Loon Lake #3 September 2015

Back to Loon Lake right after the Labor Day crowds left.  I started out at site #28, only to find there is a tit mouse burrow somewhere near the RV pad, so I had mice in my raisen bran cereal box in the middle of the night.  Next morning, crack of dawn, I was packing up to move to site #17 (my goto site from now on).  I had the whole loop to myself until Wednesday afternoon, and then only a couple campers came in.  It was great. The sky had some haze from all the fires and it was on the hot side, low 80s in the days, but otherwise it was gorgeous.  Kayak fishing was great catching five fish and only one released cause he was too small.  One 13″ rainbow and three just shy of 16″.  Real fighters too.  It seemed to me, looking at my fishfinder, that there were much less fish this time than last.  Lake was about 2-3 feet lower than when I was here in July, but appears to have stopped dropping.  Water temperature had dropped to around 63 whereas in July it was almost 70.

Biggs and Ben were with me, and because of little Biggs we just took short hikes.  Also did some kayaking with Ben swimming along while Biggs sat on the bow.  I finished three books while there and had a really relaxing time.

Loon Lake #1 June 2015

Our first campout this year at Loon Lake, and due to the drought  we found it to be at the 50% level.  Highly unusual since this lake, on opening day is usually full to the tree line.  Apparently the powers that be decided to dump half of it into Union Valley Reservoir.   Not sure why.  Also, this time I tried a bigger, more private site at the end of the campground, #28.  It was terrific.

This time Atticus joined Kate and I, our grandson, for the first couple days.  We played Qwerke (Atticus was amazing!) and Chicken Foot, swam, went kayaking, fished, looked for bones, climbed rocks and did lots of hiking.  I think he had a great time, I know I really enjoyed having him along.  When he left on Sunday morning with Kate and Biggs, Ben was quite sad, until he hit the water, then all sense of loss was gone.  Ben did a whole lot of swimming this time but never tired of it.  He absolutely LOVES the water.

Weather was really hot.  Got up to 95 in the Rv, 87 in the shade.  So we had to run the AC one night for half an hour just to cool it down.  Also lots of bugs.  Kate and I went home with too many itchy red spots.  I think Atticus didnt get as bit.   I hope not.

I didn’t do great in the fishing department but did catch two nice trout while kayak trolling in the morning.  I did “catch & release” to Kate’s dismay.  It rained on Sunday after they left, and I then found holes in this 30 year old RV awning, which I quickly patched with good ole’ duck tape.  Worked good enough.  I’ll probably have to replace it after the season is over.  Only other event was I found a frog on the kitchen counter one morning and had a mouse (or chipmonk) visit in the night and tear up the toilet paper in the commode.  I’m going back again in a week and I surely hope there are less bugs this time.  Also will bring a bigger fan.  The rocks and boulders were quite challenging getting that heavy kayak down to the water but I did finally find a path thru the woods that was relatively smooth for the wheels.  Rather out of the way but at least doable.

Loon Lake #4 September

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.

Loon Lake #3 – 8/14

Our third trip up to Loon Lake this year was met with two cloudy drizzly days.  But we had a ball anyway.  The weather formations are always awesome in the mountains.  Got in some fishing (caught a nice rainbow from the kayak), hiking, kayaking, a little swimming and paddleboard for the first time.  We met up with our friends Debi King (who brought her paddleboard) and Maggie Lane with her pup Coco. Debi’s class C RV was camped right next to ours.  Learned a new game called Qwerkle ???  which was great except I got killed every game.  The sunset on the last nite was so awesome .. I had to include more than one picture of it below.  I will be back here in September.  Fall camping is the best.  So is the fishing.

Loon Lake Campout 7/20/14

This five day campout at Loon Lake was probably one of the best.  We camped next to our friends Gary Goldsmith and his wife Cheryl and their new pup Benetar.  Benetar is only 7 months old and it was his first time in the wilderness.  Kate came up with the kayaks for the last 3 days.  We hiked  10 miles plus on the Rubicon Trail into Desolation wilderness.  Kayaked all over the lake.  Swimming was glorious, even tho a little chilly upon entry.  And I did kayak fishing and caught 4 nice rainbows on a glassy, early morning still lake.  Got a nice rain shower on Thursday nite.  All in all a terrific time.

Loon Lake Campout 6/20/14

I spent four nights up at Loon Lake.  First visit this year.  Kate joined me for two of the nights.  It was gorgeous!  Lake was full to the brim, right up to the tree line.  I have never seen it this full.   Shore fishing, other than right off our campsite, required a hike up the Rubicon trail about a mile or so.  And well worth it.  Butt Rock was totally submerged, not seen at all.  I only caught one fish but got quite a few nibbles.  Seems I experienced the same thing last year with the nibblers.  Only could swim the first day, and that was even quite chilly.  Great trip overall, especially having my Kate along this time.

Loon Lake Campout

Due to the ridiculous government shutdown, my plans to go to Wrights lake were aborted.  However, since Loon Lake is run for the govt. by a concessionaire it was still open.  Loon is also right next to desolation wilderness, the beautiful granite laden high country of the Sierra.  I hadn’t been to Loon in 5 years, I believe, and it was a great reminder of how beautiful it is.  I think its now my favorite lake to camp at.  It’s about 1.75 hours from the house with all smooth road and no traffic.

Fishing was terrific with one day getting strikes or nibbles on practically every cast of rainbow colored powerbait.  I ended up with 5 nice rainbow trout.  It was cold and windy at night with huge winds on Friday morning easily bringing the temperatures into the 30’s considering wind chill factor.  A couple fishing boats left out on the lake overnight were swamped with water from the waves splashing over the stern.  Bad luck had my heater deciding not to work in the rv, but I was able to use the oven and it heated the place up just fine.

With the lake down considerably, hiking along the shore was perfect.  Loon has amazing boulders combined with beautiful sandy beaches,  reminiscent of Sand Harbor in Lake Tahoe.   The ferns and grassy areas all had a yellow autumn color to them however the Aspen trees were just beginning to change. When the shoreline got a little rough for hiking with the dogs I was able to use my Garmin  and bushwack over to the Rubicon trail running parallel to my hike and came back that way.

My campsite, #17, was right next to the lakeshore, protected from the wind by plenty of trees and  with a little path directly to the lake.  A really sweet spot.