July 30, 2020

Lake Isabel



I heard screaming and started looking around frantically, thinking I might see thousands of dollars of equipment plummeting towards the water. Then silence, so I bee-lined it back to shore. Luckily, all was well, just another close call with a drone.

The hike started out easy, some meandering on a logging road through the foothills of the cascades. We chose this hike because we wanted an adventure, a place we hadn’t been before, on a route that wasn’t simple. After a long winter, you start to crave that feeling of adventure and exploration. Probably something to do with our innate desire to get out and make use of the good weather before it’s time to hunker down again.

Kevin walking up the forest road.

After a few miles, we followed a bootpath into the woods, the brush was overgrown and it soaked our pants. We started to miss the easy walking of the logging road, but the point of an adventure is not to be comfortable. The trail (bootpath) meandered up around downed logs, crossed washed out stream gullies, and finished off with a steep scramble to the lake.

Hiking up the steep slopes just before the lake.

Float planes frequently took off and landed on this mile long body of water, and someone had flew in canoes for the public to use. After hopping across a log jam, and locating the vessels, I took off into the water and Kevin sent up the drone. We wanted to get some good shots in before the weather arrived. We didn’t mind a little rain, but the drone would be grounded if that happened.

After some tense moments, and sore shoulders from rowing around in circles, we ate some lunch and talked about our plan, we decided to row down to the other end of the lake, it would take a while, but we didn’t know when we would be back, and why not see what’s down there?

Paddling down the lake in between rainstorms.

We pushed off with camera gear, snacks, and some beers. Luckily I’d brought a dry bag, because about twenty minutes in, we got hit with heavy rain that forced us into shore. There was a nice little beach, and an overhanging rock face we used as shelter. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday during spring.

Enjoying a beer while watching the storm pass.

The weather let up, and we set off again, this time with a little more urgency. After reaching the end of the lake, we turned around, satisfied with our exploration, and paddled back to the outlet. The rains came back, again forcing us to shore. This time we couldn’t stay long, with no signs of it letting up, and a long hike waiting for us at the other end, we paddled back out into the storm.

The June gloom had struck again, the old saying goes -it’s never summer until after July 4th- this year was no exception. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it though, with a good rain jacket, waterproof boots, and a dry bag, you can have some pretty good days. After all, you don’t get all the lush greenery of the pacific northwest without a little rain.

Raindrops hitting the water next to our canoe.