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Trip Report    

Sea Kayak - Diablo Lake

Beautiful Diablo Lake and its lovely canyon never fails to please.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • VARIABLE SOUTH WINDS, 0-10 KTS, WW 0-1', SHOWERS TO MOSTLY SUNNY, TEMPS 50S - 60S, VISIBILITY EXCELLENT.

08/24/19 SAT – COLONIAL CREEK TO BUSTER BROWN.  2 NM.  VARIABLE SOUTH WINDS, 0-10 KTS, WATER RIPPLED TO SLIGHT CHOP, PARTLY SUNNY, TEMPS 60S, VISIBILITY EXCELLENT.

 Karen and Stephanie had camped on Friday night and Gabby drove herself from North Bend so I was solo when I left my house in Tacoma around 7:00 A.M.  I stopped to get a sandwich made in Everett, my annual ice cream cone at Cascadia Farms and then to the Wilderness Center in Marblemount.  The ranger processed my permit doc and told me that Ross Lake now has four boat access campsites open in spite of the 35 foot below capacity: Green Point, Cougar Island, May Creek, Devil’s Junction and now Lodgepole.  I told her I might be back and left.  I was not able to raise any cell phone activity from Newhalem so after driving around the campsite I pulled on to the boat ramp around noon. The place was busy with a surprising number of boats of all kinds.  I was approached first by Karen who pointed to where Stephanie was with their boats next to the water a ways from the boat launch.  She helped me get my boat down and I unpacked and moved my car to the parking area.  There were plenty of open spaces but I left my car in the back for when Gabby showed up.  Gabby was there when I came back and we helped her get her boat off eventually and I moved my car forward so she could park behind me when she was ready.

 It was 1315 when we shoved off and headed back into the creek.  We didn’t get very far as this group is not wanting to work so we turned soon and followed the current back out and under the 20 bridge.  There was a party of rec boaters in front of us along with a couple of ladies in a canoe.  The wind got stronger as we approached the gorge and I moved us into the cove by the Thunder Point boat dock for a discussion.  They opted to go straight to Buster Brown due to the windy conditions and that the group ahead of us was also heading there. We easily passed the others and after a word to the others it wasn’t difficult for me to catch the canoe and we arrived at the boat dock at the same time.  I waited a minute or two to see what they were going to do but they didn’t seem very organized so I got out and went up to claim the first campsite on the left at the top. 

 Gabby was trying a hammock for the first time so while I helped her to get hers and then mine up the others pitched their tents.  We also wound up having to rig up a tarp as the rain moved in off and on.  Karen shared an actual can of 14 Hands wine that was turned out to be very nice.  I had brought wood and later made a fire using some firestarter of Stephanie’s and then mine. She and I stayed up until about 11:00 or so after the others had gone to bed.

 08/25/19 SUN – BUSTER BROWN TO COLONIAL CREEK VIA DIABLO CANYON. 3 NM. WIND CALM TO SOUTHERLY 0-10 KTS, WW 0-1’, SHOWERS THEN CLEARING, TEMPS 50S-60S, VISIBLITY GOOD TO EXCELLENT.  

 The others opted to load up before getting on the water so we didn’t launch until about 0915 or so.  Gabby left so it was me, Karen and Stephanie that dodged the drops to get up the still beautiful Diablo Canyon to the site of the old Seattle City Light dock before turning back.  The wind came up just as we were clearing the canyon entrance and we headed over to Monkey Island in the rapidly rising wind.  We then moved over to the lee of the wind a bit to the left of the dam.  We rafted up in the quiet and they opted to head back rather than go to the dam or explore the other side of the lake.  I headed towards the center to catch the little waves and surf what was available before we were back in the arm of Colonial Creek.  It was mainly the wind that pushed us along once past the boom the rest of the way back to the still busy boat launch, arriving at 1215.

 I was the only one heading home on Sunday so with their assistance I got my boat back on the car, packed up and was on my way. I drove up 20 to a spot where I could pull over and see the Resort behind the dam.  BIG bathtub ring, bringing back vivid memories of my struggles on Lake Roosevelt that caused me to abandon any plan of going to Ross in September. I came back down the hill and stopped in Newhalem for a drink before getting gas in Marblemount and then a meal at the Skagit Bay Brew Pub before heading home to Tacoma.      

 

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