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  • Washington - Spirit Lake Adventure - January 25-26, 2014

    January 25-26, 2014 - Washington - Spirit Lake Adventure!
    Attendees: Venturer (Peter & Joe), Xeattle (Randy & Joe)

    I've been busy with work and building a house; it was time for a break. This last minute trip was put together to complete the "expedition route" I mapped last year to Spirit Lake. Last year, the snow was way too deep and we only made about 1/3 of the total route. This year, there wasn't much snow and we had two days to drive the distance.

    Randy and his son Joe made the long four hour journey from Seattle to join us. We gassed up and headed out just after 8 o'clock. The roads were clear until we reached about 3,500ft in elevation where we encountered snow/ice and stopped to air down. Joe warned everyone about the wildlife in the area: bears, mountain lions and wolves. He shared the story of a bear had charging his wife several years ago. Stay alert!

    We ventured off our original route and followed a rough track to a small remote lake. The lake was completely frozen which was surprising with all the recent warm weather. We had fun staking around on the ice, exploring and soaking in the sunshine. It felt like springtime!

    We stopped for lunch at Goose Lake and busted out the gas grille and enjoyed some tasty sausage / hot dogs. From Goose Lake we took the cut through route to the Forlorn Lakes. We found some tire tracks on the ice where some 4WD hick thought it would be a cool to drive his truck on the froze lake. We found where the truck fell through the ice near the bank and they proceeded to tear up the ground recovering it. This is what closes forest areas down!

    Joe informed us that Road 6035 was washed out and closed so we began exploring our alternate "bypass" routes to Big Mosquito Lakes. Somehow, we ended up losing Randy who we lost sight of and took some wrong turns. Thankfully, we were able to use the 2-way radios and make contact with him to get back on track. Our alternate route proved a failure as it crossed the red zone closed to motorized vehicles during snowmobile season. Joe pulled out his 20ft paper map and found another possible route; someday maybe he will go GPS.

    This alternate route had several stream crossings and one section of road that was completely washed out. We found a track beside the road to get around the washout and pushed forward. The next section of trail had brush covering most of the road; Randy took his time to moving branches to avoid pin-striping. I'm so glad my truck is wrapped in Clear Bra and don't have to worry about scratches. In the end this road interested with another closed red zone snowmobile area. So we turned around to find a suitable campsite for the night.

    This stream was breathtaking. The waterfall was frozen above with water still flowing behind the ice.

    Joe became giddy when a tree blocked the road to our camping destination. Fallen trees serve many purposes: they block road traffic, provide exceptional fire wood and exercise. Joe wanted to take the entire tree but we could only fit about a 6 ft long section of the tree in the truck after splitting it. All this wood provided a large fire that kept us warm into the night.

    We woke to some cold weather in the upper teens. Thankfully, the tent was plenty warm with the down comforter. Randy and Joe kept warm in their luxury multi-room ground tent with their heater running all night long. We enjoyed a slow pace morning with breakfast, fire and exploring the creek. Winter camping takes a bit more planning but it's equally rewarding with seclusion and beauty.

    This trip was an exceptional "last minute" get-a-way. Unfortunately, we were unable to reach the final destination of Spirit Lake but we will try again soon after the road closure is lifted.

    -By : Peter Stewart
    Additional pictures here: http://gitout.com/showthread.php?140...ary-25-26-2014

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Washington - Spirit Lake Adventure - January 25-26, 2014 started by venturer View original post
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Abntroop's Avatar
      Abntroop -
      Great trip report! Wish I could've made it!
    1. npgeiter's Avatar
      npgeiter -
      Love the rubi's headlights! Would love to see that thing in person.