North out of Loomis Lake

6 January 2020:   North out of Loomis Lake

Today started out blustery, bracing and wet. It was raining and cold last week and so it will be next week.

Still, I have recently began following the NW Kayaking Facebook page where almost daily someone posts what a lovely time they’re having out on a paddle, albeit bundled up and sometimes with rain circles in the water.

With an afternoon predicted to be cloudy but windy, I bundled up, packed the sail kit and took the kayak to nearby Loomis Lake.

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Loomis Lake is the largest lake on the Long Beach peninsula.

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WDFW will unlock their ramp and fishing will begin the last day of April.

Today I used an undeveloped right-of-way I found and have listed in my book of SW Washington launch sites.

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The 30 mph morning gusts had blown away.
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There is even a ‘yacht club’ of 3 boats.

The local newspaper reported in April 2019 that there has been… significant success….in cleaning up the weed-infested Loomis Lake.” The last time I boated here was a summer six years ago and it was slow going.  

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This is the track I left through the muck as posted June 2014

Today the water was clear, though like our gardens, the plants are sleeping for the winter. I only had to paddle through a bit of debris.

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Looking back south on the peninsula’s largest lake at about 2 miles.

Across the lake I spotted another kayaker quickly heading south. Knowing my comparative lack of speed, I headed north.

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Ship spotter instinct says an experienced captain with a rapid Eddyline class vessel.

Paddling three times his boat’s weight and with no help from the wind, I was outclassed today. Maybe we’d meet later.

There’s a small bay across the lake that’s mostly surrounded by a community center. I’ve driven to its entrance but it’s gated and locked.

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It has several buildings and a playground

I’ve shied off entering the bay in the past but invaded it today disguised as attractive ambience to anyone watching. There was only one parked car.

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The two arched walking bridges always intrigued me. I can report that the bridge signage refers to dog behavior and the lack of a lifeguard.
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There is also a more discreet way to to enter the bay.

Many rivers are currently flooding and on this afternoon the tide was low but lakes are actually improved by rain. The shore is more accessible and the hazards are covered.

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South Loomis Lake late September 2014

Dawdling back and forth across the lake, I was enjoying the experience without wanting to make it a workout. Then I spotted the other kayaker paddling back from the south. So, while I looked slightly busy as etiquette required, he came over and we traded greetings. Turned out he lives on the lake and paddles often, like others might go out for a walk. We talked about the Ilwaco’s Baker Bay Race from over 15 years ago in which we both had stayed near the back but still won an award in our class. We also compared notes on local kayak spots and a someday plan to visit one together. Then he tipped me off about a beaver dam a ways downstream off the northern outlet of the lake.

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local knowledge

Up to the north end I paddled to check it out. I hadn’t seen this outlet before but to be fair, I never looked when the lake had had so much water.

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The north end’s vegetation wall in 2014
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The outlet’s entrance with the boat’s ‘training wheels’ about to be folded in.

I feel small streams are best done with little inexpensive boats. I was thumping into the brush, backing off tree branches, but having thorough fun while exploring where few have gone before. I remember thinking how this boat handled like a pig but that was unfair.

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unfair to pigs.
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No noise, no buildings in sight. A lot this land is being held in generous land trusts.

Invasive plants are still here.

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I took this hydrilla or maybe it’s a Brazilian elodea off my paddle and tossed it ashore to compost.
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A local dog walker later told me that this waterway was dry last summer.
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Finally blocked by logs. Maybe felled by a beaver.

The waterway still stretched out ahead. If it hadn’t been getting late, if the boat were lighter and, if I were a proper explorer like I read about in my books, I might have kept going.

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Stopped by a small log and a smaller waterfall.

It was back south to the launch.

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A small harbor I had been worried about finding again.
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It was maximum fun time today as the final strapping was done in the dark and rechecked by flashlight.
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from the phone app ‘Map My Tracks’
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Only 3.4 miles traveled in 1 hour and 29 minutes with a maximum speed of 4.9 mph averaging 2.3 mph.

 

7 thoughts on “North out of Loomis Lake

  1. Allan, it is so nice you made it out boating on a winter day. It looks pretty and peaceful. I love the “unfair to pigs” picture–funny!

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  2. My place is not much beyond where you are in the last photos, northward across 227th Street. But I don’t think you can get through and into my small lake, Paul’s Lake, which most people call Rushlight after the name of the subdivision surrounding the late. You could take off from my place, but the lake is about a tenth the size of Loomis. I’m not sure that would be a very satisfying paddling experience. I enjoyed this entry and your account of an attempt to work your way northward.

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    1. Hi MaryBeth, It’s always fun to imagine trips using satellite maps. I relooked at Paul’s Lake and imagined heading south but it looks to be two valleys over from Loomis towards Island Lake I have looked at Island’s north shore but it’s grown dense. There’s a neighbor who claims he followed the Tarlatt Slough out of Black Lake to Willapa Bay which maybe retracing one of the old native portage routes, I don’t know yet. He also claims he floated from Arctic down the North River to the Willapa Bay. I’d probably get stuck against a log in nowhere. I’ve pulled your little kayak over and under logs on the Skipanon. Satisfying when over but unplanned. There are interesting paddle/hike/climb routes through the peninsula, someday, but not at the top of the list. Allan

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  3. I have kayaked around loomis many times. I know exactly where you launch from, but only from the lake side. What street do you take to get to the water? Looking forward to having the state launch open.

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  4. Me too, Black Lake seems small and civilized compared. With the Loomis gate currently locked my book shares that: “… from Nov.1 to the last Friday in April there is also access at 198th St., but 196th St. is private.” I had to assert myself to an inquisitive local (“the lake is closed”) today. I don’t fish and the shore is mostly owned by the state and the Columbia Land Trust. I print a guidebook to paddleboat launches from Ocean Shores to Wheeler and east to Stella to share that you might like to browse at a local store. It’s elaborated elsewhere on this site at: https://southwestwashingtonpaddletrips.wordpress.com/about/

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