Not So Far

posted Aug 28, 2010, 10:20 AM by Richard Sevenich   [ updated Nov 17, 2010, 8:24 AM ]
Each summer I try to do at least one 'long' paddle on our lake. Recently, Bob Pekarek and I paddled from 3rd Avenue Pier to Pringle Park in Hope. Our route was not direct and we meandered for about 15 nmi via Contest Point, Kootenai Point, Hawkins Point and finally Pringle Park. We averaged about 3.45712 knots, a typical day trip pace. Many locals here would consider this a long trip, but the big guys can average around 40 nmi, day after day on longish expeditions (e.g. circumnavigating Vancouver Island), Although 15 nmi is not so far, it was plenty for me.

Bob was in his NDK Explorer and I in my Seaward Endeavor, both about 17 feet long, with skegs (not rudders), and yellow decked with white hulls. At 21.5 inches in width, the Explorer is an inch narrower than the Endeavor. We paddle at about the same pace, so it was a good pairing. We started at 8:30 AM in mild whitecaps, but soon after Contest Point thermal equilibrium was established for the day and the water became calm. From Contest Point we crossed to the old Brown family compound on Kootenai Point. The compound is now a sad, abandoned place. Perhaps it was part of the bank grab when the Browns lost Schweitzer ski area. We landed there to stretch and then crossed Oden/Sunnyside Bay passing Fisherman's Island and the now defunct Boatworks Restaurant site on our way to Hawkins Point. Just before Hawkins Point one passes an old lake boat decaying on the shore - anybody know its story? Update: I have input from local kayak expert Jason Wiley that this wreck is the original "Sunnyside Queen" and that there may be a modern, sea-worthy replica lurking in a nearby boat house. Any more information out there?

We lunched at Hawkins Point and then pressed on toward Pringle Park. About 30 minutes short of the park I raised Eli on the cell phone to coordinate the pickup. After loading the kayaks on our trusty (now that the traditional head gasket repair is done) Subaru, we stopped to get a take-out pizza at Icehouse Pizza in Hope. Bear may be testy, but he makes the best pizza (for our taste) in the vicinity.

Unfinished business:
  • learning to roll
  • circumnavigating Lake Pend Oreille