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  • Radford Bean

Waldo Lake Paddle Trip - Day 1

I loaded up my cooler and canoe in my vehicle and set out at nine to head south to Waldo Lake. It had rained during the night, and some rain was forecast for the area today. I hoped that the day and the pavement would remain dry while I traveled to the lake.

The drive takes about four hours, and I arrived at the lake right around 1 p.m. I lucked out in that the campsite I had wanted to stay at was vacant when I arrived. I think site #86 is also one of the nicest in the loop where I was staying.

I met some camping neighbors in the next site over who were very friendly. They told me that the rain last night scared many of the campers away because the campsites had been much fuller the day before. I hope that those who will be joining me tomorrow won't have any trouble finding a site when they arrive.

As I was setting up my tent, I felt a few sprinkles, but nothing serious. I was able to get my tent up, a tarp hung over the picnic table, and basically all settled in before a light rain started to fall.

Canoe paddles serve other useful purposes besides just getting my canoe from point A to B. They helped keep my tarp from sagging and collecting with rainwater.

Even though it was raining lightly and there was a breeze, I decided to launch my canoe and paddle for awhile. It was a little choppy on the water, but nothing I couldn't handle.

After paddling down to the boat ramp and back to the campsite, I decided to put my canoe away for the evening because it was evident the rain was going to stick around even though the forecast yesterday said that today was supposed to be partly cloudy in the afternoon. In fact, I encountered some sun on the drive up to the lake.

The drizzle gave me a chance to take my dog and go for a walk along the lake. There are several small islands around the Shadow Bay Campground, and some nice points jut out into the lake where bench seats have been installed so hikers can look out over the lake.

During my walk, I met another nice couple who had a neat trailer made by Tab. We got to talking about their trailer and about all the places in Oregon we've paddled. Paddlers seem to be the nicest people.

I also came across a beach where there were several canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards sitting. An island was also visible in the background. I thought this would make for a nice photograph if only it wasn't cloudy and drizzly. I hope tomorrow will be nicer so I can capture this scene under better lighting and weather.

I feasted on some trout I had caught earlier in the summer on the Upper Klamath Lake. The drizzle had turned to rain, but a roaring fire kept me warm, and the tarp kept me dry. This is living.

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