Thursday, July 9, 2015

Shooting for the moon and ended up in the stars

This past week I've spent the week at Hidden Springs Ranch at the Low family reunion.  It was fun.  I took Isaac on a 25 mile bike ride for his cycling merit badge and yesterday took a trip out to Moon Lake for a swim.  It was either that or swimming at Starvation Reservoir like I did three years ago when we had the reunion out here.  I've never swam in Moon Lake and it sounded awesome.  It's apparently the largest of the high elevation lakes in the Uintahs.  It looks to be about half the size of Deer Creek Reservoir, or half the size of Starvation Reservoir.

I took Isaac and Sam out at 10am to paddle for me.  We drove for what seemed forever from the lodge.  When we turned a bend on the dirt road we saw what we thought was moon lake and it looked awesome.  I estimate that it was about 3-4 miles all the way around it.  We missed the first turn, but saw another dirt trail turnoff up ahead which we took.  We unloaded the kayak and carried it only 10 yards down to the small sandy beach.  It was strange that nobody else was here.  Granted we were about 20 miles from the nearest town of Mountain Home, Utah.

I was expecting the water temp to be really low cause the elevation was over 7000 feet.  But it was 67 degrees.  The water was very clear, but not blue like Bear Lake.  It was very dark green, almost black like at Fremont Lake.  Swam about 20 minutes across the lake and saw some plant life underwater that kind of freaked me out a  bit.  The boys also saw it and said, "Dad I can see the bottom now!"  It's easy to see why human nature demands that we add monsters to the list of things that could exist in unknown and mysterious waters.  I should know better than to let myself get psyched out by crap like that, but I had a weak moment.
Don't know why but this lake gave me the creeps.  I said let's swim back.  We swam back and about 100 yards from the beach I saw Sam hanging on to the stern of the boat kicking while Isaac was paddling.  He had a big smile on his face and we raced each other, but with the much drag they didn't stand a chance. When we got to a depth where I could stand I asked Sam to take off his lifejacket and two shirts that he had on (to protect him from the sun), and try his hand at swimming in open water.  I knew he would do find since I have been coaching him in the pool.  He took my goggles and swam out from shore with me about 50 yards and swam back.  He said the water felt good and Isaac had a turn.

We loaded up the kayak and on the way out, Isaac points to a sign that was on the ground.  I got out and saw the very weathered wooden sign had the paint worn off but was engraved with:

No trespassing
Permit Required

I turned off my phone on the way up because it was at a very low battery level and I didn't want it completely dead in case I needed it for emergency.  I turned it on and zoomed in our our location.  Sure enough.  This wasn't Moon Lake.  It was Twin Pots Reservoir.  A private reservoir that is owned by the Ute Tribe.  Oops!  Maybe that feeling to return was due to the fact that this was the wrong place and that I wasn't welcome to swim there.  I'm glad we didn't get busted and end up paying a big fine.  I wouldn't mind swimming there again, but under the proper conditions with permission.  

Except now I'm eager to find the right lake.  Moon Lake sounds pretty awesome.  Next time, I'll make sure my GPS is fully charged and I get to the right place.

Estimated distance: 1 mile in 35 minutes

No comments: