Seven of us braved the ugly forecast of rain and thunderstorms and the risk paid off. We wanted to get out of town, just enjoy a multiday trip up at Timothy Lake. It’s an easy drive from Portland, Oregon, and one can have a quick peaceful time up there.
Kayaking Oregon needn’t involve long drives. It’s only an hour and forty-five minutes from Portland. Yet, during the shoulder season Timothy Lake can seem much further away. This weekend the campgrounds weren’t full and at Gone Creek campground, where we camped, there were no RVs this weekend. Timothy lake sits at 3,200 ft elevation. The north side of the lake has lots of primitive campsites. This weekend, the water seemed unusually warm!
All of us arrived Friday. I got there about 3:30 p.m. and after setting up my stuff went for a paddle. Since I’m taking an instructor development workshop this coming weekend I wanted to do some skills practice. I set out rolling, edging and bracing. I couldn’t believe how warm the water was. And, it was nice weather!
It wasn’t long before I saw cars arriving at the campsite, so I beached the boat. Liz and Michelle had just arrived, and I helped them get arranged. I encouraged them to come out boating. We went almost across the lake and saw a rain shower, so we turned back. We got caught in a major downpour. I was OK since I wore my drysuit, but the ladies weren’t so lucky. But there were no complaints. A fun time was had.
The rain passed, and we began dinner preparation. We had canopies over our picnic tables. Tonight’s meal was everyone for themselves, whereas others were prepared in teams. As darkness fell, we gathered around the table for merriment.
Saturday morning was dry, though cloudy. Breakfast burritos filled our bellies, and then it was suit up and paddle the lake. Our route called for crossing the lake, then snaking along the north shore past Meditatation Point and up into the inlet on the northeast side of the lake, where there is a wetland. Kayak camping can be done on many sites along the north side of the lake. We might return for a quieter experience later in the summer taking advantage of the primitive sites. The sun broke through the clouds, and we stopped for lunch. Jessie was practicing turning her boat with edging and bracing and went a bit too far – she rolled over. But she held her own, finding the setup position and rolling back up!
In the inlet, we saw a number of blue herons. But the most interesting wildlife were the ospreys, which not only dove for fish but skimmed the water, something I’d never seen before.
We ended the day back at the camp with a Thai stir fry meal. Well deserved, and we pitied those who chose to stay in Portland because we had very nice weather! The fire was warm, marshmallows were roasted, and stories were told. We can’t wait for the next kayak camping trip!