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Thread: Englebright Lake, April 2019

  1. #1
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    Apr 2018
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    Default Englebright Lake, April 2019

    Englebright Lake, California, 4/19


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    Default Re: Englebright Lake, April 2019

    A sodden weekend in ending the wettest winter in years may seem like no time for a boat camping trip, and indeed, everyone else had the sense to stay away. So much the better - we had the place nearly to ourselves.
    Englebright is a small, narrow reservoir on the Yuba River. Formed by a whopping great dam and managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, it is unusual among those California reservoirs known to this author in that it's never drawn down, but instead kept at a constant surface elevation of 528 feet. This should make it charming and “bathtub ring” free year-round. Not that it could have been anything other than overflowing on the weekend of our visit, after a long wet winter.




    Image credit: Skipper's Cove Marina]

    Water was clearly as high as it ever gets, but the ramp was still usable. I offer my Whitehall to you as a textbook example of small boat gear stowage:

    Toss hydrophilic bedding on the sternsheets. Pack yourself a duffel full of books. Bring the grill from your Weber. That's the way you do it.

    Amazingly the afternoon dried up for the entire row to our campsite. On this last antediluvian day, we saw the Sun. We rowed in shirt sleeves past our first waterfall.



    Here, details get a bit fuzzy. We made camp before the rain came in. Someone fished. Maybe me? The rain came in hard. We smoked a trout of decent size in an improvised fire-adjacent wooden box, lucking into superb results.

    Tasted great, but we stopped at a single fish. These foothill lakes and rivers can be loaded with mercury from the gold rush. No one really suggests that a fish or two will hurt anyone old and unpregnant. Even still, the thought of heavy metals eventually dulls my appetite.

    Late that night, staring into the sizzling coals, my companion broke an hour of silence with a low, rolling, initially scattered verbalization from midstream consciousness, starting from first principles and working with increasing precision and wonderment toward a complete understanding of a confounding electrical problem with his Ford F-150. What do you say after a few minutes of that? It was all I could do to blink and go to bed.

    Morning: gray skies, clouds mostly invisible for all the thick rain. A great day to admire seasonal waterfalls. Man, were they pumping.

    A good argument for using a waterproof camera or at least a phone case. My iPhone hasn't been the same since.
    Last edited by pez_leon; 07-17-2020 at 03:45 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    Bay Area, CA
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    Default Re: Englebright Lake, April 2019



    In the afternoon when the rain briefly turned to mist I brought my companion out from the campsite to learn to row and to see a waterfall. We shot the video at the top of the first post.
    Pictures stop here. Memories of the second night are somehow even emptier than the first. This much we know for sure: we lived to reflect happily on this short, easy, unadventurous, very beautiful wet trip.

    If you're considering going to see this lake with your small boat, I'd encourage you to wait for the worst weather you can. In summer when it's hot all the time, the waterfalls don't run and the lake is full of speedboats pushing past the 55 mph speed limit. Go in the rain and have it to yourself.

    James
    Last edited by pez_leon; 07-15-2020 at 01:18 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Fairfield, CA
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    1,960

    Default Re: Englebright Lake, April 2019

    Nice! I missed this at first, did not recognize the local lake and don't usually have time to check on all the threads. Shame on the typical speedboats, there are numerous lakes I visit only on a cold winter day.

    -Rick

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    7,993

    Default Re: Englebright Lake, April 2019

    Nice! Some hilly country around that lake--always good to have some topographical interest.

    The duffel full of books--sounds like you pack the same way I do.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Texas
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    5,625

    Default Re: Englebright Lake, April 2019

    That’s the best weather for being out. Too bad about the mercury. Thanks for posting.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
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    136

    Default Re: Englebright Lake, April 2019

    Good one!! Thanks for posting... keep 'em coming!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    4,787

    Default Re: Englebright Lake, April 2019

    I missed this one the first time around as well. Very nice! Someday I plan to get our whitehall out for some similar adventuring. Someday...
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

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