Waldo Lake! That name makes the heart of Oregon kayak campers leap! It’s Oregon’s largest natural lake outside Crater Lake and Waldo’s water is “dramatically ultra-oliographic,” meaning it’s unbelievably pure. They say it’s possible to see something on the bottom 140-feet down!
Not only that, Waldo’s 10-mph motorboat speed limit and lack of game fish mean the noise of motorboats aint gonna be a factor. This lake is a take-me-back-to-yesterday human powered recreation paradise. The indigo blue water is something to behold.
We arrived Friday afternoon and it was sunny and, well, a little smoky. Wildfires in southern Oregon sent some brownish haze our way. But the paddle was nice and we found a beautiful spot on a peninsula on the west side of the lake, about a 10-minute paddle from Rhododendron Island. We were all a bit freaked about whether our craft could manage to store all our gear!
Here’s a nice shot of the peninsula. We felt fortunate to be on such a pretty spot. Friday night there were stars a plenty!
Saturday morning we awoke to sun. Lucky us! The forecast called for RAIN early in the day. We made pancakes with blackberries/raspberries plus bacon! Quite the luxury. But by 1:00 the misty/light rain came. That was NOT going to stop us from paddling. So we headed down to Klovdahl Dam and saw some interesting perspectives along the way. The Gods seemed to blow clouds/mist over the crest of the mountains, which would create an aura of mystery on the lake. Some intrepid Hobie Cat sailors were out there undaunted!
Then we headed down to Klovdahl Dam. This dam doesn’t mean the lake is man-made. Rather this guy Klovdahl was trying to use water from the lake to irrigate farms in the Willamette Valley sometime in the late 1800’s. His effort failed, thank God.
Okay. Saturday night was beat. We had fun and erected tarps and a shelter, but it misted much longer than the forecast! We did, however, have a nice Mexican meal before a blazing fire. Sometime during the night the clouds parted and VOILA! Sunday was BLUE BIRD perfect!
Sunday morning was a fun cooking experience! Lots of extra stuff from dinner/breakfast Satuday (cut up potatoes and sausage) plus oats, yogurt, nuts, etc. All good!
And then the plan was to let the gear dry out while we paddled. We took off for the north end of the lake. We found a pebble beach with fun boulders to climb on and use as a picnic spot! Then the wind kicked up and we headed back to camp, broke camp and that was pretty much it. Here’s Andrea after the wind calmed down. Right behind her is South Sister!