Friday, October 2, 2009

Christine Gedye/Edge of Light

all images © Christine Gedye

Christine Gedye visits Ross Lake Resort each September with her husband to celebrate their anniversary.

They enjoy kayaking up the Ruby Arm and capturing the quality of the light in photographs. Over the years they have captured hundreds of images in bright specular light, in sublime mist, moody weather, on the cusp of changing weather, flat high overcast light, and the light at various times of day.

From those images, and from memories of emotions felt while paddling through this landscape, Christine created a seriesof paintings from the Ruby Arm.

Several of these paintings will be part of an exhibit at: The Fountainhead Gallery 625 W. McGraw Street in Seattle. 206.285.4467.

The exhibit is titled: Christine Gedye / Edge of Light. October 8th to November 2nd, 2009

I strongly encourage you to attend the preview this Thursday night, October 8th 5-7 PM or the opening reception Saturday October 10th 5-7PM. Christine extends her personal invitation.

As you can see from these paintings, Christine is passionate about her art, and like each of you who regularly read this blog, she is also passionate about Ross Lake and the North Cascades.

Congratulations on the exhibit Christine. Your paintings are beautiful and capture the emotions so many of us feel here at Ross Lake and at the edge of light.

You may preview her other images at: 
The Fountainhead Gallery is at:

Monday, September 28, 2009

Ken Burn's Film on the National Parks

Please don't forget to watch every night this week.

The film is excellent.

Way to go Ken, your artists and historians!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Twilight Shot II

©Paul Anderson

Ruby Creek Art

Photos © Paul Anderson

Andy Goldsworthy has inspired many people to create art outdoors that has little or no impact on the environment but helps satiate the creative drive we all have.

Good friend Jerry Wilbour (as a younger man Jerry spent months living and camping in this part of the North Cascades building and maintaining trails) and I, his son Curran, and my son Dyan headed out to do some exploring, to build a cairn.

At the head of the Ruby Arm, just upstream from where the creek enters the lake, backpackers, day hikers, kayakers and boaters have created a small gallery of cairns that have but a brief existence. Wind, fall and winter rains, snow, spring floods and gravity will soon remove all trace of these masterpieces.

We spent a couple of hours on this morning relaxing and spending time with the boys. Just guys out building stuff and dinking around.

The Back Door

© Paul Anderson

If you hike over to the dam you'll get on the trail here. Hike a few hundred yards west towards the dam and then follow the switch back east to gain elevation. If you continue to follow the shoreline you will end up in a series a gullies. That is not the way.

Don't worry as you hike east because you need to get above those gullies, you will shortly access the main trail and can then head west towards the dam or east to Green Point and the Sourdough Trail.

Ask for directions from the staff if you have any questions.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Who are they? Why are they smiling?

Why are they smiling you ask?

Well after several years of rapid shiner growth (the minnows you see in the lake) the wild rainbow trout are getting large enough to enjoy the shiners for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This results is some veeeeeeeery big and fat rainbows.

So big in some cases that they are starting to grow beyond the 2 foot measuring tape at the fish cleaning table.

Who is the guy with the ruler? Tom Barnett of course! Owner and fisherman muy excellente! And he is happy that so many friends and guests are being rewarded with nice fat fish.

Tom's young cousin Bode was up this past weekend and provided dinner for us. Oh man, fresh grilled wild Ross Lake Rainbow Trout! The taste was great.

Oh, and here is some more trout for you fishers!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Service to America

Joe Kemphaus has a lot to be proud of.

Proud that he was able to retire from a company after a long career and before it closed its doors in his hometown.

Proud of his skills as a sports fisherman and of his aluminum sport fishing boat..

Proud because he is an honorable man who has tried to live by the rules.

Proud of his country, and his family.

I recently met Joe when a mutual friend introduced us. Joe was fishing these waters for wild trout with Scott McLeod.

Scott had just returned from a long journey.

Joe has fished the waters of Ross Lake for a number of years, Scott has not.

So after Scott reconnected with his wife and two kids ages 3 and 6 over the last 30 days, Joe brought Scott up here.

It was a good time for Scott to help Joe get out fishing, and for Scott to reconnect with his grandpa. It was a time for Scott to step back and pause after the emotional intensity of his homecoming with his wife and children.

Scott had just completed his third tour of duty in Iraq.

Grandpa Joe is a smart man.

It was interesting getting Scott’s perspective while gazing out at Ruby, Snowfield and Colonial Peaks. He was a foot soldier with the US Marines his first two tours and as a linguistic specialist and Arabic interpreter most recently with the National Guard.

He participated in the invasion, the long months spent finding and disassembling I.E.D’s and most recently the S.A.F.E. negotiations and withdrawals from the major cities. Scott likes the Iraqi people and he feels that most Iraqi’s like the American people.

Much of his time after the invasion was spent trying to provide basic services for the Iraqi people - water, power, education. He has helped provide water to truck farmers who previously eked out an existence from their dry, parched plots of land. He has helped farmers till the soil.

Iraqi men who worked, who could provide for families are less tempted to accept outside money to lay down I.E.D.’s. They were able to keep their families from starving.

Scott has seen women’s rights flourish since the end of Saddam Hussein’s regime.

We talked about what was working and what wasn’t from his perspective.

Sitting here in the middle of the North Cascades and talking with Scott, it didn’t feel like a 30 second sound bite from Fox or MSNBC. It didn’t feel like the glowing reports from John McCain and Lindsey Graham nor the doom and gloom from their counterparts.

It felt like the report and perspective, with intelligent insight, of a young soldier who is trying to serve his country with dignity, with honor.

So what did I learn from this discussion here in the middle of the North Cascades?

Maybe we need, as a country, to lead and vocalize more from the middle rather then the edges.

Maybe we need to tone down the rhetoric and think more about the common good of the American people rather than being obstructionists in the political arena.

Maybe we need to think about the needs and requirements, jobs, education and health of middle class families like Scott’s and his Grandpa Joe rather than redistributing the wealth of average Americans and concentrating it up to the banks, Wall Street, multi-nationals and large corporations.

Scott will graduate soon with a degree in middle eastern studies. He is already fluent in Arabic.

After he has his degree he will apply for officer candidate school and a career in the US Marines.

Joe Kemphaus has a lot to be proud of.

And so do we.

Scott, thank you for your service to America - to us.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Autumn Quietly Arrives at Ross Lake Resort

© Paul Anderson

It has been a wonderful summer up at the resort. Some of the best weather in years. The fish have been biting and guests have caught large Ross Lake wild rainbow trout. So large that some don't fit in the 24 inch measuring tray at the fish cleaning table.

Now fall is arriving. Colors are starting to turn. Sunrise is later, sunset earlier.

Snow dusted Colonial and the surrounding peaks last night but the warm sunny weather returned today.

If you happen to be out on a hike and are returning a little later than you normally would, or hiking in later from hiway 20 and across the dam, you will be greeted by the warm lights of the resort. Our office hours are 8 AM until 8 PM.

Enjoy the season.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

NW Explorers at Ross Lake

Aaron Shamp and Nick Alonzo are two independent film makers who enjoy the beauty of the Pacific NW. When they venture out they try and capture the simplicity of the backcountry.

Here is a short video that they produced on a recent visit to the resort and Ross Lake explaining the process for getting camping permits, the hike in, fishing, weather. Basically everything you will encounter on an adventure here.

Music was provided by friends of Aaron and Nick.

Aaron went to Western Washington University in Bellingham.

Visit their work at


Thanks for sharing your artistic talents with us.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Gregg Farris Inspirational Award

The group has been coming to fish the waters here at Ross Lake for a quarter century. Brad Luce seated on the right and his good friend since high school John Kloess, seated on the left, have made every trip for 25 years.

The trophy, "the Bobo", named after the groups good friend Greg Farris who passed away in 2000, is awarded at the end of each trip to the individual who has inspired the group by doing something humorous or embarrassing (I read that to also mean something dumb perhaps - nah 15+ plus guys away from home, away from spouses and kids, fishing, eating red meat, grillin' wild trout, telling lies, living in close quarters - couldn't happen).

I played and toured with my rugby mates for 25 years, I think I understand.

I'm going to check with Brad to see if the trophy was ever awarded for excessive snoring? Like keeping the bunkhouse awake next door type snoring? Or maybe intergalactic travel without a space vehicle? Sounds like more than a few good stories!

I would imagine that the good times and memories enjoyed by these fishers would fill several scrap books.

And I believe that each year Greg is toasted and remembered frequently by his good friends up here.

It's all about long term friendships and having a history together.

Life is short, congrats on 25 years fishing the waters of Ross Lake in the heart of North Cascades National Park.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ross Lake History

Editors note: We love getting stories from you, or photos or favorite trout recipes served with wild Ross Lake Rainbows! Please don't hesitate to drop me a line at:

If you have a good story, some good pictures, I can scan the images and then return them quickly.

Thanks Brad, what a wonderful sense of place you have for this area.


I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed the Ross Lake Resort Blog.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Brad Howell. I am a 2nd generation Skagit Brat. I worked at Ross Lake Resort the summer of 1965 when Wayne and Margerette Dameron owned it.

I first fished the Lake in 1952 at the age of 5 and can't tell you how many hours I spent on that little piece of paradise. Over the years Tom and I became great friends. I was the Sr. Operator at Ross Powerhouse for about 20 years and delivered Tom's mail every day. I am now retired and spend most of my time playing golf in the Palm Springs area but do sneak a peak at your blog to remind me how lucky I was to grow up and spend most of my adult life in or near Ross Lake. Keep up the good work.

I remember an old 8MM tape someone took of me landing a 5+ pound hybrid trout, cross between a cut and rainbow, at the mouth of Roland Creek, in Roland Bay.

I dropped a single egg with no weight under a log jam and the war was on. I think I was about 12 years old yelling my lungs out for help. Dad ended up crawling out to the end of the log jam and netted the trout with me hanging on for dear life with the rod and line under the log jam.

Another picture was with the old SCL floating camp at Boundary Bay. The City Light loggers were cleaning up the lake at the North end. I was about 8 or 9 and my dad and I spent a weekend up there. It was during the fall towards the end of the fishing season.

Anyway my father was an archer and hunter so he wanted to harvest a black bear. There was a big bear giving the crew fits and as luck would have it Dad was able to harvest the bear.

Speaking of bears, the year I worked at the resort we had several actually wander onto the resort docks. One of the girls who worked there was on her way to the restrooms, on the hill where Will lives, and the bear was coming down the hill.

Well Wayne shot the bear and the girl - I believe her name was Connie - didn't make it to the bathroom. Wayne and I drug the bear down to the boys cabin and propped it up on a chair. When the boys came in, Dave Johnson and Brian Howell, they opened the door to their cabin and almost jumped into the lake.

Wayne Dameron and I just about laughed ourselves silly. Where else could something like that happen? I guess it was in 1966 or 67. Keep up the good work.

If I run across some old Ross Lake photo's I will scan and send to you.

Next time you talk with Tom give him a big hello from Brad and Paulette.

Brad Howell

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Natural

@ Paul Anderson Haliaeetus leucocephalus near Skymo Creek

Tom and I were taking a quick run up lake in the water taxi with my kids. I casually asked if he had seen any bald eagles lately.

"No, but I know one hangs out on an old snag by Skymo Falls sometimes, lets stop by and check it out!"
We turned the point near the falls and looked up and the eagle had landed.
The light was quickly fading and the wind had kicked up causing the boat to bounce, I fired off several shots and was able to get an image, a small vingette from Ross Lake and the North Cascades.
The composition isn't perfect, the light not the best, but whenever I view this image in the future, or for that matter see another bald eagle, one of the memories that will pop out is hanging out with my kids and a good friend in the middle of Ross Lake.
It's a little thing, but it's enough coupled with so many other good memories from here to get me through a tough day at work, or when stuck in traffic on I-5, until my next visit to the North Cascades.

Eagle Sightings

Brad Luce sent me a short note this morning that I thought you might enjoy. He comes up at least twice a year, once with his wife and on another trip with a group of fishing buddies. He and his group have been fishing these waters every year since 1984. His father-in-law who is approaching mid-ninety has been fishing Ross Lake since the 1950's. Brad also writes a newsletter for his group of fishing buddies and from time to time I'll post some of his writings. We are also hoping to find some images from the 50's to display.


As for the bald eagle............last year, a buddy of mine and I were fishing the point just before you turn toward Big Beaver on Sunday mornning. There was not so much as a ripple on the lake. It was beautiful. There was a big eagle sitting a top one of the trees on the point, about 30 feet up. He sat there for nearly an hour and watched us repeatedly troll right under him. We hit a few fish and we were both waiting for him to attack our fish as they jumped. Luckily he didn't. I have often thought of that big beautiful bird watching us fish.....

Oh, and as for a perfect picture of him............neither of us had the camera!


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Family Camping on Ross Lake

Lucy, Chris and Lucas on the shuttle home.

Frank , son Lucas, friend Mark and his son Chris recently camped for three days on Ross Lake.

Frank and his wife, when kids were only a gleam in their eyes, had enjoyed canoeing trips on Ross Lake, but like many young families they had to put off some activities and trips after Lucas and his sister were born until the kids were old enough to appreciate the mystique of wild places.

Friend Mark has spent many nights on Ross Lake as a scoutmaster leading trips for numerous scouts and their dads.

This was Lucas' first trip camping at Ross and for Frank's family, I predict that a great family tradition has started.

Frank said it best, "Mark recommended that we motor up to Lightning Creek. We had an amazing three days of fishing, swimming, light hiking, adventuring down the creeks and climbing the waterfalls. Without a doubt, my son's favorite activity was swimming off the dock and fishing. The little fry minnows nibbled us from head to toe."

"It was great."

"I look forward to bringing my wife and five year old daughter up there next year."

Good job Dads!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Dawn on Ross Lake

©Paul Anderson Ridge Lines at Dawn

Sometimes there are only seconds at dawn to capture the image. Changing weather pattern, changing light, changing color values all affect the image you have in your mind.

Remember, one of the best times to capture the mood of the landscape is during changing weather patterns and changing light conditions.

Try and be ready to capture the image as quickly as you can. With so many variables changing so rapidly you may only have seconds to get a usable image. Choose your primary composition and capture it - follow your instincts.

I remember hiking down to the bottom of Canyon de Chelly with my 75 pound pack. I quickly found a composition I liked of White House Ruins. I set up my 4x5 view camera and waited for the late light to begin its ascent up the canyon wall.

Another photographer soon joined me, set up his 4x5 and began his wait. But he soon decided to move to a different location - a process that took about 5 minutes. After a few more minutes he moved again, and then again, and again. By the time the light started to move up the wall I was capturing the image and he was trying to set up in a new position. I used approximately 30 sheets of film and one of those was used on a magazine cover, in several calendars, and in catalogs for photo tour companies. He never shot a single picture.

I believe that my hike back up the steep trail, with my heavy pack, in the dark, to the canyon rim was easier for me knowing I had captured a good image.

In a photo like this, don't be afraid to shoot many duplicates as the sky changes, you'll never know which photo is going to convey the emotion that you are feeling as you look at the landscape. Many times I fail to capture even one image that I have pre-visualized, but if I don't put myself into that position I will never capture what I want.

Your photograph, just like this one, may never be published, but this portrayal of elusive color and early dawn light meant something to me and so it was worth getting up early.

Kayaks Below Colonial Peak

© Paul Anderson Kayaking near Cougar Island

Kayaking, canoeing and camping on Ross Lake is a unique experience.

Quiet, serene, with relatively few and usually only small boats seen on the lake, waterfalls, canyons, fly fishing, and hiking all add to your memory bank of trips and life experiences you will be glad to have accomplished.

Moms and Dads if you take the kids, you will be sharing with them a gift they won't forget That is the power we have as parents.

You can bring your own kayak, or canoe or rent boats, canoes and kayaks from the resort. Just be sure to call ahead to see if any are available.

I've added Carol's write up on how to get your own kayak up to Ross Lake.

How can I get my own boat on the lake?
The resort will portage kayaks and canoes, plus motorboats under 14' and light enough to lift, via flatbed truck from Diablo Lake to Ross Lake. Put in at Colonial Creek campground and make way five miles up Diablo Lake. Look to starboard after the canyon for a gravel ramp just beyond the second dock- beach there and walk to the Ross powerhouse. There is a phone box by the front door with the Resort's number. Call for portage between the hours of 8 am – 4pm. For one vessel we charge $25. For more than one kayak or canoe: $15 per vessel. For more than one motorboat: $20. There is a public boat launch at Hozomeen campground on the north end of the lake. To get there, take the Silver/Skagit Road south from just west of Hope, British Columbia. Follow this gravel road 60 km to the Hozomeen Campground. Border crossing regulations apply. Bring at least two spare tires for your rig and for your boat trailer.

There are 19 boat-access backcountry campgrounds along Ross Lake. All have pit toilets, fire grates, picnic tables and wildlife-resistant food storage boxes. A backcountry permit is required for all over night stays in these sites and may be obtained from the Wilderness Information Center in Marblemount or the Hozomeen Ranger Station on a first-come, first-served basis. Party size limit is 12 individuals.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Jon Jarvis Testifies At Confirmation Hearing

Editors Note: Jon Jarvis who spent 5 years as a ranger here in North Cascades National Park has begun testifying before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

Director Designate Jon Jarvis Testifies At Confirmation Hearing

Director designate Jon Jarvis testified at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources yesterday morning. The text of his opening statement follows.


Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Senator Murkowski, and Members of this Committee. I am truly honored that President Obama and Secretary Salazar have demonstrated their confidence in me by nominating me to lead the National Park Service (NPS). If confirmed, I pledge to work closely with the Secretary, with Members of Congress, with our many partners, and with the public, in the stewardship and enjoyment of our national parks.

My father was in the Civilian Conservation Corps during the depression and he, like so many other young men of the time, connected deeply with the forests and streams of this great nation and instilled that passion in me and my brother as kids. We were raised in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, backed up against national forest land where we hunted, fished and roamed. I knew from that time I wanted to pursue a career related to the protection and enjoyment of the outdoors. I graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1975 with a degree in Biology and immediately took a road trip across the country, camping in many of our great national parks, like Yellowstone, Glacier, and Olympic. From that trip forward, I was hooked on the National parks.

In 1976, I was hired by the NPS to staff the Bicentennial Information Center here in Washington, helping to host the millions who came to celebrate their nation’s birthday. I spent the following winter with President Jefferson in his Memorial. Often alone there for hours, with the wind howling across the Tidal Basin, I absorbed his writings inscribed on the wall including excerpts from the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness,

From that time to this moment that I sit before this Committee, I have devoted a career to the National Park System which I believe embodies these principles:

The cultural parks of our country are the places where civic engagements, often confrontational, occasionally bloody, have shaped who we are as a people: Selma to Montgomery, Brown versus Board of Education, Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp, the Statue of Liberty, and Flight 93. These are parks where we learn not only of the people who left their marks on our future, but through this intimate contact, we learn how to take the next generation to a higher and better place.

The natural parks of our country, in addition to their intrinsic beauty, stand as testimony to this nation’s willingness to impose self restraint. For example, President Abraham Lincoln set aside Yosemite during our civil war because perhaps he knew our country would need such places for healing.

The 391 units of the National Park System are a collective expression of who we are as a people, where our values were forged in the hottest fires. They are an aggregate of what we Americans value most about ourselves. They also deliver messages to future generations about the foundation experiences that have made America a symbol for the rest of the world. And of course our great parks are places we pursue happiness, as a respite from a fast paced and congested world. In my thirty-three years with the NPS, I have met thousands of visitors on the trail. They smile, they offer greetings, and most are not looking at their Blackberries.

I have served as a field park ranger in the most classic sense: delivering interpretive talks, working the information desk, conducting search and rescues, riding horse patrol, and ski patrol. I have fought fires, trapped bears, forded glacial rivers, rappelled off cliffs, made arrests, and helped thousands of visitors have a great experience in their parks. In my first 26 years of service in the NPS, I was an interpretive ranger, a protection ranger, a biologist and Superintendent in seven parks in seven states. For the last seven, I have served as the Regional Director for 54 national park units in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Hawaii, and the Pacific Islands of Guam, Saipan and American Samoa. My wife and I have moved nine times and lived in rural west Texas, the Snake River Plain of Idaho and if confirmed, I will be the first Director to have ever served in bush Alaska. In each place, I have always worked hard to become a contributing member of the local community and have encouraged my staff to do the same. Gateway communities and parks have an important relationship that needs to be grown through mutual respect and cooperation, particularly when tourism is an essential part of the economy.

I do not need to tell you of the challenges before us: the economy, climate change, connecting urban kids to nature, the concerns over obesity, and a concern about a loss of cultural literacy. I believe that the National Park Service has a role and a responsibility in each of these. As Regional Director in the Pacific West, I set high standards for the parks to achieve environmental and financial sustainability. We instituted programs to reach out and connect to the urban youth of the Los Angeles basin and the central valley of California. We studied and learned that we can attract the public to the parks for their health benefits and have pioneered cooperative efforts with partners in the health and fitness community. We facilitated good science and began to interpret the changes we could link to climate change. And we worked through our community assistance programs to help gateway communities to achieve both preservation and economic goals. In each case, the extraordinary employees of the National Park System responded to these goals with energy and enthusiasm.

Throughout my life long connection to national parks, a constant source of inspiration has always been the extraordinary employees of the National Park Service. They formed my second family along many paths of my career. It is with all of them in mind that I find the personal confidence to take on the daunting task of leading the agency in these very challenging and complex times. The employees of the National Park Service do great work every day across the nation, whether preserving places, cultures, flora, fauna and vast natural ecosystems or giving flight to the imaginations of millions of park visitors exploring a given park. At times the men and women of the National Park Service are asked to do difficult, dangerous and nearly impossible work. I am proud to be one of them.

Wallace Stegner said: National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst."

Never in its 200 years has this nation needed the National Park System more. It stands as a collective memory of where we have been, what sacrifices we have made to get here and who we mean to be. By investing in the preservation, interpretation and restoration of these symbolic places, we offer hope and optimism to the each generation of Americans. If confirmed, my pledge to you and to the American people is that I will bring all my energies to be the very best steward of America’s best places and America’s best idea. Thank you.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Crazy Hot

© Paul K Anderson Ruby Creek

© Paul K Anderson Doug near Cougar Island

© Paul K Anderson Taking the Plunge into Ross Lake

© Paul K Anderson - Cooling Off in front of the Peak Cabins

I know, I know, I know it's crazy hot out there!

To all you readers of Tom's View that have been stuck on I-5 in the Puget Sound lowlands, I'm telling you that I am empathetic to your pain and suffering because I too have been sitting in heavy, slow moving traffic on I-5 this week.

And I know it's hot in Spokane, over in the Palouse, down in Portland, Houston, Virginia, and Florida - OY!!!!!

It's hot in our factories, in our skyscrapers, in our universities. It's hot at Microsoft, at Boeing, and at our government offices!

But I know what we can do.

Head for the North Cascades!

Drive across highway 20. Get some fresh ice cream at Cascadian Farms, stop for breakfast or lunch in Marblemount, take a tour with Seattle City Light (but call ahead for a reservation), visit the North Cascades Institute and pick up a course catalog.

Stop at North Cascades National Park Visitor Center and view the most excellent exhibits.

Go ahead, be spontaneous, call now and reserve for the day a boat, kayak or canoe from Ross Lake Resort and go fishing, touring, hiking or camping uplake.

Find an ancient cedar or fir, sit down, and feel the embrace of old growth shade.


You're cooler already, aren't you?

Go now and jump in Ross Lake!

Hike down to Ross Lake from the highway parking lot, or catch the 8:30 A.M. Seattle City Light ferry.

Call the resort from the phone (follow the signs) near the lake at the end of the trail and have the resort water taxi take you up lake to swim, hike, fish or just relax.

Schedule a time to be picked up later and then either catch the afternoon ferry down Diablo or hike back out to highway.

It will work wonders in reducing your stress level.

But remember if you wait until next week.......... you are going to be a week older.

Note: if camping, stop at a ranger's station for your permit. Call ahead to the resort to reserve a boat since weekends are extremely busy in July and August.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Full Moon Over the North Cascades

Bert Riggs and his wife just returned this weekend from RSL and submitted this image for us to enjoy on the blog.

He was up at 5 AM to enjoy the moonset and to get ready for fishing up lake.

Thanks for sharing this with us.

Jonathan Jarvis Nominated by President Obama

The White House recently announced that Jonathan Jarvis is being nominated as director of the National Park Service.


He is currently the regional director for Pacific West Region which includes 54 units in Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands of Guam, Saipan, and American Samoa.

Jon served as superintendent of Mt. Rainier National Park and was the chief of natural and cultural resources for North Cascades National Park.

Way to go Ranger Jon!

I can only imagine how proud the staff for NCNP is right now!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Daily Chores - Boat cleaning.

© Paul Anderson

All it takes is a little teamwork, willpower, muscle, leverage, and a water source.

Jack Mountain from Big Beaver Boat Dock

© Paul Anderson

So here is a gem of info for you Cliff Clavin types who may enjoy useless information/trivia about Ross Lake.

Jack Mountain (elevation 9066 ft) rises 7,464 vertical feet above Ross Lake.

I know, I know - it may not seem that big just glancing at Jack as you canoe, kayak or boat beneath it, but that is a sizable amount of elevation gain!

For instance, Mt Everest is 29,029 elevation and a huge mountain. When mountaineers attempt to climb it via the north col route, they spend several days and nights at the advance base camp at 21,300 feet elevation!

A mere 7,729 vertical feet below the summit and just 265 feet higher than Ross Lake to the summit of Jack!

The North Cascades are notorious not for the mountain chain's overall height, but rather for how dramatic the relief is from valley bottoms, to ridge lines and mountain summits, and back down again.

This makes travel very difficult for cross country backpackers and mountaineers. It's also why there are so few auto routes across the Cascade Range.

So, remember, some time when you're out lounging on one of the docks or hanging out in one of the blue boats up lake - and you want to make a bet - point to Jack and maybe spew out that info to your fishing buddy or spouse who seldom get used to your insufferable nuggets of wisdom!

And remember, if you don't visit more often to the North Cascades each year, you'll always be a visit or two, or three behind.

You can't catch up!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Forest Fire on Ruby Mountain

Here is a link to the Chattermarks blog by our friends over at the North Cascades Institute and North Cascades National Park about the forest fire on Ruby Mountain.

and here is a link from the post by Bob Valen NCNP Public Information Ranger about wildfires.

Very interesting links. Thanks Bob and Christian for the information!

By the way, please spend some time viewing the North Cascades Institute web site. They have a number of excellent courses coming up over the next several months. It is a good way to visit this area more often, to meet some outstanding instructors and staff, and immerse yourself into this beautiful landscape.

Magazine Article

Here is a link to the July issue of Bellingham Business Journal that featured an interview with Tom.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Meet Our Staff

Will Shields is a craftsman.

He builds boats.

He builds Adirondack chairs.

He builds just about anything around the resort.

On average, with no interruptions, Will can build one of the blue boats in about 1 1/2 weeks during the winter months.

Using jigs that Tom had built years ago, and patterns from the original resort boats, Will and Tom build about 2 -3 boats over the winter.

A gentle and steady hand is required to shape and fare in the ribs and stringers with the side panels. Piles of wood shavings are generated with each build.

Tom and Will take a lot of pride in this mostly hand build process.

It is part of the character of the resort.........
........ and the history of Ross Lake.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Meet Our Happy Staff II

© Paul K Anderson

Meet Lucy new resort supervisor! (Click on photos for a larger size image!)

Lucy has taken over Roland's role as supervisor.

She is a cross between a Beagle and Poodle, a Peagle or a Boodle???? I don't know.

Like many small dogs she has a bit of a Napoleon complex. Thinks she is in charge of everything, everybody.

She frequently will ride the water taxi keeping Tom or Carol company.

But she has her own management style and is often caught sneaking up to the bow of the boat (at 40 mph), walking the narrow six inch toe rail on the sides of the boat, where her ears and jowls can flap freely in the breeze.

Meet Our Happy Staff

© Paul Anderson

Meet Ethan, jack of all trades and hard worker!

You'll typically meet Ethan down on the boat ramp when you arrive, he helps you with your bags and supplies and then drives the truck up to Ross Lake and pitches in getting bags off the truck and onto the small boat dock for the ferry over to the cabins.

Around the resort he can be found over at the gas dock cleaning boats, or chopping, delivering, and stacking wood, swapping out propane tanks on your BBQ, hauling garbage and recycling from your cabin, hauling the garbage down to Diablo Lake and RLR garbage bins, or doing any other job needed to keep this operation humming for your enjoyment.

In the winter Ethan keeps the resort afloat by shoveling snow.

He likes to sit in the bow of the boat where the ear coverings of his hat can flap freely in the breeze.

This photo not withstanding, Ethan is a warm and friendly guy! Be sure and say hi!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sunburns and Trout fishing

The official start of the '09 fishing season has started out great. Many happy and sun soaked fisher folks have been catching plenty of Ross Lake wild rainbows. Mostly trolling with pop gear and various lures. The fish have been caught on Bingo Bugs, Flatfish, Spinner flys, Wedding Rings, Rapalas and other lures. I just measured the longest Rainbow I've ever seen caught from Ross Lake - a beautilful 21 inch Rainbow caught by Heather True and Derrick Borgmann. Like true fishermen, they won't tell where it was taken until they leave. I expect this fishing action to continue well into the summer and fall. -Tom

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Psssst ........ Fishing Season Starts Tomorrow

Full Moon July 7th

© Paul K Anderson

For those of you fortunate enough to be spending time up at RLR or in the North Cascades NP next week, remember the full moon is on the 7th of July.

Please, howl to your hearts content!

We are only on this planet for a relatively short trip!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dedicated Group Of National Park Service Staff

all images © Paul Anderson

A great group of NPS staff stopped by the resort this morning and met briefly with Tom before venturing up lake for a tour of campgrounds, and the natural resources/features surrounding the lake.

Rosemary Seifried is leading the group of park rangers, backcountry rangers, information specialists, and staff from North Cascades National Park Headquarters, and from offices in Stehekin, Newhalem, and Marblemount.

Tom gave an overview of resort operations, services provided, and a description of the water taxi operation.

There is a very good and strong partnership existing between The National Park Service, Seattle City Light and Ross Lake Resort which results in a wonderful experience for all of us that venture to North Cascades National Park, Ross Lake National Recreation Area and Ross Lake Resort.

Gerry Cook, long time employee of North Cascades NP skippers the Ross Mule for the tour.

Kayaking Ross Lake

Devil's Creek, Dylan, Mackenzie and Marny © Paul K Anderson

Arctic Creek and Curran  © Paul K Anderson

Arctic Creek and Curran  © Paul K Anderson

Mackenzie at Skymo Creek © Paul K Anderson

Ross Lake is a mecca for kayakers.

Numerous campsites around the lake, spectacular mountains, and hidden waterfalls and canyons all add to the enjoyment of the experience.

Hike up Big Beaver from the campsite to see large old growth red cedars.  Hike up Desolation Peak and visit the fire lookout where Jack Kerouac spent a fire season and started one of his books.

Kayak to the base of Skymo, Arctic, and No Name Falls and slip into the narrow high walled canyon at Devil's Creek.

What are you waiting for?  Next year you're only going to be another year older!

Life is short, enjoy the North Cascades now!