Friday, July 2, 2010

What's not to like--Kayaking Chippewa Lake, Ohio

My first and second time out in the pink kayak were at Chippewa Lake, Ohio. My brother has a good friend who owns a cottage beside the lake. Chippewa is a lakeside community built on one side of the lake.

In the past there was an amusement park located there. Long abandoned, the property has been purchased by the Hilton Hotel Company. Plans are to build a hotel and culinary school for the University of Akron.

Chippewa Lake, located in Medina County, is only about a 45 minute drive south from Cleveland. An easy drive through small towns and farmland areas.

Maiden Voyage: A beautiful, sunny, warm, windy day. Oddly, the lake was calm even though the wind was pretty strong. We put in on a small beach area near the cottage and headed into the wind. Heading into the wind meant that we were going to paddle by the ghost town of Chippewa Lake Amusement Park. Seeing the rusted ferris wheel appear through the trees and missing that shot from the lake because I don't have a waterproof camera was an immense disappointment. I NEED A WATERPROOF CAMERA!!!

Ken had regaled me with tales of his maiden voyage on this lake and seeing bald eagles overhead. I was paying more attention to the sky then the water as we approached the "bald eagle area." Sorry to report.....we saw nada.

My first trip took us around half of the lake. Frankly, I simply enjoyed just sitting in my kayak in the middle of the lake, splashing cool water on my arms and peace with the world.

A learning curve came with the drive back to Cleveland. The wind had really kicked up in the late afternoon. So strong it actually ripped the Ohio boat license off Ken's kayak and tore the front tie down on my kayak in half.

Second Try: When we left Cleveland the sky was sunny and the air warm. The perfect day to be out on the lake. When we reached Chippewa Lake the weather was different.....dark storm clouds, high wind and cooler air. Ken checked the weather channel on his storm weather in site for Chippewa. So we put in.

The lake was very choppy...white caps. It took us forever to just move about 1/4 mile.....three steps forward....five steps back. What a workout!!!! The spray from the kayak moving headlong through the waves was enough to make puddles near my feet.

Today, paddling into the wind, we headed for the other side of the lake....opposite from our first time. This end of the lake is primarily a marsh with water lilies standing straight up out of the water. After about an hour of paddling, Ken and I finally made it to the marsh. I let out a loud WAHOO. Within seconds, a large great blue heron began to rise out of the marsh. It was a sight to behold....the wamp...wamp...wamp of his wings as he rose up above our heads. Ken and I just sat there kingdom for a waterproof camera...... Again I yelled out to Ken "WOW!" and with that a second great blue rose out of the marsh.

Returning back to the beach we just road the waves, steering away from shore until we saw the our destination. Today's outing was alot of effort and totally worth it.

Chippewa Lake has been fun to cut our chops, but we definitely want to try something new for the next outing. There are so many choices. Next will be another lake; however we do want to give the Vermilion River a try. We are planning a trip to Cheat Lake area outside Morgantown, West Virginia on July 4th for several days.

Two positive learning curve experiences.....great scenery........easy drive from home......and neither of us landed in the lake head first.....

So....what's not to like

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

1 comment:

  1. Girl, you really NEED that waterproof camera! I want to see a photo of that heron!