EMSK Baker Lake (Jul 15-17, 2016)

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baker_lk_coverConditions: day paddles
Gear: gear for a day paddle
Map: n/a
Area: Bellingham
Reference: n/a
Stats: 8.13nm

I'm way behind in trip reports... Has something changed? Am I just getting lazy or just too busy? Maybe I just don't have much to prove to anyone, even myself, these days... Whatever the cause...I'm finally trying to get caught up.

EMSK Baker Lake weekend came up again this year. It's a fun weekend to get away and relax away from the stresses of life. This year more so. Work has been stressful. Lots of other things going on. It's been fun that for the third year in a row this weekend coincides with my non-work Friday off. So...this would be a fun and relaxing 3 day weekend again. This year Steve was going to be able to make it.

I left town by myself on Friday morning. I had managed to score a campsite at Horseshoe Cove which was nice. No feeling like I was squatting on anyone else this year. I always feel like I'm imposing. I got to the campground, set up the tent, and walked around to find out who else had already arrived. The Coadys and Mortons were already in camp. Nice.

I had thought about finally hiking up to Dock Butte this year. It's a short hike. But once again...it just didn't work out. It was nice to just sit around camp, read, visit with friends, and relax. The weather was a bit cloudy so even if I had done the hike, views were not likely.

Steve arrived around 7:30pm. Just in time for a late dinner.

Saturday morning the paddlers met at the boat launch and we paddled north to Swift Creek. It looks like the winter had really change the course of the creek as it joins up with lake. Lots of erosion along the banks of the lake near this area. We had a bit of a tail wind as we paddled north and I know I wasn't the only one wishing for a break when we paddled back south. We beached the boats and stopped for a nice lunch. At some point the winds did die down because as we got back into the main part of the lake the surface of the lake was almost flat and there was barely any wind.

Some years we continue paddling all the way to the dam before returning to camp. This year the group was content to do the half day trip. Back at camp, other EMSK-ers were arriving for the big potluck at the Stackpoles campsite. It was a wonderful dinner and some of us stayed up into the wee hours of the morning chatting. Finally, sometime around midnight, I was barely able to stay up any longer and Steve and I headed over to the tent for the night.

Sunday the weather looked to have improved. The sky was a bit clearer and the low clouds that hung around yesterday were done. The early paddling group launched about 9:15am and Steve borrowed my boat and paddled down towards the dam with them. Other smaller groups headed out just after this. I hear they had nice views of Baker which was nice. Steve returned, a big smile on his face, and he mentioned he really needs to get back into paddling. Bill was even so kind to demo and give a short coaching session on wet exits to Steve. I'm really glad he had a good time...

Early afternoon it was time to pack up and head home. There was a lot to do. The long drive back to Issaquah to return my rental boat. Yikes...I think it was around 7pm by the time I finally got home. All I did was pull the wet get out of the car to hang dry.

A great weekend. Nice and quiet...as they should be...
Baker Lake Slideshow

(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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