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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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