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Posts Tagged ‘kayaking’

Almost to Waldron Island, we met up with my parents and Noah. The motoring mothership dwarfed the kayak we generally call the Big Banana. Dana elected to jump on board with them, so Tom & I powered the crossing without her.

The mothership motored ahead for a bit, then paced us alongside (“you’re making almost 5 knots” dad yelled), and finally settled in behind us.

With the weather a bit grey, we were happy to slide into Mail Bay and land right onto the beach. The mothership, of course, had to fiddle with their anchor and their dinghy to come ashore. Two very different species (the whale and the minnow?), double the options for the kids, an awesome adventure to Waldron Island.

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Kayak Artwork

Dana & her dad kayaked 4 hours to pick me up on Orcas Island, and I think at that point she was pretty happy to hang out in the center of our triple while I took over paddling. We headed north to camp on Clark Island, which put us in position for paddling to Waldron the next day.

Since Dana would have plenty of non-paddling ride time, she became chief dolphin counter and eagle spotter. I also gave her a grease pencil, which other kayakers would use to mark compass bearings on their deck for glancing at easily. She had free reign to decorate our kayak, and used her creativity to document our journey. If you look carefully, you’ll see she’s noted “awesome person” with an arrow to herself. Her dad got “primate” with a similar arrow pointing at him.

She mostly wrote while we were paddling, but she did write “paddle mom” and a few other comments in front of me before we launched.

The grease pencil was well worth it, and the illustrated kayak makes me smile. I wonder how long we can leave it on before it becomes permanent. On the other hand, perhaps the artist needs a clean slate for her next thoughts.

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Some years ago, we did a family kayaking trip on Ross Lake. When I wrote about it for Adventures Northwest Magazine, I described my daughter’s interest in a particular waterfall area and how she thought of it as a perfect habitat for fairies. That place has been a special memory, and when I asked her what she wanted to do this summer, she said, “go back to Ross Lake!”

So we recruited another mother-daughter pair, and headed out for a 4-day adventure. With a landslide having changed the portage from Lake Diablo to Ross Lake, we thought navigating the new 100 yard carry-your-boat section would be a major challenge. Turned out a kind group of park service folks helped us, we were on time to meet the truck that would move our boats to complete the portage, and we were on to Cougar Island quite smoothly.

There’s nothing like having an entire little island all to yourself. Next time, I think I might pick entirely island sites. Although May Creek was a magical spot, as well.

We knew the weather window was a little questionable, so we were happy with high grey rather than rain. And the one time it did rain, the sun was shining on us. It made the rain sparkle and shine, and was such a visual treat, I didn’t mind getting a little wet.

We mixed up the paddle partners when the lake was calm, so the girls could paddle together sometimes. I think our girls in skirts had great fun in the land of the fairies.

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