Waterfall hike

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Colville River to Hall Creek (Inchilium)

16 miles cruised today; 248 for the trip

Anchored at Quillisacut Creek

A nearby flock of geese are awake and honking up a storm at 5am, and the racket continues for the better part of an hour before they sort things out and decide where to go. After they take flight, peace returns to our bay, and we sleep in until 8am. I pull the anchor around 9:30 and we head back toward the Colville River mouth for a little trolling. I am dragging a kokanee rig, in hopes of figuring them out. The kokanee have other ideas, however, and I get nary a bite. After one turn in and out, I reel in and motor up. We cruise a few miles down the east side of the lake, toward a place called Quillisacut Creek. Our new friends David and Suzanne, whom we met at Summer Island, told us about this pretty waterfall there, and we just can’t pass up seeing a waterfall. We arrive right at noon. We turn into the cove at the mouth of the creek, anchor, and have lunch before going on our waterfall hike. A dirt road leads up the draw, just above the creek. We can hear the falls from a short distance away, and we follow a worn path to a cool, refreshing viewpoint right at the base of the falls. The stream runs over boulders and drops about 15 feet. There’s just something about falling water that captivates. The walk to the falls is only about ¼ mile in length, so we decide to continue walking up the road. We gradually climb the hillside, through areas that have been selectively logged and thinned. At our turn around point we spot a whitetail doe and with her, interestingly, a mule deer buck in velvet. Both types of deer are known to live in this part of the state, and they do, on occasion, cross breed. It’s a long time till the rut, but who knows.

Waterfall at Quillisacut Creek

Just as we start walking back we get a cell call from our oldest son. We’re high enough up the hill to have good service. He wants to talk over plans for a family camping trip later in the summer. It’s great to hear from him. When we get back to the boat we see a power boat on the beach across the cove. They wave at us as we get into the dinghy and we recognize David and Suzanne and their little dog. They’re relaxing in folding chairs on the shady side of the cove. We row over to greet them. They’re delighted that we took their recommendation to see the falls. Like many people we meet when out cruising, we enjoy great conversation, and quickly get past preliminaries. Maybe we’ll cross paths again.

Mule deer buck in velvet

Time to move downlake. The wind has kicked up and it’s capping out from shore. This is the same stretch that we sailed up a few days ago. Now, that afternoon uplake wind is on our nose, so we bounce our way into it, with occasional waves splashing up to deck height when the bow hits them just right. A couple miles short of our goal for the day, I sight a cabin cruiser which is pulled up on shore, which simply doesn’t look right. In the binoculars I see that it’s at an odd angle, with the right stern corner awash. I alter course and pull in for a close look. It’s quickly apparent that this boat has been there for a considerable length of time. It’s tied to the bank, with a “no trespassing” sign on its stern. The canvass is in tatters, and there appears to be a hole in the hull. No emergency here, so we continue on.

New friends Dave and Suzanne

Halls Creek has a rather wide entrance, and it twists and turns its way for half a mile or so off the main lake. The mouth is flanked by steep chalk bluffs, but the geology changes once inside, and craggy metamorphic rock cliffs take over. The last turn opens up into a quiet pool, with steep timbered sides. I set the anchor in its center, and use my trip line rig for the first time on the cruise. I’m concerned about the bottom here (possible logs or rocks). After I shut the engine down, we can hear the faint tinkle of the inlet stream, a few hundred yards away. We barbque hamburgers for dinner, and then go for a dinghy ride, using the kicker motor. The motion of the dinghy puts a little breeze in our faces. The air is warm, still and humid, so this artificial breeze is most welcome. I bring my little spinning rod along and manage to catch a small 16 inch walleye. Walleye fillet is once again in our frig.

Derelict boat near Inchilium
Anchorage at the head of Hall Creek

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