Twin Lakes, Colorado – Kayaking, 2016

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Great paddling conditions at Twin Lakes

Over the August 20-21 weekend we went to kayak a new lake for us, Twin Lakes, Colorado. I’ve driven by the lakes while traveling over Independence Pass, and even around it to the west end so I could backpack into Big Willis Gulch. Jeff brought his pop-up camper with his new truck, while Lisa and I carried his kayak and our tandem on the Avalanche. We had been   getting daily storms along the Front Range, but up at Twin Lakes it was a beautiful weekend.

We pulled into the White Star National Forest campground around mid-day and were able to find a nice campsite. Given the Leadville 100 marathon race, which was going on that weekend, we were surprised there were open campsites and were prepared to head off-road into the nearby forests, if necessary.

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Campsite at the White Star National Forest Campground

We set camp and headed down to the boat launch on the west lake. The breeze was mostly light and the temps were mild. Perfect for an afternoon paddle. First, we paddled west, into the wind, and then back east to the narrow passage connecting the two lakes.

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Entering the east lake

Jeff told us about an old resort on the south side of the east lake and asked if we had ever seen it. I’ve never even heard of it so we paddled over there. It was built in the late 1800’s, and was barely used after 1899. It’s called Interlaken. Supposedly, President Theodore Roosevelt stayed there.

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Dexter’s Cabin at Interlaken

The area is now owned, or possibly just preserved, by the Forest Service. The cabin has log walls on the outside, but hardwood floors on the inside.

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Historical sign at Dexter’s Cabin

Dexter’s Cabin is a two story structure with a viewing area above the second floor. By-the-way, it is open to the public so you can just wander in. There was nobody else there.

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Interior of Dexter’s Cabin – Pretty nice for 1880’s wilderness

A narrow and steep staircase leads to the upper room with 360 degree views of the surrounding area.

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View from atop Dexter’s Cabin

The main resort building is a short walk to the west. There is no access to the inside of this building.

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Historical sign outside of the main Interlaken resort building

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The Interlaken Resort building is logs on three sides and a white painted front

After exploring all we could we got back into the water to headed back to camp. Jeff fished in his kayak, though didn’t catch anything today.

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Jeff cruises along in his Mill Creek 13 on the east lake at Twin Lakes

We had a great campfire that night, and given my aversion to staying in National Forest campgrounds, this one was quite nice. Even the generators run by the large campers were turned off by 9:30, so it was a pleasant evening all the way around.

I slept very soundly that night and when morning came we made our breakfast and coffee outdoors on the picnic table. Coffee was made on one of my WWII M1942 stoves . . . of course (if you’ve read my blog before you knew that was coming, right?).

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Outdoor breakfast and coffee on a beautiful morning

We loaded up everything and headed back to the water, paddling around until lunch where we found a nice spot to relax on a beach. I can certainly see why someone would have made a resort here, even if it was in the 1880’s.

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Our lunch spot on the beach at Twin lakes

We paddled until mid-afternoon, loaded up the boats and headed back home. A nice weekend.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

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