All Things Kayaking

Lake Willoughby in Vermont

Having fun with kayak surfing.

On the third day of our kayaking adventure with Road Scholar we traveled south to Lake Willoughby in Vermont.  A quick check of our passports and we crossed the border into the U.S.  This day on Lake Willoughby the planned paddle was one way, launching at the northern end at Willoughby Lake Beach and paddling south to the White Caps Campground.  Along the way we “threaded the needle” between Mount Pisgah and Mount Hor and surfed the waves where the lake narrows.  Our tour leader, Stephen, shared interesting tales about ice climbing on Mount Pisgah.  Lake Willoughby is recognized for some of the best ice climbing in the continental U.S.

20180919_111721_Sharon leads the flotilla out into the water

Putting in at Lake Willoughby Beach

Launching south toward the Lake narrows a number of large common loons swam nearby.  Loons are rarely seen in Delmarva so we enjoyed the sighting.  Having planned well the wind was at our backs and provided a push forward while paddling.  This was a day when using rudders helped to keep us pointing in the right direction.

20180919_112453_Common Loons

Common loons off to our right

Coming closer to the two mountains flanking the lake, the waves gradually grew in size and speed.  Our kayaking leaders demonstrated how to take the waves at a 90 degree angle and maintain the same speed as the wave. Some incredibly fun surfing resulted as long as we executed skillfully.  Failing to match the speed properly breaks the surfing feel and results in settling back to the lake surface.

20180919_113308_Paddling toward the narrows

Tour guide Niels in the white kayak instructs us in the proper surfing technique.

20180919_122653_Threading the narrows between Mount Pisgah and Mount Hor

Threading the needle. Mount Pisgah is on the left and Mount Hor is on the right.

Between the waves and the wind water sloshed into the kayaks resulting in us being a little wet by the time we reached the southern end.  However, the general store in the campground sold hot chocolate and coffee which we gladly added to our picnic lunch.

20180919_130657_Tom carrying his kayak with Mount Pisgah in the background

Picturesque Mount Pisgah as seen from the White Caps Campground.

After loading the kayaks we headed back towards Quebec stopping once in a small town where the maple-walnut ice cream was delicious, and a small church in the background made for a nice New England Vignette.  In late September autumn colors are beginning to arrive in northern Vermont.

20180919_151626_Little church at the ice cream stop

Small New England church at our ice cream stop

Tom, one of our guides, shared his accordion music for our evening program. Tom plays a digital accordion and could make it sound like a 60 piece orchestra which made for fascinating listening.

Road Scholar: Kayaking Day Trips in Quebec and Canada

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