Winter at Tucquala Lake – November 2017

Winter has come early to Washington state. Over the past few weeks snow has fallen in the mountains above a few thousand feet elevation and we’ve had some light dusting at lower elevations. So, as a great man once said, “the mountains are calling, I must go”.

Tucquala Lake is a serene place most any time of the year. Especially so in winter, when the winds are still and the snow absorbs all sound. This is the (probably) last run of the year for my buddy Dana and I, so this choice of place was due to the whole area up this way being an old favorite.  Also, there was some curiosity about what damage had been done by the recent wildfires that had closed off the whole valley for most of the summer. Since snow was covering most of the trees and ground from Roslyn, WA all the way up Salmon La Sac road to the end, Tucquala Lake, it was difficult to discern where the fire had been. Which was a promising thing to witness. Maybe the fires didn’t do as much damage as it seemed.

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We finally ended up at the boat launch ramp for Tucquala Lake. In the summer, this is little more than a level area. In the winter, it’s apparently where raptors take their kill to clean them at edge of the chilly water, evident by the frozen blood and hundreds of raptor footprints in the snow on the shore. I’m not a bird nerd,  so I can’t really say if it was a Brown Eagle or a immature Bald Eagle but the bird that we witnessed flying along the river towards Tucquala Lake was huge #whereeaglesdare

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Raptor kill site

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credit: @sglove76

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credit: @sglove76

Winter at Tucquala Lake Nov 2017-4

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credit: @sglove76

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As we watched the light slowly move from bright white to bluish white to total darkness, we chowed down on some awesome stew that Dana cooked up. Coupled with some Arrogant Bastard Ale and some Woodinville Whiskey, the hot stew was the perfect antidote to the freezing temperatures.

Coming down the mountain in the pitch dark on frozen dirt tracks was a perfect way to end the day.

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