Wednesday, July 25, 2012

On the banks of Lake Chelan

We’re on our way back to Portland for a second family/friends visit. As I write, however, we're spending the night at Lewis-McChord Air Force Base Travel Camp north of Olympia, WA, where we stayed a few weeks ago.  Since we've been without an internet connection for a few days, here's a recap of what we've been up to:
After we left Leavenworth, WA, we went north because Jim wanted me to see the tiny town of Steheken, WA.  Steheken is on beautiful 55-mile long Lake Chelan, the third deepest lake in the US (after Crater Lake and Lake Tahoe) and the 9th deepest lake in the world. Steheken is accessible only by air, water or foot, and in the early 1990’s Jim and Season hiked there with some friends.  They did an 18-mile, two day trek up one side of a mountain and down the other into Steheken, which has about 85 full-time residents.  
Jim’s plan this time was to reach Steheken via boat, so we booked a campground on Lake Chelan to explore the options.  Getting to the campground turned out to be somewhat problematic.  First, an unexpected detour took us on the wrong side of another big lake.  Then we went to the wrong campground.  But we finally got where we supposed to be:  Twenty-Five Mile Creek Campground on the Lake Chelan’s west side.  And I can now emphatically state that we have finally stayed at a place that didn’t meet Bev's low campground/motel standards, so you know it’s not good.  But we arrived, we were safe, and we were still speaking to each other.  Life is good.  And -- we got to take a boat to Steheken.  What a gem.  We’d like to take the ferry to Steheken next year and stay a week.
Our campsite (we're in the middle in the photo above) at Twenty-Five Mile Creek Campground.  It’s a dirt, weeds and gravel lot and our tent neighbors were party animals.  But it’s on beautiful Lake Chelan and just three miles from where we took the ferry to Steheken.
These alpacas docked at the campground.  They were going to carry supplies to a Forest Service ranger.
A photo in sore need of a really great caption. Any takers?
The day before we went to Steheken, we walked around the 
town of Chelan, at  the south tip of Lake Chelan. It has 
wineries, resorts and beautiful scenery.

The view towards Steheken from the boat.  Thirty families 
(85 people) live in Steheken year round. In the summer 
the population gets up to about 300 people. Steheken is 
Native American for “the way through” and the area 
provided an east-west passage way through the Cascade 

The view as the boat pulls in to Steheken.  We took the red 
bus on the left for a short tour narrated by both a ranger 
and the bus driver; along the way we stopped at a water 
fall and a bakery. That’s my kind of tour. The bus driver 
told us she’d recently married the lodge's chef; we were 
in a gift shop later where we heard him call the bakery 
and ask if he could borrow four lemons and to please 
send them down the mountain with his wife.

Rainbow Falls, the water fall we got to see on 
the bus tour.

Bev at a stop on Imus Trail, a short Steheken trail.

A sea plane takes off from Lake Chelan.  The water
really was this green.

Bev on the boat.  We took a fast boat to Steheken; the
trip took an hour and forty minutes.  We came back
on a larger, slower boat, which took two hours and
forty-five minutes. The small boat can carry up to
150 people and the bigger, slower one can carry 285


  1. "This isn't anything like the brochure said it would be!"

  2. Looks like you guys are having a blast!

    I'd love to feature this post on our Northwest-based site. Email me for details!

    shondra (at) dwellable (dot) com