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Diablo & Ross Lakes trip report

From: Saul_K
Sent on: Sunday, October 4, 2009 2:17 PM
We had a great weekend kayaking trip in the North Cascades this weekend.
Eric drove up early on Friday and picked up our backcountry camping permit for the 8 people we had planned for, then he headed to the campsite at Colonial Creek, got a campfire going in the rain and then set up his tent and waited for the rest of the group while practicing poi with flaming balls. .
Michael & Saul got to the park about 10pm, spotted Erics campfire, his kayak and his tent. In the drizzle we were in a hurry to get our tents set up and  hit the hay for an early start on Saturday morning.

Saul got up at 6 and made coffee and oatmeal, we admired the snow covered peaks coming down to  the waters edge, kind of reminded me of paddling in Juneau. We broke camp and were on the glacial blue waters of Diablo lake by about 8:30 for the 45 minute paddle up the the old Skagit River Canyon, with sheer cliffs going up 100's of feet on each side and the water gradually turning from the Glacial Blue of Diablo to the cystal clear waters of the Skagit, the scenery was spectacular,  on our way to the base of Ross dam and the pay shuttle to Ross Lake.

It took us about 20 minutes to figure out where the phone to call for the shuttle was, hint, it on the side of the generator building. The driver picked us up with his flatbed (they barge the trucks in, since the roads don't connect to the outside world) and gave us a ride to Ross Lake up above the dam. There is a hiking trail to this point, hmm an idea for another meetup for next spring.

We launched on Ross Lake and  paddled about 30 minutes, to our destination of Cougar Island, with that name the boys were hopefull, until they realized the island with its nice sand beach  was named for a mountain lion and was not party ceentral for a band of 30 something buff women, we got to the island as the wind was blasting down the 22 mile long mountain lake gorge.

We set up our tents and made a great lunch of spaggetti along with Chicken Ceasar salad. After lunch we took naps until it was time to cook dinner. Dinner was a white sauce of carmelized onions with goats cheese, asiago cheese, cream and crab meat over bow tie pasta.

After 2 meals in two hours we sat around the fire (did I mention Eric brought about 50 lbs of firewood).
The full moon reflecting off of the snow covered peaks, was quite spectacular as were the fish spawning in the shallows near the beach.

Eric made coffee, scrambled eggs and oatmeal for our final meal in paradise, before we paddled back.

Great trip, hope more of you get a chance to see this place.
Pics will be posted on meetup this afternoon.

Saul

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