I had a sail this afternoon on Dorena Lake, southeast of Cottage Grove.
It's a nice lake, bigger than Dexter (1840 acres vs. 1025), clean water and
fairly deep except at the upper end. The county park I launched at, Baker
Bay, has beaches and picnic tables in the shade nearby. There are a bunch
of nice campsites (no electric or water hookups though), many right on the
lake and just about all with a lake view.
I think Baker Bay Park'd be a very good spot for a messabout, but we'd have
to do it early in the summer since the corps of Engineers is going to use
the water in Dorena to dilute Cottage Grove's sewage when natural stream
flows go down later in the season. I'll put a chart of expected lake levels
in the files section. The ramp at Baker Bay is pretty shallow and might be
unusable when the water goes down. Right now the lake is full to the brim,
a bit above the normal maximum pool level.
Other downsides to Dorena are the hills all around it that cause the wind
to be very fickle (though some of them are scenic anyway), a single ramp at
Baker Bay that may get clogged on a summer weekend (but there are one or
two other launch sites on the lake), and the lake is kind of boring (except
for the challenge of dealing with the wind coming from all different
directions). I guess I've been spoiled by sailing on Fern Ridge so much,
there's nothing like dodging stumps and running aground on the mud to make
a sail interesting! <g> An interesting sailing spot isn't necessary for a
messabout though, as long as interesting boats and people show up.
There were some interesting boats at Dorena today: a nice big sailing dory
that seems to live there, a light Wispish rowboat and an interesting little
FG double ender built by Eddon Boat of Gig Harbor. There were also a
couple of WindRider trimarans that look like they'd be fun. Apparently the
water cops don't go to Dorena because _most_ of the boats I saw drawn up on
the beaches had either no registration stickers (or even numbers in some
cases!) or expired ones, some from the '80s!
There was hardly anybody at Baker Bay or on the lake today (the only PWC
showed up after I'd pulled out), but that will probably change when summer
officially arrives, since Dorena is one of the few valley area lakes that
will have water in it this year, at least for a while.
I cannot help thinking that the people with motor boats miss a great deal.
If they would only keep to rowboats or canoes, and use oar or paddle...
they would get infinitely more benefit than by having their work done for
them by gasoline. <Theodore Roosevelt>