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Page 196


Ali Blackwood paddles across Medical Lake, a nearby favorite ideal for beginners.




Exploring the Inland Northwest, one lake at a time BY ALI BLACKWOOD


sk any Inlander what their weekend plans are between the months of May and September and you’re likely to get one answer: Going to “the lake.” Those of us without lakefront property or a boat of any kind have to find other ways to get out on the water, and my vehicle of choice is my inflatable stand-up paddleboard (aka iSUP.) It’s as stable as a hard board, inflates in about 15 minutes, and when deflated it rolls up compactly to easily fit in the trunk of my tiny Hyundai. But then comes the question — which lake is “the lake” for you? Luckily, the Inland Northwest is a paddler’s paradise, with lakes upon lakes (and a few

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rivers) within an hour’s drive in any direction. But you might feel overwhelmed when deciding where to go. With that in mind, I set out to find the best paddle spots in the INW. [Disclaimer: This is not an exhaustive list, and I haven’t paddled every lake in the INW… yet. So if your “the lake” isn’t listed here, that’s OK. Email me at AlissiaB@inlander.com so I can check it out!]


I’ve perfected the “after work” paddle trip. I always keep a swimsuit, towel and my iSUP at the ready in my car. When 5:30 pm rolls around, I leave Inlander headquarters, hop in the car and head west, toward

the FOUR LAKES area. It’s so close, I can get from our office door to on the water in under 45 minutes, including time spent inflating my board! MEDICAL LAKE is great for beginners. It’s one of the many no-wake lakes in the area, meaning that boats aren’t allowed to go fast enough to create waves on the water. When you’re just learning to SUP, those wakes can take you by surprise and knock you off the board and into the water. Medical Lake is a calm, quiet little lake and perfect for a quick paddle. Just a bit east of Medical Lake you’ll find SILVER LAKE. Bigger than Medical Lake, you can get a real workout by paddling the five miles from

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Annual Manual 2019/20  

Annual Manual 2019/20