Family Travel

Camping with Fred

3 families hiking, biking, and boating together.

Tags : adventure beach family fishing hiking kayaking wildlife

Three families (1 dog, 4 adults and 6 kids, ages 8-11) embarked on a hiking, kayaking, motorboating, camping, swimming, fishing extravaganza.

All 10 of us hiked with packs full of gear and food down a trail from Highway 20 in Washington to beautiful Ross Lake. We were ferried by a super speed boat to Ross Lake Resort where we rented two double kayaks and an outboard motorboat and started our journey to Dry Creek, 10.4 miles up the lake.

Luckily for the kayakers (2 adults and 2 girls), the wind was at our backs and we made it to camp in under 3 hours. Soon after setting up camp, we met Fred, the resident stag who came by periodically during our 4 day stay. Our other wildlife sightings included bald eagles, chipmunks, a beautiful green toad, a heron, a mouse and a doe…maybe a friend of Fred’s.

During the next two days you could find us paddling or boating about the lake looking for good fishing spots or warm swimming patches in the otherwise chilly lake. One of our especially exciting adventures involved breaking through a log jam in our kayaks on Devil’s Creek so we could get to a beautiful cascading waterfall. The cool air, clear water and mist were worth the risk of tipping.

A lot of time was spent fishing either from docks, shores or boats. After losing a number of lures (no bait fishing allowed), we discovered we were using the wrong type of lure for the rainbow trout that inhabit the lake. I can’t say our luck changed dramatically with the new lures, but the one 16 inch trout we caught was delicious!!!

In the evenings, we enjoyed songs, stories, skits and of course smores by the campfire. On our second night, we stayed up late to watch the full moon rise over the mountains surrounding the lake. After appreciating its beauty, we all “mooned” the moon before crawling into our tents and falling asleep to the lullaby of the toads.

Packing up the last morning was sad, but we enjoyed boating our way back to Ross Lake Resort on a placid lake with reflections of the snow-capped mountains adorning the water. With a little candy motivation, we set off on the arduous hike back up to our cars. We all made it to the top…sweaty, dirty, tired and happy!

  • Get to the ranger station in Marblemount as early as possible to get a good campsite
  • Trout like a string of shiny flashers as lures
  • Freeze dried Chili Mac....YUM!!!

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