool to travel through so many climate zones- arid, agricultural, mountains and valleys. My camping book guided us just north of Whiskeytown Lake to Lewiston Lake, where we nabbed the final walk-in site at the end of the loop, hugging the southwestern side of the lake...
Last weekend Alice and I made an expedited road trip up towards Redding to dip our paddles in freshwater for a change. She'll be writing a post about our first day of paddling on Lewiston Lake, so stay tuned (Alice is a teacher and tomorrow is her last day of school!). Around 6:45am on Memorial Day we departed our lovely hill-side campsite at Lewiston Lake and headed back towards Whiskeytown Lake, stopping only for coffee/CheezIts/Ritz crackers at a gas station (surprisingly open at 7am on a holiday). Alice humored me as I cranked up the Whiskeytown (a country band that I discovered during my Friday Night Lights phase, and the real reason I wanted to go on this paddle). We launched from a little scarp adjacent to Oak Bottom Marina around 8:30am and began a relaxing morning paddle...
Clear Lake, in Lake County, California, has been on my to-paddle list since I discovered it on a map and learned about its fascinating history a few months ago. More than a few friends responded with apathy at visiting the lake, alluding to its reputation for motorboats, rednecks, and water quality issues. While I certainly love a remote, undeveloped lake, I also enjoy exploring other flavors of paddling! Alice agreed to join the long day trip. We left the Bay at noon, drove about 2.5 hours (after accidentally "meeting up" at two different park-n-rides in Novato), and put our boats on the water around 4pm. Within 5 minutes we jumped out of our boats to refresh, ignoring the algal bloom that filled the water around us.
My little brother's high school graduation in June brought me back to Boston for a long weekend. As usual, my visit home provided my mother and stepfather the opportunity to ask boat-related questions and favors. Last time it was "can you help us buy canoe paddles?" This time it was "can you fix the canoe seats? My brothers and I spent an afternoon measuring and drilling holes in the new canoe seats, bringing the old green canoe back into service.
Moeke (= "mom" in Flemish) and I took the boat on it's maiden voyage, version 2, down the Sudbury River near our house in Lincoln, MA. Here's a map:
To be honest, it's been so long since we did this short paddle that I can't remember much more. Oops. But here's my mother in her funny hat :)
Brief vent (happier discussion below): California Parks like rules, fees, and regulations.
I sometimes think that moving here has made me more conservative (in the fiscal sense). I don't remember paying for park entry, parking, or launching during the summer I paddled on the 11 Finger Lakes. If we encountered someone who told us to pay, we could drive down the next dirt road and find a free spot to put-in. Also, night paddles are not illegal in NY. What I really wanted to do on Saturday was to have a peaceful sunset paddle on the reservoir, but I had to be off the water by 6:30pm (1.5 hours before sunset)...
This is a blog about exploring the outdoors (mostly by kayak), traveling, trip planning, and coastal engineering. It currently focuses on kayaking in the Netherlands and Belgium, but previous posts cover Upstate New York, California, and much more. See the Complete List of Blog Posts for a history of the site. Looking for something specific? Search the site here.
In addition to the blog, check out the Water Nerd section, where I write about coastal engineering and hydrology.
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