One-foot Wanda

I slept soundly and woke up refreshed. Sarah struggled through my snoring and got up a little more haggard. Oh well.

Our bacon, egg and polenta breakfast perked Sarah up and we had a leisurely morning drinking coffee, straightening camp a bit, and getting the kayaks off Freya. Freya is TALL but we prevailed.

Polenta, bacon and eggs are a great camp breakfast

On our walk to the lake to scout launch points and conditions we went past a group of white front geese. There were about a dozen, all but one juveniles. They looked quite at home on the grassy part of the campsite across the road and around the bend from us.

The adult speckle belly moved by hopping on one leg. As we got closer we could see her other leg held up and at an odd angle. It looked like it ended at the ankle. We named her–Wanda the one-foot speckle belly seemed to be doing just fine.

Mid-day Kayaking

Ozette campground has one picnic-only spot right on the lake. It’s a nice kayak launch point. We shouldered a kayak each from site 7 down to the lake and launched without even getting wet.

We stayed on the east side heading south, discovered that there’s cell coverage once you’re out in the lake a bit, and paddled steadily on. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring binoculars.

It was cloudy but calm and what wind there was came from the south. Ozette campground is at the north end of the lake and the Ozette river flows from that end. Perfect conditions for kayaking.

Sarah spotted a lump on the east shore and headed toward it. I headed toward a point on the west shore. Out in the middle I realized I’d forgotten to put in the large sponges we use to bail, I was pretty much in the middle of a deep cold lake, and was putting more and more distance between Sarah and I.

Mary heading to Eagle Point

Sarah was heading toward me by this time, so I turned and headed back toward her. We met and headed to the point together.

The small swells were perfectly perpendicular to our line of travel. It was fun to cut through them. The one other boat we saw was fishing toward us. They dropped to their trolling motor when they saw us. Super nice.

We were nearing Eagle Point when my phone rang. Such a strange thing in a huge area with no cell coverage. Bill and I talked for a bit as I drifted then I hung up and joined Sarah on Eagle Point.

We took pictures, enjoyed some huckleberries, chose a few pebbles to take home, peed, ate our snacks (Sarah’s honey zingers were excellent!), and wandered the point. I especially liked watching the wind and current make a swell pattern that curled around the point from South to North.

The sky was darkening a little so we kept the west-shore relatively close on the return trip. I love the way the lake surface appears to curve from the middle down to the edges. I don’t think we saw a single bird and I only saw one fish splash. The boat fishers seemed content slowly making their way north. They were usually just within our sight.

Ozette Campground to Eagle Point and back was the perfect paddle for us. We were tired enough to bring the kayaks back to camp in two trips sharing the weight using the front and back loops instead of each of us shouldering our own kayak.

While Sarah warmed up with dry clothes, I made us cocoa. We brought lots of cocoa…instant and Ibara…also a container of those little dryish marshmallows which you can get at US Foods Chef’s Store (formerly Cash & Carry).

Our dinner of pork tenderloin, warm quinoa with onion and dried cherries, and an avocado and tomato salad was excellent.

Sarah is a fantastic fiddler but on this trip she left her fiddle at home and brought her tenor guitar. She’s learning it so my muddled whistle playing was right at home. We had a good time playing by the fire.

Kayaking and marshmallow guns

This morning was overcast and pleasant. I asked Ben how he slept in the over-cab bunk and he said he had “30 winks.” His dad’s morning grogginess verified that 3/4 of a night’s sleep was about right.

Breakfast pancakes were fine even though I remembered too late that the mason jar in the cooler was ice cream mix–the milk was in the other cooler in a mineral water bottle. Sweet pancakes don’t need syrup and we didn’t really need ice cream anyway.

Lynsey, Bill, Rob and Ben spent some time on the beach while Alex and I napped and read. Ben was intrigued by the clams, oysters, tiny crabs and seaweed poppers. He also got used to the mud.

The lovely, shady, shallow creek near our campsite opened into the canal a short walk away. Bill carried the kayaks down for us and I took Ben for a paddle. We have Walden Paddlers. They’re flat-bottomed, extremely stable boats. We’ve had three-year-olds happily paddling around in them.

I hooked Ben’s boat to mine with a tow rope and we headed out. I thought I was paddling in the direction he chose, but quickly realized that he wanted to cross the canal. Um, nope!

Ben used his paddle to poke at the stuff he saw under water, bright green seaweed, dark green grassy water weeds, medium green seaweed with air pockets, many other underwater plants, shellfish, and lots of multicolor rocks. Ben seemed fascinated with his new perspective on the world.

When we beached, Ben got very concerned and very busy. He dug the super big red carabiner into the rocks. Put a big rock on top and let me know “that should hold it for awhile.” I guess he’s been learning about anchors.

Lynsey and Alex watched from the beach

I’m learning Gramma skills. Next time I’ll bring regular yellow French’s mustard and Swiss Miss. Save the spicy brown Gulden’s and artisanal cocoa with nibs for other trips.

I’m not a total Gramma-fail. I remembered to pack my marshmallow guns. The adults had some sustained conversation time while Alex crawled around and Ben gleefully shot marshmallows at tree, stump, and rock targets and ran off some energy retrieving marshmallows.

When is a road not a road?

Starting the day with another paddle to the islets

This time we stayed closer to shore. Perfect weather, perfect paddle.

I decided to try my hand at cairn building.

And enjoyed the cairns of others.

Afternoon scramble toward Irish and Taylor Lakes

We explored the roads around Waldo and found an opening in the forest with a signpost saying it was a road. We looked at it for awhile before following the arrows.

Doesn’t it look like you can drive to Irish and Taylor Lakes?

What a change of pace. From placid, peaceful, cool, lake to dusty, dry, rugged not-quite-a-road through an old burn.

We’re not offroaders…but this was, ostensibly, a road and we thought there was another lake about 8 miles down it. Tally ho!

At least an hour in we’d covered maybe three miles and realized that we had very little water, no tools, and no cell phone coverage.

We gingerly turned around, hiked a bit, and made our slow, bumpy, way back to the gravel. Bill and LuluBelle are an awesome team.

Smoother roads up the pass

We found another, much smoother, dirt road. Wide and empty with occasional potholes and rocks. Eventually it hooked into the highway and we made a big circle back to camp.