Saturday, September 12, 2009

there be trees in that water

Eager to get back out on the water before our San Juan trip coming up, Dave and I headed out to the Cascades to check out some of the mountain lakes. We decided on Clear Lake, which was formed by a volcanic eruption ~3000 years ago. The volcanic flow dammed up the area, flooding a small section of the low-lying forest.

On the way, we made a short stop by Foster Lake to attempt rolling the kayaks...we thought this might be useful if by some future chance we should get flipped upside down while on the water. Unfortunately, we were not successful in righting ourselves. There is a specific way that you're supposed to shift your weight to heave your body (and the top of your boat) out of the water, but I just didn't quite get it. Oh well...it wasn't a total failure either. Because I couldn't flip my boat back over I was forced to bail out of the kayak, flip it over by hand, and crawl back into it while in deep water. It was good to know that I could perform a self-rescue if needed (hopefully it won't be).

The area around Clear Lake was beautiful!!! Clear Lake is a major contributor to the McKenzie River so we were also able to get in some hiking along this rapidly flowing waterway. The water is so pristine! The color is a wonderful turquoise and one can see all the way to the rocky bottom in most places! It was also complete with many waterfalls!


Upstream, we kayaked around the lake for a few hours. As with the McKenzie, I was blown away by the clarity of the water! It is fairly deep in most places, which was apparent by the tops of the flooded trees that were usually unable to reach the surface! Viewing these trees in the water made me extremely uncomfortable...it was almost like they were living, curious beings that suddenly would pop up next to your boat to check out what you were up to. It also didn't help that the water was EXTREMELY cold! Having to perform a self-rescue in these temperatures would not have been fun so I tried to give a wide berth to the trees looming beneath the water.
Lava flow damming up the lake
one of the more obvious trees in the water...so creepy!

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