|Getting ready to start|
After talking to Roger Micheal, I chose to do the loop clockwise for a couple of reasons. First there is about 13 miles along the East bank trail. This trail just winds its way north along the east side of Ross Lake. I have paddled the lake many times and been on parts of this trail. It is not real exciting and I just wanted to bang it out quick with fresh legs on the first day and save the mostly downhill remote section to enjoy on the second day. Finally, with the campsite that Roger suggested, it would be a few miles over half way by going clockwise and it would leave an easy mostly downhill hike for the second day. The campsite selected was Devil’s Pass which had a nearby spring.
|Panther Creek coming into Ruby Creek|
|Bridge Over Devil's Creek|
This was a hard climb. Climbing out of the valley I could see the weather filtering through the drainages that fed Ross Lake and the upper Skagit drainage. I was soaking wet. The trail tread has collapsed and the brush has not been trimmed in a long time. This is the result of being a wilderness trail. In a few years it will be gone. Little use, no maintenance, just a scratch on the earth. My sons’ will probably never be able to hike this trail. This is the ultimate goal of those who propose wilderness: A land without humans. This will be an unfortunate loss.
My heavy pack and extra girth around my middle weighed on me as I climbed up to and over Devils Dome. The day was long and I reached the top at 7PM. I carried very little water up the hill wanting to conserve weight. However, there was no water down on the east side of the dome heading down to the pass. Around 7:30 I found an incredible campsite high on a ridge but with no water I had to push on. At this point my headlamp was on, along with every piece of clothing I had.
|Stormy skies all week|
more Pics HERE.