Kayaking: Somerset Reservoir

This was by far my most epic kayak adventure. First off, I couldn't decide where to go. I've found plenty of sites of people listing places around here, and I've had some success looking at maps for nice-sized lakes and then reading up on how to get to the water, but I couldn't get everything to align for this trip. And the weather reports were generally nice but predicted some rain and wind.


View Somerset Reservoir in a larger map

This was a two hour drive to an undeveloped lake in Vermont. The driving was about an hour not on highways but on 40-55mph roads, half an hour through villages, and then half an hour on a dirt road that I wanted to be rallying on the entire time.

The "caravan menace" was in full swing:

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All I can say is that this place was beautiful.

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I mean, really beautiful. The only signs of civilization I saw the entire time were the cleared ski slopes of Mt. Snow off in the distance, which guided me back to my starting point, a dam by the boat launch, and just a few other people in small fishing boats, canoes, and kayaks.

I saw wildlife!

/share/kayak/somerset/eagle.jpgThe first thing that really floored me was a bald eagle which flew almost directly overhead. I wasn't expecting that. So much so that I didn't get my camera out in time. But I got a nice view of it from underneath.
/share/kayak/somerset/otters.jpgMy second real surprise was a group of otters, popping their heads out of the water in full Whack-a-mole fashion. They were probably about ten feet away when I first noticed them. Did I accidentally invade where they were swimming? They certainly weren't scared off by me. They continued alternately poking their heads out of the water and swimming under for quite some time as I tried to maneuver to give them some room and get my camera ready, but I failed to get any shots of them. Those guys were my favorites.
/share/kayak/somerset/bear.jpgAfter I thought everything was all done and I was headed home, a relatively small black bear crossed the dirt road in front of me.

In the end, the weather worked out perfectly. It was about overcast about 50% of the time and sunny the rest. The wind was gently against me half the time and then helped carry me back to where I started. I had some trouble getting water out of my kayak as I turned around at the far end, but I managed. I need to read up on how to do this right in the future.

As excellent as this trip was, I'll probably tone things down in the future. I wasn't ready for the workout I got, not that it was bad to get it. The rest of the kayakers all stayed in the southern half of the lake from what I saw. I saw some rowboats paddling around near the far end, but I suspect they got out there with motors. Though maybe I'll see a loon next time?

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