According to Wikipedia Ahjumawi translates to “where the waters come together.” For the 10 participants and 2 staff on the Ahjumawi Canoe Expedition (4/26 – 4/28 2013) you could have easily convinced them that it translated to “Relaxing Weekend in a Gorgeous Location.” Formed by one of the largest systems of freshwater springs in the country, Lake Ahjumawi is dotted by 3 campsites which are accessible only by boat. The boats of choice for this expedition would be tandem canoes.
After a 3 hour drive from Chico the group began the trip with a 1 mile moonlight paddle Friday night to reach the campsite. The night paddle was a highlight of the trip featuring a sky filled with stars, a full moon rising over the mountains behind the group and a snow-covered Mt. Shasta featured front and center. After the quick, and beautiful, paddle across Lake Ahjmuawi the crew found a campsite and set-up their home away from Chico.
Day 2 was a day of exploration. The group first paddled to the northwest corner of the lake which features 2 freshwater sources: Ja She Creek and Crystal Springs. These beautiful areas provided the opportunity to swim in some crisp and crystal clear water and also to explore fish traps built by the Pit River Tribe of Native Americans many years ago. It was also the starting point for a short hike to visit a historic ranch house. After returning from the exploration some of the group settled in for a few hours of pre-dinner relaxation while others went for another hike. The day wrapped up with a campfire and Adventure Outings‘ infamous desert: banana boats.
Day 3 was short but sweet. The group packed up camped and loaded the canoes to head back to the van. However, the route home wasn’t direct as there was a bit more exploring to do. Team Ahjumawi made a detour the northeast corner of Lake Ahjumawi to visit Big Spring. After finding another freshwater spring, getting a bit more fishing and hiking in the group finally returned to the van and made the trek back to Chico. If you missed out this time don’t worry, A.O. will be taking another trip to Lake Ahjumawi in the Fall semester of 2013.