Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Finding Dunns Lake
With I announce this quest last week on the Facebook page, and a few days later I made the trek. I just remembered that this lake was there. It is part of the chain o lakes system, so you do need a FWA sticker ($10) but once you get a taste of the chain, you will use it all the time.
I set out from Lighthouse Marina again just north of Pistakee Lake. I cut straight across and headed into Nippersink Lake via the rt 12 bridge. As soon as you make it under that rt 12 bridge, there is a cove to the west. In that cove is a little bridge you can pass under to get to Nippersink Lake, or you can come around the side of the island at the end of the no wake. I went around the island this time. Dunns Lake is hidden on the west side of Nippersink Lake. If you don't know it is there or are not looking for it, it will look like a small channel filled with homes.
I came up the channel at the far southwest side of Nippersink Lake. It was a very quite channel and there were some lily pads growing that added to the serenity. The paddle into Dunns Lake is nice and easy. Once you get into Dunns Lake, you can see the whole lake right away. I paddled around and then hit the small channel that is at the West side of the lake. It turns into a private channel around the bend, but it is still a nice peaceful channel to paddle. The color of the water on Dunns Lake is very different than the rest of the chain. It was a bright green color rather than the dull brown that the rest of the lakes have. It was very pretty.
Leaving Dunns Lake, I took the first channel that shoots out East. That took me to the North side of Nippersink. In that channel I came across some Beavers. I forget how big those guys are until I see them again. As I exited the channel I came across 2 swimming towards me. I set my paddle down and just coasted towards them as they swam towards me. One cut across my bow and slapped the water to my right and the other swam passed very close on the left. It was very cool to see them so close.
Back on Nippersink Lake, I paddled north to the Grass Lake Bridge. At this time, the sun was setting and I popped my light on. Once I got up to Grass Lake Bridge it was dark out. The paddle home was quiet and a little spooky. That spooky feeling added to the uniqueness of the trip though.
As I came down the East side of Nippersink Lake, I saw a cloud filled with lightning far to the east. It wasn't coming my way, but it was eerie to see so much lighting in the sky. I stayed way over to the east in order to stay out of the main drag of late fishermen racing around. There was one portion that I was vulnerable and that was at the No Wake gap between Nippersink and Fox Lake. I came into the no wake from the North and paddled as hard as I could to the south. I wasn't near any boats, but my eyes were wide and my head was on a swivel just to make sure that I was alone in the area. The rest of the trip was peaceful in the dark. I was never bothered by wakes or close calls. It was a great trip and I would encourage you to go check out Dunns Lake if you get the chance.