We woke to the sound of raindrops on Saturday morning, which meant we stayed snuggled into our tent as long as Jules would allow.  I sighed at the thought of the mud and the chill and the weak, smoky campfire.  Once we emerged from our cocoon, though, I was consoled by the beauty of the misty, serene lake – this was worth getting damp for!

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And the rain was short-lived – a few minutes after I snapped those misty photos, the skies cleared and everything was bright and fresh and ultra-green again.  Camping has its challenges, but gosh – a view like this for $16 a night?  What a steal!

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Shane’s shoulders were begging for a break after Thursday’s and Friday’s hikes, so we decided to lay low on Saturday and take advantage of all the offerings right outside out tent’s front door.  Like Brian and Nicole’s hammock!

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Jason’s slack-line…

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Some miscellaneous sporting goods:

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The mud (Jules whipped up a lovely batch of mud meatballs):

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And, of course, more paddle boarding!

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Jules proved to be an excellent first mate.

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Jason’s paddle board gymnastics had the girls squealing with laughter.  “Fall again, Jason!  Fall again!”

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It was pretty idyllic, all of us just kind of wafting in and out of the water, maybe with a kid or two in tow, while the rest of the gang set up their camp chairs on shore.

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The Hickory’s needed to get back to Seattle on Saturday afternoon, so we snapped a group pic and then bid them farewell.  So glad their crazy clan could join us for a couple of days!

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The Rusts headed out for a hike after lunch and Jules and I joined them for about a quarter-mile.  Which took about 30 minutes.

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Back at camp, Shane and Juliette took a solid nap while I read by the lake.  Nance returned and brewed us a pot of coffee, sipped while we enjoyed a kid-free (chaos-free) conversation.  Those moments don’t happen too often anymore.

The rest of the evening was spent back out on the paddle boards (surprise!), but Shane and Nance upped the SUP game by doing some pretty impressive gymnastics.  It took all the balance I had just to get from kneeling to standing on the thing, so I bowed out of this little competition.  These two are studs!

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Saturday night’s sleep was fitful at best – we had some rowdy neighbors that partied until about 1 am, and at 3 am we awoke to a horrible screeching sound that sounded on and off for over an hour.  We’re pretty sure it was some kind of bird, but unlike anything I’d ever heard before – poor Juliette just laid there silent and wide-eyed and tightly clutching Shane’s and my hands until the dang thing flew away.  We awoke on Sunday morning definitively ready to head back to the comforts of home.  I had loved snuggling up with these two for the past few days, but I missed my bed.  My shower.  My walls!

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One last campfire meal…

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Once last gaze at the lake…

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One last ride on the paddle-board…

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One last dip in the freezing cold lake (these two must have been polar bears in another life!)…

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And then we packed it up and hit the road, making a brief stop at Ladder Creek Falls before putting the pedal to the metal (we were beat!).

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Sayonara, North Cascades!  You can bet we’ll be seeing you again next summer.