Current Location: Rocky Point Oregon 59F with a predicted high of 83 and sunny
When we returned from our gorgeous paddle the other day, I thought, “Let’s keep the kayaks on the truck and then we can go out again without reloading!” It isn’t that much trouble loading up our lightweight boats, but it is still nice to put on the hats, grab the sunscreen and simply jump into the truck on a sunny morning for another day on the water.
Mo suggested that we drive down the road a piece to a launch site that we haven’t been to for some time. Odessa Creek Campground is about 6 miles east on Highway 140. It is a quiet little camp with no fees and a small launch site to the wide creek that meanders out to Klamath Lake proper.
It is a pretty place, with lots of cover and shade, but it as usual, for this time of year, the mosquitoes are horrendous. There was someone camping in a big tent and I didn’t envy them in the least. We made quick work of the launch knowing that once we were out on the water, we would escape the nasty little critters.
We were on the water by ten, a bit later than originally planned because we waited for the temperature to rise a bit. The weather was perfect, and the lake was calm and glassy for most of our 7 mile paddle.
We love paddling meandering streams, but being on the lake near the shoreline has meandering ins and outs as well that provide interest. Paddling around the hills west of Bell Bay, we found the little cabin that was one of our first paddle destinations when we got our first kayaks back in 2005.
This time, with the glassy water and good weather, we decided to strike out across the bay toward another peninsula, marking the entrance into Shoalwater Bay. We camped on the east side of this bay back in 2011.
Being on the lake, even as close to the shoreline as we were traveling, was surprising. The perspectives change and shift so much when traveling at lake level. Klamath Lake seems huge! It is a magnificent lake, in spite of its quirks. A shallow lake formed in volcanic sediments, the lake is naturally high in phosphorus, and thus home to lots of algae during the summer months. The algae is actually harvested and sold as a food supplement.
Paddling through some of the green stuff yesterday, I thought how great it would be if we could eventually figure out a way to create fuel from algae. Then again, the empty solitude of Klamath Lake on a sunny warm early summer day is quite a treasure. So many places we have traveled, and many waters we have kayaked, don’t offer that great empty silent solitude.
The only noises we heard were the birds and from 20 miles away across the lake we could sometimes hear the trains that follow along Highway 97 north from Klamath Falls.
The most fun to watch were the grebes, both Western Grebes and possibly Clark Grebe, and either a pair or rednecked grebes or eared grebes. They dove too fast for me to get close enough to them to be sure. The best part was watching the grebes do their amazing water dance, again too far away to photograph, and too sudden to catch them in the act. It is really something to see, however, and worth just sitting around in the water waiting for the pair to do its thing. Of course, I was delighted to find several of my white pelican friends soaring over the water. Such amazing birds.
I did steal this photo from the internet with kudos to whomever managed to catch these birds doing their mating dance, running along the surface of the water. Before they start the run, the pair will paddle beside each other with their heads going up and down, extending their necks and retracting them, and then suddenly they take off in perfect unison. As we approached the shoreline on the east side of Ball Bay, I was surprised to see eagles in the trees. There were two adults and a very large youngster with the brown and white colors typical of juvenile bald eagles.
By afternoon, as we meandered back to our launch site at Odessa, the sun was high and hot and we were glad we were ready to get off the water. We even had enough time to get back home, unload the kayaks, and fill up the truck for a load to the dump. Our rural dump is now only only open one day a week, and we were surprised that there wasn’t a line of waiting folks. With the price raised to $13. for a small load, I am glad we don’t have to go very often.
Evening was a treat with wine and snacks at Wes and Gayle’s place next door. It is always fun when they come back from Arizona to spend a few months here in Rocky Point. We have some fun plans in the works for the summer with them, including an evening at the Britt in Ashland for Lyle Lovett and His Large Band. Looking forward to sharing our favorite little camping spot with them as well, with a trip to Medicine Lake in the works for late July.
The flowers are blooming, the iris and peonies are opening at last, the lupines are reaching their full height. Ahh…June. Probably the best flower time here at Rocky Point.