I went kayaking for the first time in May. Next thing I know I buy a cheapo Kayak by Equinox at Costco for $299 and I am out on the water myself anytime I please. This leads to a few local expeditions and sooner than I had ever though a 16 mile round trip 2 night camping trip on Ross Lake.
We leave late Monday (6/22) evening from Spokane on our way to the small town of Winthrop. As photographers Emily and I stop probably 15 times on the way to shoot photographs. We get into Winthrop around midnight with no where to stay. We end up finding a small corner of a state park to hide out in and catch a few z's before the ranger station opens in the morning.
Tuesday (6/23) morning we wake up, head back into Winthrop. We grab breakfast at this small coffee shop/store before the ranger station opens at 8:30. We wander around town, grab the last few things we need and than its off to get our National Park camping permit. An hour and a half drive through the North Cascades brings us to our parking spot and the first 5 miles of our water journey. We load our boats with gear and hit the greenish blue water for Ross Dam where we will make a 1.5 mile portage to the other side of the dam. The water is absolutely freezing. The first mile or two is okay. Than we hit some strong winds and turbulent waters that really where quite scary in our sub $400 recreational day use kayaks. The will we had to complete this trip had us paddling through to the small canyon that was windless and smooth waters. It takes us around 2.5 hours to paddle the first 5 miles due to the rough water at first and a few stops to explore. We phone the hike in only resort that brings a ferried in truck to portage our heavy loads to the other side of the dam. Unfortunately we had about 2.5-3 miles left of paddling to our campsite on Cougar Island and we no longer had the canyon to block the wind. This portion of the paddle took roughly 2 hours as we paddled out hardest to get to safety. We land around 4 o clock and set up camp before heading off island to gather wood for the fire. We ended the night cooking some food and telling tales around the campfire and shooting some long exposure shots.
The next day (6/24) consisted of a plain breakfast and awaking slowly. Emily and I emptied our boats and went off island earlier during the day as it was calmer waters to get firewood. Afterwords we headed to a hiking trail about 1.5 miles of paddling away. The wind started picking up again. The water was rough once again and getting worse. The first trail was bust so we found another back near our island that was roughly 3.5-4 miles long. It went to the small back pack in resort and Ross Dam. We took our time, shooting and taking in the scenery as we hiked. The Dam was amazing and it was a hike well worth it. We get back to camp around 7 or 8pm just exhausted. Dinner and bed soon followed after the fire died down and we ran out of wood.
On Thursday (6/25) we had to head back. We got an early start so we could hit the calm waters of the morning. We stopped in at the resort one last time and than off to the portage back to Diablo Lake. The paddle back was pretty slow and calm but steady. The waters were smooth so even though we took our time and paddled less we made it back faster. Dinner and exploring in Winthrop before our mini vacation was over.
Unfortunately due to my inability to take the time to back up my working hard drive I have very few images of the trip. The Hard Drive died after a small fall during an event in Portland. I was waiting to write this blog until I had time to get the video done but since the footage is all gone along with most of the photos, now is as good of time as any.