Womens Little Cultus Lake Canoe/Kayak

Thursday–Saturday, September 6–8, 2012
Leader: Patricia Esch
Canoe: (Easy)

Starry nights and warm, windless days. Perfect for thirteen boaters, who distributed themselves throughout two large contiguous campsites with boat access to the lake and the only water tap right next door. So there was plenty of flat area to spread out our tents, all shaded with firs and pines. Robin, our camping gearhead, provided the two burner stove and a large propane tank. No chance of running out of fuel here.

Boating being our objective, there was a measured rush to set up tents and tables and get out on the lake. Little Cultus, as implied by it's name, was the perfect size for a lazy afternoon circumnavigation, and warm and shallow enough for a few swimmers. Team One prepared salmon burgers with all the trimmings, salads, home grown pears and awesome cookies. After sunset, some boaters went out on the calm lake, while others sat on the shore with a light so the sojourners could find their way back.

The next day, Lana organized a shuttle (thanks Lana) and seven of us did an all-day boat on the Deschutes, a moving water experience without rapids. Ah, the joy of letting the current move the boat with a few strokes of the paddle to navigate the bends and avoid the fallen trees. Pat spotted and Anne identified a snipe (yes, there is such a bird) which froze while we stared at it. Three others boaters went to Sparks lake, a couple stayed in camp and later, Clara entertained us with her tale of climbing Cultus Mountain pushing her bicycle. Way to go Clara! A fine pasta and salad presentation by Team Two, more late evening paddling with fabulous lighting on the water and day two ended.

On day three, we were drummed out of camp by squirrels bombarding Joella's truck with pine cones from the top of a tree. We stopped at Crane Prairie Reservoir on the way home and paddled amongst the drowned trees that looked like sailboat masts and old wharf pilings. Two tall tree snags in the water had tiers of cormorant nests and were dubbed Cormonant Condos. We departed the Cascade area (Saturday) before it became smokey from Sunday's fires.

Members: Patricia Esch, Anne Bonine, Nola Nelson, Pat Soussan, Patricia Mac Afee, Lana Lindstrom, Diane Schechter, Judy Ness, Joella Ewing, Lou Maenz, Clara Emlen. Nonmembers: Sharon Friedland, Robin Forster.


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