Saturday June 20, 2015 Camped just below the Willow Creek Reservoir dam, Nevada
I broke camp around eight this morning and drove on up to the Willow Creek Reservoir Dam overlook where there was a pickup and cattle trailer parked. A guy came up the hill from the dam area and waited by his truck for me to park. It turned out to be a guy off the local ranch who had been sitting on the corral fence the other day when I when by wondering what kind of rig I was driving.
We had a nice chat and he took off to get back to work.
Here’s his rig at the dam overlook, just as he’s turning around to leave.
I looked at the Willow Creek Reservoir from the dam overlook. I’m headed to the mountains in the background eventually.
I was looking down the backside of the dam area at Willow creek winding down the valley and thinking I should check out the camp spots there for future possibilities.
So I drove down there and it looked good so I took a short walk down the creek at it looked like enough water to put my kayak in. I walked about a half mile down the creek on cow trails through the sage brush keeping my eye on the creek as I know someplace there must be a beaver dam to back this water up like that and I was wondering how far it was as I was thinking of putting my kayak in the creek.
About a half mile down, here it is, a beaver dam.
I decided to stay here, so parked my van in a good spot to view the creek. I sat around my van watching the creek and taking it easy. I decided to go for a paddle later in the day to let the sun sink in the sky a little. There was a good breeze blowing with some overcast most of the day, it wasn’t real hot, but it’s not a place to stay out in the sun.
Shorty after I arrived I heard some bullfrogs across the creek from me. I was thinking I hope they don’t get too noisy and drive me crazy later on?
Around three PM, I decided to walk further down the river to see if it was worth taking my boat over the first beaver dam or not. I walked past the first dam and it wasn’t long before I got to the next one, only a couple hundred feet from the first one. So it wasn’t worth portaging over the first dam.
Looking back up to the first dam. I kayaked above this dam a little later.
Here’s the view of my camp as I walked back up the trail along the creek. That’s the reservoir dam in the back of the van.
About five PM I put my boat in the water and paddled up about a quarter mile and ran into this beaver dam so that’s where I turned back. Lots of animal holes in the creek banks.
I could see the sun was still too high in the sky and no critters were out yet and it was hot in the boat with no shade. I paddled on down to the lower beaver dam here and sat for a bit, before working my way back to my van.
On the way back I was noticing this caves in the rock across the creek from my van. They look interesting and someday I’ll have to check them out.
I went back to my van and took it easy. I wanted to wait until almost dark to go out in my kayak again.
This duck wanted to go by the van, but wasn’t too sure about things. It finally flew on past it.
Just before I got into may kayak for the evening paddle, I startled this little bunny rabbit.
It was about 7:30PM when I put my boat back into the water and headed on down to the lower beaver dam where I knew there were some beaver dens.
On the way down I flushed this owl out of a hole in the creek bank. It landed and looked at me for a bit, then took off.
I sat in my boat near where I knew there was a beaver lodge and waited. I could hear the beaver chatting in there lodge. I saw one go into a hole close by and kept watching. Suddenly there was a big splash right to my right. A big beaver had swam up from that side and saw me and sounded the alarm. After a bit the other beaver I had seen go into a hole popped up and started swimming right towards me. I swam up to about twenty feet, then dove giving the alarm. It came up again back near it’s hole. Swam around a bit, the dove again with a big splash giving the alarm and that was all the beaver I saw.
Here’s my best shot of a beaver. they aren’t easy to get good photos of.
With the beaver being cautious now, I paddled back to where my van was, just before dark.
That was my day and so far the bullfrogs have been quiet.
Tomorrow I’m planning to head to another spot somewhere up the road.