Sunday, July 7, 2013

Cape Meares Lake

Cape Meares Lake

This weekend was the 1 year anniversary of the kayak meetup club that I belong to. The club organizer (Julie) put together a wonderful set of kayak adventures out on the coast. We had a LOT of people show up. For Friday evening, we met at the little boat launch out on Cape Meares to paddle around Cape Meares Lake.

Some interesting history in this area. The lake and sand dune spit used to be a posh resort back in the early 20th century. It was called BayOcean and it was trying to be the Atlantic City of the west coast. It had a dance hall and a huge “Natatorium” that housed a heated saltwater pool with a wave machine. They needed this because the ocean is too frigging cold to swim in without a dry suit. This little town had a railroad, a water system, and even their own electric generator. They spent a lot of money bringing in tourists and investor and potential rich land owners from Portland. Since the Tillamook railroad wasn't built yet, they would come from Portland on a steam yacht bought for that purpose.

But the town's growth was it's own undoing. They built a spit at the entrance to the bar at tillamook bay to make the bar easier to cross (and so easier to bring in supplies and investors), but that spit disrupted the natural flow of sand down the beach and created an erosion problem that eventually doomed the town to destruction by winter storm. Now there is pretty much nothing left of the town and the fresh water lake we are doing our paddle on is there instead.


Lots of parking along the road, however, so our 30+ kayaks could get to the water and have our little paddle. It is a very protected and shallow lake. Lots of lake weed growing in it. Some reeds. A beaver lodge off on the north side. We also saw some lovely water lilies. But we paddled all around the entire lake in an hour or so without breaking a sweat. By itself, this lake isn't worth the drive to the coast, but as a start to a weekend of kayaking, it is the perfect warmup.

A history lesson for the meet up


And the club helped the fun along by have a little game of capture the flag, kayak style. We tied little flags to the stern of every boat. 2 teams, Red and Yellow, and then you just go out and GET THE FLAGS of the other team. When you lose your flag, you are out of the competition so protect your stern. It was great fun, had a few people dip over, but the lake isn't that deep and so wasn't that cold. Much fun was had by all.

Kayaks having a meeting


  1. Karen,
    Thanks for reading my blog !! I am so happy you liked the flowers.
    They were really lovely.