6th Annual Daddy Daughter Backpacking Trip20 Aug 2015
This year was our annual daddy-daughter backpacking trip that some good friends and I have been doing since our girls were five years old. This year was extra special because they are now 10 and their 5 year old sisters came along for their first trip.
In the past we've gone backpacking into different areas of Washington, but this year we decided to go canoeing in the lakes of the North Cascade mountains.
We started off with a short one-mile hike down to Ross Lake, where we picked up a boat ride to Ross Lake Resort. The trail down was steep in places, easy going mostly except for the two guys who had to lug our cooler and camp stove. We normally wouldn't take such luxuries, but this was canoe camping after all so let's go big.
This was the sunrise view from the tiny Cougar Island we camped on our second night, watching a few other canoers heading out, while looking toward Colonial and Pyramid peaks. There was a lot of smoky haze in the sky. There was also a lot of swimming, rock jumping, and adventuring on this little island.
The North Cascades National Park is one of the most incredible parks I've been to, and much less traveled that areas like Glacier and Yellowstone, part of the reason I love it.The geologic history of the region is awesome. Over 500,000 acres containing 8,000 foot peaks, over 300 glaciers and just as many lakes, and enough diversity to redefine the term. Rocks have been dated to 400 million years, with the area becoming, as the USGS puts it:
a geologic mosaic made up of volcanic island arcs, deep ocean sediments, basaltic ocean floor, parts of old continents, submarine fans, and even pieces of the deep subcrustal mantle of the earth.
There are sorts of interesting patterns in the rocks around the North Cascades.
It's like every geology Mother Earth had to offer was pulled together in this one landscape. Fossilized sea life has been found on mountain peaks. Mantle from the Earth shot up from miles below the surface to form peaks above the surface. And land masses drifted from around the world to collide in the this concentrated area.
Not to mention, picnic tables drifted from around the lake to collide with our campsite. Here's my daughter Ruby enjoying paddle boarding on one.
Naomi got to do some picnic-table paddle boarding of her own, but was much more interested in the Pacific tree frogs they were finding near the water's edge.
Pacific Northwest moss and lichen is everywhere of course, but it was pretty dry given the drought this year.
I don't know what kind of plant this little guy was, but it caught my attention somehow, somewhere on a trail near Big Beaver campground where we stayed on our first night.
And the we camped at Beaver and on Cougar island, and the place is surrounded by black bears and all sorts of trout, the only wildlife we saw other than the trout Dave caught, were the local camp squirrels who were no doubt happy to see us with a bunch of little kids that drop lots of food.
It was a great trip with good friends. The Ross Lake area and the North Cascades are beautiful wilderness with plenty of exploration and relaxtion to offer (well maybe when the kids are more grown). I'm looking forward to next year's trip.