By LaVerne Woods
Nine paddlers met at Colonial Creek Campground on the morning of October 18, 2014 as the mist was lifting off of Thunder Arm in the North Cascades. We paddled north to Diablo Lake in smooth water and headed east up the channel to visit Horsetail Falls, past vine and bigleaf maples in their autumn colors. We reversed course at the restricted area below Ross Dam and returned to the open water of Diablo Lake for a lunch stop at Buster Brown Camp, where one of our number, a veteran mycologist, harvested an arm-load of lobster mushrooms. After lunch we continued west along the north shore of Diablo Lake to Diablo Dam, then returned along the south shore and turned south down Thunder Arm back to Colonial Creek. Most of the group, along with other hangers-on, reconvened for the evening at the leader’s home in Mazama, an hour east of Diablo Lake. “Potluck” does not adequately dignify the fine food on offer, which included some very fresh local lobster mushrooms. The paddlers turned into hikers the following day. Most of the party hiked from Rainy Pass on the North Cascades Highway to Heather Pass, and a hardy few continued to Maple Pass and made a sunny loop through the golden larches and brilliant huckleberries back to Rainy Pass.
Photo credit to Steve Goodson