Amber Lake Canoe Paddle, Channeled Scablands, Washington

     The summer that never ends continues! Steve, Kylie, and I finally got out of Spokane after picking up Connors canoe. It gave me a chance to try out my new truck bed extender that worked like a champ hauling that 17 foot canoe out of my six foot bed!. At the west end of Cheney we found Mullinix road and headed south. Eventually we found the put in at a boat ramp on the north side of 91 acre Amber Lake. I had always wanted to get back to Amber Lake, ever since attempting to kayak with Jameson when he was young. He freaked out within minutes of getting on the water forcing me to bail on the adventure.

     I dropped Steve, and Kylie off with the gear and parked the truck. It didn’t take long to get on the water as we left the ramp paddling west along the north shore of the lake in a counter clockwise direction.  We stayed close to the shore as we paddled past grassy hillsides dotted with ponderosa pine. It was a pretty busy day for fisherman as we had to paddle around their pontoon boats and fly line. Amber Lake is a selective gear fishery limiting anglers to fly rods and non motorized craft. This time of year it was catch and release only. We paddled below a prominence marked with an awesome old windmill perched above it. Continuing passed a couple of private properties the water soon became inundated with lily pads and other vegetation. Despite all the plant life near the surface Amber is a pretty clear lake compared to most lakes in the west plains. After reaching the end of the lake we continued our course now coming back on the opposite side of the lake.

     The view coming back down the lake was much more impressive than on the way up as we encountered much less private property. The terrain was much more interesting being heavily forested with more natural features to keep feast your eyes on. The view down the lake was dominated by basalt cliffs on either side, typical of the channeled scablands once carved by the massive Missoula floods at the end of the last ice age.  We paddled a short while longer before deciding to park in a sun filled bay near a rocky point. We drifted for some time enjoying a lunch and snacks, the weather was perfect, warm with almost no breeze. One of the things I love the most about Spokane and eastern Washington are it’s Indian summers. After lunch we continued on reaching the northeast corner of the lake and the end of the line for the canoe. We drifted near the lily pads watching a small bird as it resurfaced from time to time to catch a breath of air before diving back down to feed on the aquatic life below.  On the way back to the launch we were greeted by a fisherman who we had talked to earlier that was landing a good sized trout, he wondered if Kylie would like to see it. Once out of the water Kylie wanted nothing to do with the fish which was quite fun to watch. After saying goodbye to the friendly fisherman we eventually finished our paddle back at the boat launch. Amber Lake is a wonderful place to paddle, very scenic and quit. I will definitely be back, and next time I will bring my fly rod. For more pictures click the link. Amber Lake Canoe Paddle

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