Lake Quinault, WA Over Labor Day

27 10 2021
Chiyo in my Current Designs Sisu

My good friends Chiyo and Chester joined me for a couple of days camping and paddling on the Olympic Peninsula at Lake Quinault. Lake Quinault is managed by the Quinault Tribe, and they only allow motorized craft for tribal members and home owners on the lake. So, it can be pretty quiet for paddling. On this trip, even on Labor Day weekend, I saw only one power boat. The lake borders Olympic National Park with its legendary rivers, rain forests and mountains.

Any drive up in the Olympic Peninsula involves passing logging trucks!

I brought along my sea kayak, a Current Designs Sisu, and I borrowed a Wilderness Systems Tempest 170 from Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe, where I work in Digital Marketing and as a sales associate and kayak guide. One of the perks is we can demo and borrow kayaks!

My kayak, a fiberglass kayak, came through the drive unhurt. The other kayak is a plastic one, and it deformed, in industry terms, “oil canned.” Storing it on edge somewhat helped. But the polyethylene plastic is so soft and can deform with just a little heat and pressure. Either way, we enjoyed our paddling on the lake. My tent is a pretty simple backpacking tent. Chester and Chiyo’s tent is more like the Taj Mahal!

We paddled along the east end of the lake. At one point I went ashore to take a look around. It wasn’t long before I found evidence of the wildlife living in the area! There were big elk prints in the sand!

After our return, it was time for a sumptuous lunch. Two friends from Portland had brought along their kayaks and paddled with us. Chiyo even brought tiramisu for dessert. I was so stuffed at that point, I could not accept.

The sleeping that evening was the low part for sure. Labor Day had its way with us. One of the other campsites ignored the rules and invited half of Seattle. There must have been 20+ people, and about 10 cars with all the camping gear showed up after dark. The camp host made them pay for all those extra cars, and enforced the quiet hours on them. But there was more! Another campsite went on partying until after midnight. Lesson be learned, think twice about car camping Labor Day Weekend!


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