Editor's note: Dan Arbuckle was kind enough to share a trip report for the Eddyline blog detailing his recent sojourn to Whiskeytown Lake with the President/co-owner of Eddyline, Scott Holley, and revered regional sales rep, Ethan Ebersold. Arbuckle is a former regional paddle shop owner operator and current youtube paddling celebrity. Check out his channel for the latest and greatest advice and info on everything kayaking and paddling related.
For decades, Whiskeytown Lake has been a hot spot for kayakers looking to escape the 100+ degree Redding heat. Kayak touring in particular has deep roots in this paddling community, and Whiskeytown has been a long-standing mecca for clicking off paddle miles as well as exploring white sand beaches and boulder-filled creeks. Nestled between the City of Redding and the Trinity Alps, Whiskeytown has a unique landscape that combines rolling oak-covered foothills with pine-covered mountain peaks.
A few weeks ago when I heard Scott Holley (Eddyline Kayaks President/co-owner) and Ethan Ebersold (Eddyline West Coast Sales Rep) were road tripping through our area I knew I wanted to share the little slice of paradise that is Whiskeytown with them.
Eddyline has always had a strong presence in this community. Most paddlers are looking for a blend of lightweight performance, and durability for beach landings. Eddyline has proven to be the best choice for customers looking to get into lake touring without breaking the bank. Our local shop owner Bryan from Headwaters Adventure Company got wind of Scott and Ethan's visit and arranged a sunset social paddle with our local paddling club. On the night of their visit, we had dozens of paddlers show up to explore the lake, many of whom were proud Eddyline owners.
We paddled from Oak Bottom to a nearby creek that flows into the lake. We took this opportunity to swim, visit and share some homemade chocolate chip cookies that one of the paddlers brought out. Before long we had Scott out of his boat practicing T rescues, and Ethan was brushing up on his rolling skills. The energy that evening was infectious and several others joined the fun. After we got done playing in the water we made our way across the lake to the old Highway, which was flooded when they built the Whiskeytown Dam in the 1960's. This is an intimate section with lots of wild berries, tall grasses, and little sloughs to explore around. From here we turned and made our way back to the launch watching the sun sink low over the Trinity Alps. We paddled slowly and soaked up every last moment, feeling thankful that we could all share that moment together.