Loon Lake #4 September

Loon Lake - Sunrise

This was going to be my last trip to Loon Lake this year and I was so looking forward to kayaking, fishing and beach combing while the lake was down.  I love the boulders and granite formations that become exposed once the water recedes.  Meanwhile the King Fire had started near Pollack Pines but I figured it was far enough away to not affect me.  Well, not really.  Even though the lake air was clear, they had closed the main campground.  However, I found I could go to the other side of the lake where the North Loon campground was located and it was open.  It was good enough for the evening but I was concerned about getting my kayak down to the lake.  It was a pretty good distance encumbered by boulders of all sizes.  And once I got it down, imagine the struggle getting it back up.  Also around 2pm the wind had shifted and the air became rather polluted with smoke.

Well the next day I strapped on my wheels to the kayak and slowly but surely made my way down.  I marked the route so I could use it going back up.  The morning was gorgeous and the dogs and I went for a kayak ride.  Ben swims alongside while Biggs rides in the bow.  The idea is to give them plenty of exercise so that when I leave them in the RV the next morning while I fish they will be more relaxed.

The next morning I woke up to a gorgeous sunrise, the likes I had never seen before.  It happened at exactly 6:30 a.m. and only lasted a few minutes.  Luckily I got some great photos of it.  I kayaked over to the south shore, where the regular campground is, and then west shore, then back.  Trolling all the way.  I only caught one trout, a bit disappointing, but I had  caught two the other morning from the shore.   Now on this day, Wednesday, the afternoon was clear, although I could see the billowing smoke in the west.  I planned on staying till Friday.  However, around 4ish the only other camper on the lake came over and told me that Wentworth Springs road was closed and they were closing Icehouse road to incoming traffic due to the fire.  Stumpy Meadows reservoir had been overtaken by the fire, which is on my normal route home.   The smoke clouds were exceptionally massive and scary looking so I figured if I had to evacuate quickly, getting that kayak up from the lake would really slow me down.  So I got right on that task.  Actually, dragging it up  was slow going but not too bad.  The wheels on the kayak worked great, especially having them strapped on really tight, but this time gravity was not my friend.  Once I got the kayak up I figured I just better leave all together.  Then on my way driving out  on Icehouse I met up with a couple fire fighters who were on their way to evacuate any campers on Loon Lake (stupid enough to still be there), and I was the only one, so I would have gotten shagged anyway.  I didn’t get home till after sundown but was glad to be safe at home with my sweet Kate.

Subsequently I put up an interactive map of the fire here.  Check it out.

Author: Geoff

Quick rundown: Grew up in Lombard, Illinois, went to Arizona State University, worked as a CPA with Arthur Andersen & Co, then Laventhal and Horwath, then Rolling Stones, then Heron International, then Goodby Berlin and Silverstein in San Francisco. Moved to the foothills in 1990 and traded futures and designed websites. Married to Kate Stewart, now living in Colfax, CA. We have six grandchildren. I enjoy camping in our RV, hiking, kayaking, fishing, droning and cross country skiing Also conga drumming, photography and dogs.

7 thoughts on “Loon Lake #4 September”

  1. Hi Bro Geoff
    These are really beautiful, professional grade photos. Loon Lake looks neat for fishing & exploring. The lake looks pretty low on water, part of California drought I suppose. Boy, the fire sure generates huge smoke clouds. Do they travel all the way to where you live? How much contained is this fire? Are they making progress in putting it out? It sounds like you pulled out just at the right time. I finally saw your kayak parked in front of the motorhome. It is much larger than I expected. I got a good perspective of the size because it was parked right in front of the motorhome. You & Kate take care. I look forward to your next website blog update. This one was really cool & I enjoyed your writing & the various pictures.
    Luv to you both

    1. Hey Bro… yeah, the lake was way low. Always is this time of year but I think its even more this year cause of the drought. We have a lot of smoke here in Colfax but we are far enough away from the fire not to worry about it coming here. But the smoke is awful. The kayak is 12 feet. I love it, easy to get in and out of, lots of room for fishing and Biggs. I put up a blog for all my trips, usually don’t talk so much but lots of pictures. You know you just click a pic and it opens larger and you can just hit the arrow on the right side of the pic to advance to the next one. Glad you enjoyed them 🙂

  2. Hey Geoff,
    Great pictures and information. Just got another email from my neighbors at Serenelakes. Pieces of ash dark black in color the size of a quarter are all over the place. The smoke and pine needles are making it very hard to clean up around the cabins and streets. Most decks are covered with 1/2 to 1 inch with debri. The smoke was so bad one could not see across the lake. It was strongly suggested not to go out for a hike or kayak in the lake due to the poor air quality. Hopefully the firemen and women are holding the fire at Icehouse and Hell Hole Dam. It appears Stumpy Meadows Campground was hit which is really heartbreaking. The men and women are doing a fabulous job with the conditions and I pray they are safe and know how much we all appreciate everything they are doing!!! I also pray for Mother Earth and all the animals either displaced or killed by this fire. She is strong and will come back with our help. Please lets all help when it is time to reforest and work to help volunteer in whatever way we can to bring her back and support the ecosystems we all love so much.
    Mitakuy Oyasin,

  3. Spectacular photos and lucky dogs. You seem to be one of the lucky ones this time. Glad the other camper told you things were closing down. Remember you don’t have to go down with the boat! There is sweet Kate at home!

    Happy Trails,


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