Ten Mile Creek to Ocean

September 2, 1984

Six cars, seven canoes and 15 people arrived at Lakeside Public Park at 10 a.m. on a beautiful, sunny sabbath morning—and wasted no time in getting their graceful craft waterborne. The route from lakeshore to seashore meanders down Ten Mile Creek, a misnomer of sorts. Taking its name from Ten Mile Lake, the 2½ mile creek sounds more challenging than it really is. This slow flowing waterway winds its way lazily through scrub brush and forest, past vacation hide-aways perched high on the bank, and into and out of neat little swimming holes with skimpy sand beaches. Also sharing the shoreline were small parcels of farmland, secluded picnic areas and, toward the end, sand dunes to starboard and scrub forested land to port. A tame ride indeed for those of our party more accustomed to the thrills and spills of a class IV roaring rapid. But there were minor challenges to overcome, such as ducking overhanging branches, power paddling through dense patches of water weed growing prolifically in the warm waters of late summer and, finally, avoiding jarring contact with hidden snags.

Three-quarters of a mile shy of the breakers the creek widens out and shallows up so much that it’s “all hands over the side,” and take turns towing the canoe that now behaves capriciously and cantankerously in the strong, buffeting coastal breeze. The forerunners of our motley flotilla had planted the Obsidian banner on a well sheltered sand bar that lay in full sun—claiming temporary sovereignty for the laying out and consuming of victuals.

We lingered over lunch and with reluctance turned canoes upstream and headed back. Conversation as we ate centered nostalgically around the many memorable hikes and trips of summer and for many it was a return to work or school after this last weekend of summer vacation. Back to the dock in Lakeside and headed for home by 5 p.m.

Canoers were Gary Chinn, Nancy Cogan, Bob Devine, Tom Donnelly, Bill and Donna Eimstad, Tom Ellis, Barb Elsen, Bea Fontana, Fred and Jean Richardson, Chris Shuraleff, Gene Thaxton, Paula Vehrs, and leader, Leona Devine.

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