Thursday, September 12, 2019

Twin Lakes Reservoir Kayaking

Mt. Hope in the middle from Twin Lakes
Elevation: 9,195 ft.
Distance: 6.90 mi. 
Start Time: 3:57pm
End Time: 6:49pm

Trip Report:
My father and I have been making the rounds in the Buena Vista area of trying out kayaking on the local reservoirs. We had begun our adventures on Cottonwood Lake, but its size can be limiting after awhile. Especially so for a crazy mover like myself who just likes to go-go and rack up miles. My father is more of a fisherman and would likely be content on almost any water. We had enjoyed Antero Reservoir back in June and this time around things looked good to try Twin Lakes.

We drove on up from B.V. and hit the boat ramp next to the day use area on the northeast side of the eastern lake. We dropped the boats at the bottom of the ramp and then parked the vehicle. I had a basic assortment of gear including sun protection, my phone, my 360 camera, a water bottle, and my shoes and socks. I put the 360 camera as well as shoes and socks in my bag in the back of the boat. I covered up my head with hat and bandanna and also did sunscreen as the sun was ready to cook us out there.
Sunny skies to the west

We both started out heading west from the boat ramp. We rounded a corner and then made a beeline to the north shore. My father had decided to fish so we split up and I made a heading to the west to gain the outlet between the two lakes. I noticed my Dad never fully stopped to fish but was just trolling along. I rounded the northwest corner of the lake near the power plant and followed the shoreline to the outlet between the lakes. I was surprised at the breeze and the waves coming from the west off the western lake. I only went into the beginning of the western lake and then turned around.
I wasn't sure how long we planned to be out today and so I was about ready to make a beeline back to the boat ramp. I saw my father wasn't really far behind me and we eventually met up near the outlet between the lakes. He wasn't too keen on paddling through the middle of the lake and dealing with waves so we decided to head for the south shore. Not long after making this decision, the winds picked up, much to our surprise, and we were getting buffeted by 2-3 foot waves from the north. We had just recently hit 5-6 foot waves on Lake Erie in Michigan, so we didn't have much concern today, it just added to the workout. We were also getting occasional splashes of waves up and over the side putting some water into our cockpit seat. I would later discover the back of the boat had also taken on water where my gear was stored drenching my shoes, socks, and camera.
Beautiful day to the northeast

I was still mentally figuring we'd make a beeline at some point for the north shore boat ramp. Yet, we kept on hugging the south shore and continuing our loop around the lake. As we neared closer to the small islands in the eastern bend of the lake it became evident that we would be able to complete the full circle. We began our northward push along the east side into the wind hoping to see things calm once we regained the north shore.
The winds did eventually slow up and we did have easier paddling along the north shore. We also were watching the sun as the day grew long and we were nearing 7pm. As we drew nearer the boat ramp the sun went below the mountains to the west putting us in shadow and it was an immediate 10 degree drop in temp. I was also having to hit the bathroom pretty bad so we had every motivation to finish up our paddling.
We did finish up right around 7p having been out on the water almost 3 hours and getting in 6.9 miles of paddling. A big day. We packed up and made our way back down to BV.

From the edge of the western lake looking back to the outlet between the lakes

Along the eastern shoes

Paddling hard to get to our finish
(not sure what caused the smudging on the left side)

Skies growing dim as we get ready to hit the highway


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