Sunday, 6 May 2012

West Harrison Lake

It has been a few months since the last trip, as a result of being busy with school, work and lacrosse. The truck hasn't moved since December, along with the camping gear being packed away for the winter, we spent many days preparing, getting the gear altogether, organizing and meeting with Bobby, the owner of Cascadia Vehicle Tents to get our new roof top tent!

Practising for our upcoming road trip in June, we are working on being more organized and packing lighter. A great rule to follow is: "if it doesn't have 2 or more uses, don't bring it". Of course this doesn't pertain to the essentials.

The trip got off to a rocky start, I lost the travelling cover to the tent, as it wasn't strapped down properly (stupid me) and the cast iron frying pan was no where to be found so a quick trip to Army and Navy was in order. We used a tarp to cover the tent which had already become soaked due to the rain...great.

As soon as we hit the dirt road, none of this mattered, we quickly started climbing the forestry roads up the mountains leading to breath taking views.

Our original plan was to camp at 10 Mile Bay before meeting up with friends the next day, but unfortunately we never found the site. One trail we thought might lead down to the bay quickly became very tight and steep to which we no longer wanted to attempt. There was no room to turn around or maneuver so reverse was the only option. It was a scary few minutes of sliding on roots, almost hitting trees and constantly loosing traction. It finally took a long full throttle (not something I like to do) to get ourselves out to which we breathed a sigh of relief. Sorry no photos of this, it was too scary to even think about the camera.

After numerous closed gates to a bunch of the small lakes, we settled down at 20 Mile bay, picked a spot on the waterfront and set up camp in the rain.
20 Mile Bay

The next morning we were dry thanks to our tent! The impossibility of starting the fire with wet wood added to the chilly start of the day. The situation was fixed with hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps!

20 Mile Bay South Beach

After a visit the night before from a local that lived on the lake and a mean park lady in the morning, we decided to head out rather early. The destination for the trip was Lookout Lake, a small remote lake that is supposedly great for fishing. We followed the back roads map and set off hoping to be first to the lake. The trail became increasingly more difficult and we opted not to test our luck again. Our friends soon joined us and we gave it another go. The taller trucks went ahead but soon ran into too much snow.

After a quick discussion we agreed to go to 20 Mile Bay, it offered us a place on the lake and reception to communicate with friends about where to meet us. 

North Beach 

South Beach

We stayed here for the next 3 days doing the usual bonfire, BBQ and over consumption of water with

Polish Sausages
Slow cooked for 4 hours!

All packed up!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Jones, Harrison and Chehalis Lake Camping 2011

During most trips something always seems to go wrong but this one was as close to perfect as possible. 

My girl friend (Natashia) and I left (late) Friday morning headed to Jones Lake for the first part of our long awaited winter camping trip. Our attraction to Jones stemmed from the beautiful mountain ranges and given its high altitude, the strong possibility of decent snow accumulation.

We explored a few side roads enjoying the elegant scenery. 

After get stuck on a snowy uphill cross cut along a logging road(by ourselves), we opted to not push our luck anymore and set up camp on the lake front.

The next morning we quickly packed up and headed to the bottom (north) end of the lake to eat our yogurt and check out the low water level.

 Dora with her new trasharoo

We stopped at the diner in Harrison for lunch and walked around the area.

Heading down the West side of Harrison our original plan was to go to Hale Creek and camp where a couple buddies were going to meet us the next day before we went wheeling. While heading down the narrow trail we decided not to take chances as the road was quickly becoming more difficult. As a result we continued to Twenty Mile Bay.

Harrison West Forestry Road

Because of our longer than anticipated visit to Harrison we arrived at Twenty Mile Bay after dark but quickly set up. The next morning we awoke in the back of the truck to this.

After about an hour of taking our time to get up and eat breakfast, the peaceful morning we were enjoying was halted by the arrival of Kevin and Dan in Kevin's Turbo Mazda Truck. They came prepared to wheel with a shot gun and a full tank of gas to burn.

After waiting a little longer for Brian, we decided to head to Mystery Forestry Road in hopes that we would cross paths with him sooner, luckily a couple minutes after we arrived at the road he showed up sporting his new black stinger on the front of his white Jeep. 

Quickly our group set off towards Chehalis Lake using the new map book Natashia had bought me for my birthday. As I mentioned the trip was almost perfect, but... I left my GPS at the house. We got Kevin to pick it up the day before he came out... only to leave it at his house!

We encountered a couple overturned vehicles on the trail.

Biggest obstacle: River crossing

After carefully crossing the river we reached the large cross cuts in the road and deemed them impassable due to the snow and ice.

Adjacent to the cross cuts was an ATV trail that was calling our names. We decided to check it out and to our surprise it lead to Chehalis Lake via the abandoned camp ground.

Driving the beach.

The drive home was pretty uneventful with the exception of crossing the river once again. It posed a decent challenge especially with the slushy bank on the exiting side that was worsen to due us already driving over it once. 

Overall the trip was an amazing success and we lucked out once again as the weather was amazing!

A few pics: