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.
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.
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.
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.
Across the lake I spotted another kayaker quickly heading south. Knowing my comparative lack of speed, I headed north.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Invasive plants are still here.
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.
It was back south to the launch.