So back in Februrary of 2009 I my girlfriends cousin sent out an e-mail to everyone asking if we would be interested in going to Ross Lake in the North Cascades. Me being the Tristan I thought hey why not and my girlfriend said I was going. So that was the end of that.
I didn’t give much thought about it since I haven’t been on a real vacation since before High School. I did some trips out to Indiana when I was dating a girl online back in 2000 but nothing really exciting. I put in a request for some time off work and at that point we were good to go.
A little 411 on Ross Lake Resort.
- It is a man made lake due to Ross Damn.
- It’s glacier fed and very cold.
- There is no Internet or Cell Service.
- I was going with all of Raleigh’s family.
- You have to be boated or trucked in or hiked.
- You are required to bring all of your own food and drink. (Except Water)
- They have power.
- You stay in Cabins.
So when the time came and being a bit under experienced in Vacation Lore. It caused me a good deal of stress making sure everything was ready on my end not knowing what I needed or anything like that. When I get stressed out about something the girlfriend usually gets mad at me. So the few days prior there was a great deal of tension in the Pipo Pad. Had to make her understand I had no clue what needed to be done and she had to realize I needed some help and life was good again.
The options for getting to Ross Lake are taking a ferry. Which leaves at 8:00am and 3:00pm. So we were shooting for Sunday June 21st 3:00pm ferry leaving the dock.
We left fairly early in the morning and ran into a few snags. The brake light went out on my girlfriends car so we had to pull over and get that replaced. Then we were back on track for our Northern journey.
On the way up since we had women in the car we had to stop at some Outlet mall. I will still never understand the concept of why going to a store and looking at things is a good experience. I much prefer loading up my web browser going to Amazon finding what I need and since I have Amazon Prime 2 day Free Shipping or I can overnight it for $3.00.
Looking at that seems a great deal friendlier and easier to cope with then. The average visit to a Costco.
So being a bit of a hypocrite I walk over to the Samsonite Outlet store and pickup a leather Passport Holder. I am not sure how long we spent at the shopping establishments but it seemed to long.
So then we hit up a grocery store and tried a KFC Clone and we were on our way. We had 50 miles to drive in 90 minutes. We figured this would be cutting it close but we could make it.
It started to rain and I began to think. I probably should have figured I would need a coat. I didn’t have one so we kinda made a screech into this mini mart place on the side of the road in the North Cascades. They didn’t have any alternatives like a ponch or anything like that. But the nice asian lady offered me a garbage bag for the trip. We bought some $9 bug spray because we felt bad for taking advantage of this poor woman.
We still have a ways to go and we get stuck behind this old man driving 35 in the 50. This continued for way to long and when we got to a town with a left turn lane this genius decided to drive in that lane confusing the hell out of everyone else and then he pulls back in front of us.
We think we see a sign for the ferry to ross lake and it turns out to be some community for Ross Lake that Seattle City Power setup for the people that work and manage the states hydro electric power.
We drive further on the road and finally find the turn off and this turns out into a very high tense situation. There is no boat we see her family’s car. It appears that they have gone and we are kinda SOL.
But all is not lost we have two options at this point. Drive a few miles up the road and hike the “1 mile” down to the lake. Or drive back into town and grab a Hotel for the night.
Well being the city folk that we have become we figure “1 mile” not a big deal we can hike that no problem. Probably take 25 minutes at the max. Well we didn’t account for all the stuff we had to pack in.
So we drive up the road and start to unload the car. I had my Large Laptop Timbuk2 bag and a large duffle bag with clothes. The girlfriend and I also had a large cooler packed with food.
The girlfriend also had her bags that we were expecting to have hauled on the ferry and tossed on a truck. As this was not the case anymore we were hiking all of this in. Raleigh’s mom was also with us and she had a nice rolling suitcase that well was a great idea but wouldn’t do so well hiking down the trail.
Here is a basic outline of the trail.
The sign and all the adverts on the website claimed this to be “1 mile downhill”. After this hike I don’t believe that was a mile for one second. I used to walk 2.3 miles to work and from work everyday. I think I have a pretty good mental grasp on what a mile is. That wasn’t no mile. I would say 2 miles.
Which still wouldn’t be that bad but I had two heavy bags and had to carry half of a cooler. My girlfriend was carrying the other side of the cooler so we kinda had a push me pull you type system going on. It kinda looked like this.
Everything was loaded up to the max and the trail was not smooth. To start off the trail I had my iPhone with headphones going. The music of choice was the Engadget Podcast. I figured listening to talk of the new Palm Pre would distract my mind enough from carrying all this heavy shit down the mountain. None of us had it easy. Raleigh’s mom had the least amount of bulk. The saddest part of the whole trip down was we couldn’t take all of our beer.
I drank a beer as fast as I could at the top of the trail to make it slightly easier. So with a very mild buzz and Engadge Podcast. With this rather daunting trail carrying all of this crap we began our journey down the mountain. This stopped after 15-20 paces or so.
Raleigh’s mom had this wheeled luggage well I can say wasn’t designed for going down a trail. So I sat down on a rock and waited for thier return with a modified carrying set. We began our trip again. The first look was nice it was downhill and looked promsing until we turned a corner and there was this rather large uphill. At this point I was a cranky son of a bitch. Carrying all this shit down a mountain and now up a mountain.
We got to a clearing and I dropped gear and went and found a spot to take care of nature.
Loaded up my arms and we started down the trail again. We ran into some women who were hiking that kinda gave us this “What the fuck is wrong with you look” they were probably pondering why these people coming down a trail with multiple coolers and so much crap.
This happened a few times along the way. So we eventually reach a spot where we can see a road. The directions we had printed out said “When you see a road take a right and you will see a phone” turns out that phone wasn’t for another 1/2 mile or so.
By this point I was a rather short fuse and pretty much everything was pissing me off. I was at the point where rocks were annoying me. So I recall blurting out obsenities about dinosaurs and how if I ever saw one I would kill it.
It seemed to provide some comic relief but I just wasn’t happy. So when we got to the phone it all went fairly well after that we called for a boat and they picked us up and took us across the lake to our cabin.
The girlfriends Aunt’s were shocked to see us and the neighbors we had were also shocked.
So the ross lake adventure will be continued shortly in part 2. Comments are welcomed.