Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Jack of All Trades

When staff members have the day off, jack of all trades Tom Barnett and Will Shields get a good workout by cleaning boats for the guests that will be arriving soon.

I watched for 15 minutes as they pressure washed, fueled and moved boat, after boat, after boat. Not a word was spoken between them, it was choreographed perfectly without having to say a work!

By one estimation 17, 614 boats have been cleaned by by these two alone over the years.........

Actually I made that figure up but you get the point - it was a lot of boats and a lot of work!

Will didn't spray Tom accidentally once, and Tom didn't accidentally trip once knocking Will into the lake.  Oh, but for the old days!

True Ross Lakers

Doug and Chuck True honor their Dad - Chuck True by hanging a beautiful wood burned plaque on the memorial wall at the resort.

Dad Chuck was a regular every year from 1955 until 1997.  He introduced Doug to these beautiful waters in 1959 and Chuck in 1963.

Grandpa Earl True was a logger in this valley before the dam was built.

Chuck and Doug,  thank you for sharing this emotional moment with me and allowing us to share it with so many others that love this area as much as your family.  We all understand and empathize with you on this moment in your lives.

We send our thoughts and regards to your Mom.

This was a wonderful way to honor the memory of your father.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Meet Ranger Alison VanDusen

Hey everyone meet Ranger Alison!

Ranger Alison has been with the National Park Service as a full-time and seasonal ranger for 16 years!

She stopped by our campsite to greet us and introduce herself. We really appreciate when the NPS Rangers do that because it associates a human touch - a face with America's favorite institution.

I was thinking as we talked about our comparative commute.  I drive 67 miles each way from home to work and back again.  Alison hops onto the Park Service boat and commutes from Hozomeen down lake to various campsites and trail heads.

Alison has worked at a number of National Parks including Glacier Bay, Yellowstone, Capitol Reef, Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia.

We invited her into our camp to do a quick look see and offer any suggestions.

The first thing she gently and quietly reminded us was that there are bears in North Cascades National Park as well as other animals, and unless we are preparing food and eating it right then, all food items should be placed in the bear boxes and shut tight.

Dohhhh! Sage, Lin, and Kae told us that at the wilderness center but we were so happy and excited to get a good campsite that we forgot that putting food in the bear boxes  didn't just apply to locking up at night when we go to bed!

We asked Alison for any other words of advice based on her experience,  here are her words:

1. Food Storage - 24 hours a day unless actively preparing or eating,
2. Keep a clean camp with minimal clutter.
3. Only use a fire ring to burn in.  Monitor the fire ring full time.
4. No garbage in fire rings, other people will share this site after you leave.
5.The world has become so small that we have to recognize our effect on the environment. Eliminate exotics.  All of our actions affect other things.
6. It doesn't have to be an elaborate trip to a crowded national park.  Stop, listen and enjoy yourselves to a maximum here in the North Cascades.
7. Enjoy the little things as well as the grand.

Alison?  Would you mind terribly if we traded commutes?

North Cascades Wild

Check out the North Cascades Wild students and their instructors!

More text to follow

New Portage Phone Installed

Seattle City Light installed the new phone recently for all of you kayakers and canoists needing a portage up to Ross Lake.

Each time I have been at the new dock location I have seen the kayakers paddle by looking for their haul out point.

It is the first and very small dock that you will use.Shimmy, slip, and slide yourself out of the kayak and up onto the dock. Be careful!

Unfortunately the is no gentle ramp - the result of the rock slide.

Please walk 25 yards up lake to the top of the stairs above the main dock and look down.  You won't miss seeing the phone.

If all else fails look for the hi-tech sign!

Wilderness Information Center - Camping on Ross Lake

text to follow

Nice Fish Greg!

We live on Lopez Island, and have been going to Ross Lake with a group of friends from Bellingham, the Cassidy family and mutual friends, for most years since 1983.

I was using a fly rod with leaded line and a lure similar to a dick nite spoon. I need to give some credit to my fishing partner Gary Cassidy as the net man. Gary was counting the number of times I had the fish to the boat, and had to let him take the line back out to keep from losing the trout. After seven times, I told Gary "this is it" I'm bringing him to the net, as I didn't think the hook would stay in much longer. Gary netted the fish as the hook came out. I had the largest fish from our group until Gary's oldest son, Andy showed up that evening and caught a 221/2 trout. 

We were fishing near Rainbow Point when we caught these large trout, but Gary and I were able to catch and release a number of large trout from many locations on the lake. We had a personal size limit of at least 20 inches or we would release the fish.

Gary and I took his younger son Sam Cassidy out to fish one of the days we were there and caught and released a number of 16-18 inch trout. That night after we came in, Sam said to his dad " I catch the biggest trout I've ever caught in my life, and you and Greg say nice fish Sam and throw it back" I guess we forgot to tell him about or size requirement. 

We look forward all year to our annual trip to Ross Lake the last week of July to be with good friends and family and enjoy all the things Ross Lake has to offer, and Tom and Carol and the rest of the Ross Lake Resorts crews, hospitality.

Regards  Greg & Selma Starkman

Thanks so much you guys we appreciate you sharing this story with all of us!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Cannonballs and God-beams at Devil's Junction

Next time I'm starting a competition and getting Mom to join too! Except she's too slender so no competition there.  Wonder what the prize should be??

Wai, Wai, Wai, Wait a Minute

Click on photo

Wow, that glass seems to be looking bigger.

Let me just get this one little sip before I get up and do something - hey kids, can someone bring me over that shaved  Parmigiano-Reggiano and some of those crackers please?

Let's see, life cycle of the Mayfly Spinner . . . . . . . . .


If I happen to drift off would one of you be kind enough to nudge me for dinner?

My stress is leaving!!!!!

Dang, I love this place!

Fly Fishing Out of the Blue Boat

Rockslide Update - Call for Photos.

Granite Construction staff have requested a little help.  If any of you happen to have photos of the area of the cliff where the rockslide started from the past could you please send them to me via gmail and I will be glad to forward them on to the project managers.

Here are a couple of photos from Sunday as we were leaving.

Notice that the resort truck, I mean piece of installation art Pancaked in Blue is no longer at the site.  Rumor has it that it sold at a record price for any artist of the Picket Range School of Modern Impactionistic Art.

Hi Bro, Hey Sis - Meet the Cassidy's

Andy Cassidy has been coming to Ross Lake for 33 years of his young life.

A commercial fisherman by trade he spends part of the year salmon fishing in Bristol Bay, Alaska and winters purse seining squid off the coast near Ventura, California.

So what does Andy do for vacation?  Well - he comes fishing up to Ross Lake Resort - of course.

I have a feeling he is very successful in his career choice. His Dad obviously taught him well both in commercial fishing and laying the foundation for his and Jessie's love of Ross Lake and the North Cascades.

This past week he caught the largest Wild Ross Lake Rainbow of the year.  We are hoping to get a photo of it in the next few days. Hint, hint.

Andy and Jessie Cassidy

Jessie as many of you know has worked at the resort since 1997.  She hasn't worked here for the last several years but Tom and Carol can always count on her to show up when they most need it - setting up the cabins in the spring, helping shut down the resort after Halloween, helping with organizing the housekeeping at the start of the season.

An avid swimmer and fitness buff Jessie loves to ply these beautiful waters by swimming long distances.

This past week she took off and swam from the resort up the Ruby Arm and later from Cougar Island over to Big Beaver!

Jessie also has information on that diabolical carved pumpkin discussed in earlier posts. But she won't give up any information on that ....  thing!  Hmmmmm............!

They rode out on the afternoon boat that we were on and it was obvious all of the Cassidy's knew the Ross Lake Tradition of helping the loading and unloading of the truck, trailer and Seattle City Light boat.  The load was smoooooth with all of the family taking the lead, getting everyone involved as a chain gang of luggage carriers.

Nice to meet the Cassidy's!

The Big Dipper

Get away from the metropolis of Vancouver and Seattle and you can begin to see the beautiful night sky.

©Paul Anderson  click on photo

A solitary light from Lightning Camp was the only indicator that we were not alone.

©Paul Anderson  click on photo

I can only imagine how inspiring it was for the Beat Poets and writers who spent weeks atop Desolation and Sourdough looking at the night sky and into the heart of the Picket Range.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Camping With The Family

Ah the good life. Daughter Mackenzie reads with a headlamp as dusk slips over Desolation and the northern lake.

©Paul Anderson   click on photo

Camping on Ross Lake!!!

Well, I've got to tell you, I just got back from Ross Lake and it was fantastic.  This was the first time camping on these beautiful waters.

For those of you who have only stayed at the resort but can't get enough of this area and don't want to wait for another year to pass by until your next reservation, I strongly recommend camping.

Rent a boat from Tom, take the water taxi, bring your kayak or canoe but don't pass up the opportunity.

I will write a more detailed account later, but I will tell you this.  This weekend was a stress buster!

Just take a look at this photo with Desolation Peak in the background.

We had a solo campsite.

Our own dock.

Our own beachfront patio.  (well a flat spot to place our folding chairs.)

Fish were biting our flies.

There was solitude.  Saturday 5 boats went by on the lake - that's 5 total!

You've got to spend time like this.

Click on my view!          ©Paul K. Anderson

Meet Brian and Cara Schur

Brian and Cara, from the Tri-Cities, love to kayak.

Brian has wanted to kayak at Ross Lake and particularly Devils Creek area for the last 15 years since he saw a photo in Outside Magazine.

It was a chance meeting, we had all ducked into Devils since the winds had picked up.

Click on photos to enlarge

Ask any photographer and they will tell you that serendipity plays a roll in many photographs.

Brian and Cara - send me your email address and I'll make sure you get copies of the photos from Devils Creek.

Nice to meet both of you.


photos © Paul Anderson