Jim's home | Paddling home

Ice paddling on Lake Symington - 2007

One wintery day neighbor David Bryant suggested we go paddling at the beaver ponds off of Lost Highway near Seabeck on the Kitsap Penninsula. My sons Max and Evan, their friend Sam Zimmerman, David and I set out for the ponds, only to find that it was so wintery that they were solidly frozen over. So no paddling there. On a whim we decided to check out Lake Symington, which was on the way home. It was frozen over, but with only a thin sheet of ice. David put in with his kayak, and the boys and I set out in my trusty 17' aluminum Grumman canoe. Then the fun began.

Driving to the beaver ponds. The way there isn't obvious, and the roads are neither paved nor in great condition. There's a reason they call it the Lost Highway. "Highway" is an exaggeration.

Evan still a bit sleepy in the morning.

Max and Sam by the frozen beaver pond.

It was really frozen.

Setting out through the thin ice on Lake Symington. Evan in the foreground.

David in his kayak.

We fancied ourselves to be an ice breaker. Lots of fun powering through the ice and breaking it into pieces. I kept thinking about how many seconds we'd survive in the cold water if we capsized.

David breaking ice.

This is the outlet of the lake. There's a weir there that was fun to push sheets of ice over.

Sam reveling in the sound and feel of breaking ice. Evan paddling.


The boys watching ice go over the weir.

David carved out very large sheets of ice and herded them towards the weir so they'd go over.

David pushing ice sheets over the weir. Don't get to close!

Sheets of ice going over the weir.