PCT Round Two Warmup – Domke Lake

— December 5, 2013

Lake Chelan - North Cascades
Looking back to Lake Chelan from Domke Lake Trail. Photo by Brett Fisher.
July 3 -5, 2013

The Luck Dragon and I walk the one mile back to Holden Village and I have a cafe breve (couple shots espresso and steamed half and half cream instead of milk). The Village has a little coffee shop. Backpacking and having good coffee.

We find some shade and wait for the bus to Lucerne. Eventually Lori and Blaze come by and visit awhile.

The bus drops us off and we walk the half mile to Refrigerator Bay and the Forest Service Ranger Station. We avail ourselves of the shade, picnic table for lunch, and potable water. The Luck Dragon avails herself of the swimming in the cove.

After the heat of the day passes, we locate the trailhead, and begin the three mile walk to Domke Lake. There’s a steep section of trail, then a somewhat flat go, then another climb. Not so bad. I’ve hiked steeper. I enjoy the views of Lake Chelan and the Railroad Creek drainage. The trail turns south and a half mile or so later we’re at Domke Lake.

We are all by ourselves and have the run of the entire campground. So we go swimming. Domke Lake is a nice temperature for swimming. Nothing like the ice water at Hart Lake. The Luck Dragon is excited that I’m in the water with her. She jumps straight up and out of two feet of water, runs through the shallows, and swims after sticks.

I set up camp on a rock outcrop above the Lake. I decide to sleep under the stars without the tarp. The Luck Dragon seems restless without a den to crawl in. She lays on the other side of the picnic table. Then moves onto the rocks. Then by me for awhile. Eventually she settles down for the night. We’re mosquito free until the wind off the lake dies down. Then the bug head net goes on.

We listen to the loons singing as the sun sets.

The next day we explore a bit down the trail towards Stuart Camp and Hatchery Camp. These two campgrounds have been closed since 2007 due to the Domke Lake Complex Fire. Now and then, we hear standing dead trees fall. Kind of unnerving. Never know when the wind will push another one down. We turn around and go back to our camp. And swim some more.

We’re not alone anymore. Three hikers set up in the camp down below us next to the water. And a group of teens or early twenty somethings (sometimes it’s hard for me to tell this age difference anymore) hike in for lunch and leave.

My back has been hurting (related to flying back from Malaysia and handling Jemma and her crate). Two days at Domke Lake have allowed for back stretching and recuperation. And thinking lofty thoughts. Should’ve written them down. They escape me now.

Day 4-6: 4.5 miles hiked. Camped two nights at Domke Lake.

Lake Chelan - North Cascades
“Domke Lake is so beautiful. Let’s swim some more today.” Photo by Brett Fisher.
Domke Lake 2 - North Cascades
“Look, I can fly and swim. Now where’s that stick.” Photo by Brett Fisher.
Domke Lake 3 - North Cascades
“No worries. I go it. I got the stick. Let’s do this all day.” Photo by Brett Fisher.

2 Comments on "PCT Round Two Warmup – Domke Lake"

  • So good to see you back writing. The stories and the photos are wonderful. Love the shot of Jemma or Luck Dragon leaping into the water, good timing on that photo.

    H20 Boy and I are giving a PCT Washington presentation tonight. Hope all goes well.

    Take care my friend, hugs to all …

    • Good to hear from you. Yes, fun photo. The Luck Dragon fearlessly launches herself into water – lakes, rivers, kiddie pools. “Fun as” with your PCT presentation. Looking forward to hearing about your adventures over the holidays.

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