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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:00 pm 
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Location: Salt Lake City
Hi, sitting here in my cubicle dreaming of summer adventures. I am wondering if any of you have tried to sail / paddle Shoshone Lake in Yellowstone NP using an Adventure Island. It looks like it would be a great trip, starting on Lewis lake, going up Lewis channel and then camping out on Shoshone. Apparently Shoshone lake is subject to very strong winds which could make for some potentially good sailing. Anybody done this already? Would you be able to use mirage drive to get yourself up Lewis channel or is it too shallow. I assume you would have to fold the arms in because it looks fairly narrow. Anybody? Thanks!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:44 am 
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Location: Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Howdy from Jackson Hole!

I've been on Shoshone Lake in a canoe a LONG time ago. Never our AI's (yet).

The narrows between Lewis and Shoshone Lakes are shallow enough you'll have to get out and pull the boat. In low water you'll be dragging it (over very rounded rocks that won't hurt anything). Be sure to have sandals along for this.

On these cold water, high altitude lakes, it's important to have a goretex dry suit (with booties).

The AI will be superb for the trip. Shoshone, Lewis & Yellowstone Lakes are famous for sudden, big storms. They have a lot of fetch, and may develop big waves (Yellowstone can rarely produce 20 foot waves). Winds typically kick in late afternoon, but don't bet on it. Have your wits about you and reach your destination before noon if at all possible. Then... go out and play close to camp. I highly recommend checking out the geyser basin.

Stability of the AI's is a great safety factor. These lakes have killed a lot of boaters, including a kayaking ranger patrolling on Shoshone in the last decade.

I can't tell you where to camp; ask Rangers for help on that. I was warned about Shoshone, and it turned out true. Generations of Boy Scouts have used it as a famous destination. The Scouts often whipped out their hatchets, ripped half way through a small tree, and gave up... The sites are less than pristine.

Make reservations via mail NOW, as kid's backpacking/babysitting services book sites up solid during the summer. You can't show up two days early and get the trip of your dreams. Go on their web site, call'em up and do your reservations ASAP.

If you journey thru Jackson, you can camp in my yard and get a BBQ.

Happy Trails!

Chris

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 2:29 pm 
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Location: Salt Lake City
Hey Jackson Hole, thanks for the offer of the BBQ and real estate. Well I finally made the trip to Shoshone Lake - awesome experience, great wind and the trip pretty much utilized every function of the Adventure - It was a snap getting back and forth across Lewis Lake up to the channel with the sail, I was able sail for a bit in the channel, then onto the mirage drive, once things got too shallow for that I used the paddle, and when the current got too stiff I folded it all up and dragged it floating all the way up to Shoshone... Some great sailing up there, but we had limited time. The trip was supposed to be 4 days, three nights up there, but due to a friends scheduling problems we just turned it into a day trip - Plan B, if you will. On the way back out I was able to float the channel out to a point where the mirage drive and sail were redeployed. Wind all the way back to the boat launch from there.... first white man on Shoshone Lake with an Adventure Island? who knows... I'm going back next year to stay abit longer and to explore the geyser basin and the rest of the lake. One of the highlight of the trip was some kayaker that I ran into near the mouth of Lewis Channel telling he that I would, "never make it in that boat". Well, I id and it was great! Never worried about it!

Since our trip was changed, we were also able to sail 3 days on Jackson and Yellowstone Lakes, just running day trips and checking out some islands in the process. Off to the Targhee Bluegrass festival after that made for a well rounded escape. Thanks again for your hospitable offer and maybe I'll see you on Shoshone next summer!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
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Location: South Florida
Torpey & Chris,

How old were you when you did the trek from Lewis Lake to Shoshone Lake? My wife and I did it a few weeks ago using a Klepper folding kayak--it was a slog! We had to pull our boat for the last 1.3 mi against strong current and water varying from calf deep to mid-thigh. Again, I need to emphasize...against strong current. It is cold water, too, but since you are working hard, that is a fairly minor point. Our task was made a harder by the need to drive to the launch, build our boat, load 4-days camping supplies and gear, paddle across Lewis, paddle/slog up the 4-5 mile Lewis Creek, paddle to our camp (9 mile paddle overall), and set up camp. Once there, it was great. The campsites on Shoshone Lake and Yellowstone Lake for paddlers/sailors are generally outstanding. Permits are required for campsites, but they were easy to obtain in person on a walk-in basis. When getting permits, it helps to have some flexibility in your campsite selection and your schedule. The Park does hold out 40% of the campsites for walk-in permitting, so sites are available at all times. We did 5 days on Yellowstone Lake and 4 days on Shoshone. Althought the winds are rather unpredictable, in general during our visit we had significant winds kick up between 11 am-1 pm each day; they lasted until late afternoon, sometimes until early evening. The Klepper is a very stable kayak, so we never felt in danger (we've paddled it on 2-week, self-supported trips in Alaska.) Most of the time we were done paddling by 1-2 pm, but that was not possible on our first day going to Shoshone (and returning to Lewis Lake launch.)

Yes. Torpey, you probably were the first to sail an AI on Shoshone, but not the first sail boat--there was a small sail boat on the lake the day we left. I can't recommend it to senior citizens, but "kids" who want a workout and want to be the only sail boat/AI on a backcountry lake--go for it. The Geyser Basin at the far end of Shoshone Lake is a must, if you get to the lake--it is like your own private geyser basin. You can see clouds from eruptions on Google Earth, so you know right where the basin is.

Keith

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I sail: Key Biscayne, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 12:31 pm 
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Location: South Florida
A few pictures from our Shoshone Lake trip. This trip is in Yellowstone National Park. As we drove to Lewis Lake on Aug 17, we passed this: Image

Nancy works to build Klepper at Lewis Lake Launch. Fog rises off the lake. It was below freezing when we arrived at Lewis Lake. Image

This picture was taken on our return from Shoshone Lake via Lewis Lake Channel. It is a Class 1-2 whitewater run. We were guiding our Klepper down the channel because we did not want to break it on the many rocks--it was our transportation out of the area. We only took a couple pictures during our slog up the channel, against the current, sometimes in thigh-deep water.
Image

Shoshone Lake, late afternoon. The winds were about 18 mph on the open lake.
Image

Campsites on Shoshone Lake are well marked.
Image

Campsites were beautiful.
Image

Bear bars to hang food are provided by the Park service at each campsite. Convenient!
Image

Nancy walks through part of the Shoshone Lake Geyser Basin.
Image

Image

More Shoshone Lake Geyser Basin pictures.

Image

Image

Image

A beautiful stream runs through it all.
Image

Keith

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I sail: Key Biscayne, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 4:35 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 6:39 pm
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Location: Venice, Florida
As usual, great pictures, and great story Keith. Can't wait to get back to our Everglades adventures this fall.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:13 am 
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Location: Northfield, NH
Wow! That looks like a fantastic place :D

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:10 am
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Location: Salt Lake City
Wow! You did it on August 17th? That's the same day we went up! We must have passed at some point? We were on the water by about 10:00 AM. Wish we could have camped out ~ the geyser basin looks awesome - Great shots!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 1:55 pm 
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Location: South Florida
Torpey,

Yes, the geyser basin is a terrific sight. I'm at a loss about the date you were there. I have pictures w/ 2 different cameras and a GPS track--they all indicate we started our trip on Aug 17. We were at the Lewis Lake ramp building our boat by 9 am or earlier. I believe we started our paddle to Shoshone by 11 am. We did not see an AI. Aug 17 was a Monday. What is the problem with date/time?

Keith

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I sail: Key Biscayne, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 11:46 am 
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Location: Salt Lake City
Hey ~ my bad... it was the 18th! We were supposed to go out for four days on the 17th... we would have crossed paths.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:13 am 
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Wow, you have a very great snaps.Thanks sharing such good pictures here this site. I really like these photos. I do not have a button now, I can post after a single unit.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:07 pm 
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Location: Lake Macquarie NSW AUSTRALIA
You nailed it again Keith. Terrific stuff. What sort of survival rules or tactics do you need to put in place when camping and travelling around in bear areas ?

( Sorry for my pig ignorance but our bears are cute and cuddly.)

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:34 pm 
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Location: South Florida
Thanks, Slaughter & Calvin. Shoshone Lake w/ it's geyser basin would make any photographer look good.

Regarding bears, you have to keep food odors to a minimum. You can't have ANY food in your tents and nothing w/ odors such as toothpaste, deodorant, etc. You are supposed to hang the clothing you cook in from trees--I've never done that--just sit upwind from cooking odors.

Your food has to be put into bear canisters or hung from trees.

I once had a bear sniffing around my tent at night--I mean inches from the fabric. But he/she was kind of a campground bear--probably like your cuddly ones--and when I yelled and struck the side of the tent, it scampered away.

We had a problem with a young grizzly in Alaska. He pretty much came right into our camp as we were setting up. There were 4 of us, bunched together making a racket, but he just kept on coming. At one point I thought, "We have a problem." But, just about that time, he broke and ran into the woods.

Most of the time you never see a bear anywhere near your camp, but you have to be careful.

Keith

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I sail: Key Biscayne, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:16 pm 
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Location: Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Howdy from Jackson Hole!

Yup, I live in this area. Problems with bears are extremely rare if you keep you camp clean with minimal odors.

ESSENTIAL! Carry bear spray. Sleep with it. It'll turn back polar bears. I carry it all the time in civilization, because of fear of 2 legged critters. I have no fear of bears with spray... Game & Fish employees I've talked to have used spray 60+ time and the bear always runs away. 25% of the time, they get sprayed by wind in their face, but they know it's coming & the bear doesn't. No problem, it teaches the bear to stay away from people and doesn't kill'em.

Bottom line, stay educated and prepared & don't let fear of bears prevent diving into the deep end of the pool of infinite beauty.

Happy Trails!

Chris

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the love you take,
is equal to the love,
you make...
--The Beatles


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 5:34 am 
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Location: South Florida
Yeah, Chris is right--carry bear spray.

I bought a can this year for our 4-wk trip in the Rockies. Of course, you can't carry one on commercial airlines, so you are stuck w/ buying one wherever you fly to, if you need one. In Alaska, you buy one after you fly in, then sell it before you get back on a plane to fly out.

Someplace, I read that 25% of the bears return after being sprayed, so you might think of breaking camp/moving out after a problem w/ a bear. I don't remember where the spray was when we had the bear-encounter on our one Alaska trip. It was not handy.

Keith

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I sail: Key Biscayne, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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