Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Lady of the Lake to Stehekin

On Wednesday in late September, Marsha, Havazelet, Nava and I traveled up to Stehekin and back to Chelan on the Lady of the Lake.   We departed at 8:30 and had to be at the office at 8, so we got up early enough to see a beautiful sunrise from our balcony reflected on the western hills and the lake.

The ride north took 4 hours and we had 90 minutes to explore the Stehekin area.  We departed Stehekin at 2 and got back around 6 p.m.  Prior to Sept. 15, we could have paid extra and taken the fast boat up in order to have 3 hours to explore Stehekin and then enjoy the leisure ride back to see the hills on both sides of the lake.
Below you can see the general location of Stehekin, though the map is not exactly drawn to scale.
I took the photo below as we boarded the boat.  A person behind us was a bit grumpy that we paused briefly to take the photo.
 Topographical map of Lake Chelan below

As we headed north, we saw different views along our right side. Below you can see homes on the hill, many summer homes, and a hotel on the beach. 
 Grape vineyards dot the hills.
 Sometimes we saw rugged rocks on the shore line.
 The same bird kept us company on the way up and also on the way back!
 Trees grow on the rocky hillsides.
 Our lodgings at Wapato Point in Manson with the semi-barren hills above.

 Heading north-ish on the lake.
 From the back of the boat.
 Two cute twin homes on the western side of the lake, zoomed in.
 I was fascinated by the line of trees on top of the hill in the background.
 Amazing cloud formation behind us...
Note the fire damage from the summer Chelan fires of 2015.  We saw a number of sites with such damage.
 Fall colors below.
 We made several stops.  Here people were loading luggage to travel to Stehekin,

 Rugged foothills in front of the Western Cascades
View as we headed up lake to Stehekin
The picture below almost looks like a painting.
 A sea plane flying overhead.
 Trees growing out of a rocky area with fall colors of leaves close to the ground.
 Crew from the Lady of the Lake bringing 50+ pound salt licks to the wild animals there.  They do it once or twice a season.  The animals prefer the dark red to the ivory colored licks.
 The metal horizotal track was the way that the crew deboarded and got on again.
 Beautiful reflection of the trees and hillside in the lake.
 Our boat after it landed in Stehekin.  It can hold about 240 passengers.

 Our boat from the stores above.  Note the snow/glacier in the distance.
We had less than 90 minutes in Stehekin so we chose to walk around and not go on the 60+ minute bus trip to the Rainbow Falls waterfall (which was not very interesting at this time of year) and the bakery.  We walked along the lake and also went into the general store and visitors' center.

Stehekin is an Indian name meaning "the way through." as it was on one of the few travel routes through the North Cascades. Today about 90 people live here year round.

We headed a bit north out of town to see the McKellar Cabin and go on a trail, which marked the plants as well as the cabin and its history.


A backyard generator
Above is an example of a backyard generator. Water wheels and gas-powered generators helped early Stehekin residents to have power before it was available in 1963.

The water wheel above was originally on Devore Creed and used by Daisy Weaver to generate electricity for about 15 lights in her homestead across the lake at Weaver Point.  Several other small generators at the Stehekin Landing were powered by water from Purple Creek.  Today the majority of the valley's electricity is generated by a larger wheel on Company Creek, 4.5 miles up valley.
 Nice path along the short trail:

Below center right is the cabin and to the left is the outhouse.
The outhouse below.
Marsha entering the cabin:
Inside the cabin:

My father was a big fan of Henry Jackson.  I had not realized that Jackson was an outdoorsman and helped establish the North Cascades National Park.

North of the lake one can see glaciers in the mountains.

View from a bit north of Stehekin looking south.

Story of the original hotel in Stehekin
 Bear proof garbage cans with latch under raised handle for opening.

We then walked back to the tiny center of town, shopped a bit, and then while Marsha sat and chatted, we walked a bit and also went into theNational Park Service information center and town natural history museum.  It had some great information, and I could have stayed another 15 minutes to read it all, but we had to board our boat for the return trip to Chelan.b

As we got back to our resort, we watched a beautiful sunset, the end of a lovely day trip.

That night we had dinner at the Wapato winery and enjoyed each others' company.