Weekend in the north cascades

Another great weekend away spent with wonderful friends in the wilderness! Our latest camping trip was up in the North Cascades at a campground called Horseshoe Cove.

Our campsite at Horseshoe Cove in Concrete, WA

Our campsite at Horseshoe Cove in Concrete, WA

Traffic wasn’t as terrible this week as it was when we went down to Mount Hood a couple weeks ago, but we still got a slow start due to Henry cat not wanting to come inside. We arrived at the campsite around 7 on Friday night and got set up while waiting for Carrie, Patrick, Mary and Ryan to arrive.

Baker Lake

Baker Lake

Our campground was beautiful – it was full of very tall trees covered in lush, hairy moss. We were situated on Baker Lake which was surrounded by evergreens that turned the water a deep shade of turquoise. It was quite a sight. The campsite we stayed in {#14} was large enough for each couple to have their own tent, plus a whole lot of room for Jackson to roam around on his long leash.

Baker Lake

Baker Lake

After setting up camp and exploring our domain for the weekend we lit a fire and spent the evening chatting and catching up. We are so lucky to have such good friends!

The boys {Ryan, Patrick and Alex}

The boys {Ryan, Patrick and Alex}

Very early Saturday morning we were awaken by an unexpected thunderstorm. It was SO loud! Thunderstorms are very uncommon in Seattle, I’m not sure if that’s the same in the mountains, but the sound of the thunder was reverberating off of the mountains and lake around us and it was quite a show. Our tents were pretty well protected under some tall trees so we didn’t get rained on too much, but of course we were all laying awake in our sleeping bags hoping that none of the trees fell on us.

Mt. Baker Wilderness

Mt. Baker Wilderness

After a delicious breakfast of egg sandwiches on Saturday morning we set off to hike to Watson Lake. The drive to the trail head was quite precarious. We found ourselves literally driving over a dam. I was a bit anxious as we slowly eased our way onto the road that runs on top of the dam and then looking down on the other side was a whole new feeling of anxiety. Thankfully the dam was not running at that time, otherwise between me and the other girls, I’m not sure we would have made it over.

Driving up to the dam

Driving up to the dam

As if that wasn’t precarious enough, we ventured about 12 miles on gravel switchback roads as we wound our way up the mountains to our destination. We made it safely over a very sketchy bridge and eventually wound up where we started our hike.

The road over the dam

The road over the dam

The hike to Watson Lake was a bit challenging, but the biggest test was keeping the bugs at bay. I don’t think any of us mastered that task! The bugs were so bad we all got an arm workout by swatting them away for the 4 miles we were hiking.

Hikers!

Hikers!

Once we arrived at Watson Lake none of us wanted to stand still and get eaten alive by the bugs for too long so we snapped a couple of photos and made our way back to our cars.

Beautiful views on our way down to the lake.

Beautiful views on our way down to the lake.

Watson Lake

Watson Lake

We had worked up quite an appetite on our hike, so we laid out a very nice spread for lunch once we returned to our campsite. This is what happens when three girls who love to cook and eat go car camping!

Girls who cook!

Girls who cook!

All of us were fighting bug bites, covered in 10 layers of bug spray and dried up sweat so we thought that a dip in the lake was in order. It felt so good to clean ourselves off and go swimming. The lake was frigid, yet we swam out about 100 yards and Carrie and Ryan went even further and tried to climb up onto a log and jump off, some attempts more successful than others.

Mary and Ryan at Watson Lake

Mary and Ryan at Watson Lake

Jackson even took a turn swimming – he seemed to be enjoying himself. Since Alex and I were both in the water with him he seemed more comfortable and interested in paddling around a bit. Now we’ve just got to get him to play fetch in the water.

Carrie & Patrick on our hike.

Carrie & Patrick on our hike.

After we got back from swimming we picked up an earlier knitting lesson while the boys played frisbee. Mary brought her knitting needle collection and some yarn and successfully taught Carrie and me how to knit! I’m excited to pick up some supplies for myself and try my hand at knitting a scarf.

Alex and me at Watson Lake

Alex and me at Watson Lake

The rest of the evening was spent eating {Mary and Ryan made amazing pulled pork tacos} and drinking {note: next time we go camping we had 36 beers, 5 bottles of wine + vodka and scotch and we wanted more beer and wine} and hanging out around the campfire.

Gorgeous views on the drive back to our campsite from our hike.

Gorgeous views on the drive back to our campsite from our hike.

Sunday morning we woke up to more rain. It was a little chilly and very wet! That made for an utter mess trying to break down the tent and pack up the car. Between today and yesterday I did 8 or 9 loads of laundry just trying to clean the pine needles and mud off of everything.

Such a fun time in the North Cascades.

Such a fun time in the North Cascades.

We had such a great time camping! But now I’m looking forward to a couple of weekends in Seattle to catch up on things that got pushed back at home before we have some visitors and then travel for three weddings this fall.

The girls!

The girls!