Jan 17, 2011

Bartlett Lake

I rolled on up to Chollaball's place and we split from his a little after 8:00 to get some paddling in on Bartlett Lake.

This was my first time up there and it was another nice AZ lake. It has a little different feel compared to the reclamation lakes on the Salt River (Saguaro, Canyon, Apache and Roosevelt), because it didn't have the massive cliffs on the shoreline. The shoreline pretty neato anycow. Bonus, selecting a spot to get out of the boat is pretty dang easy to find, since the shoreline doesn't have the steep cliffs of the other lakes.

Chollaball and I parked at the Jojoba Bartlett Flat ramp, and pulled his tandem open-hull kayak off his truck. We were on the water by 9:30. Neither he or I have been on this lake before, so we didn't really have a clue what the features to see here were. We just decided to head north until either we ran out of lake or we ran out of time.

I'm not sure what the normal lake level is, but you could definitely see that this lake has held a lot more water than what was in the lake today. The water was pretty calm except we did get a little morning head wind. And this died down after an hour or so.

I was the stoker on the mighty tandem kayak, so my job was easy. I just need to keep paddling. It actually paddle pretty well for a rec kayak, but I could see the wind hampering things a little bit if it picked up much more than what we were experiencing.

We weren't paddling all that hard, but we managed to get a little of 8 miles up the lake in about 3 hours. And it even though we hadn't run out of lake, we were running out of time. We chowed down on some lunch before ripping back down the lake. About 5 minutes into our return home, we spotted a couple of otters cruising down the shore. At least we thought they were otters, the small glimpses of 'em didn't give any a good look. They were in the water the whole time so we couldn't see what their tails looked like.

The traffic on the lake was pretty mild all day, but we did get a few more boats in the afternoon.

Anycow we got back to the truck about 3:00, thus wrapping a pretty kick ass day on the water. A little over 15 miles of paddling aint to bad either.

If I roll back on up there, I think I'd park a little farther north up the lake and try to paddle to the headwaters of the Verde River.

Here is a little Video of the day:

And thanks to Chollaball's GPS tracking, here is an interactive Google Earth Tour of Bartlett Lake:

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