Organ Pipe National Park

Organ Pipe National Park

About Me

I purchased "Sadie''s House On Wheels "in late 2007 and loved traveling in a motor home so much that I went on the road full time in late 2008. I started writing this blog to help me remember all the wonder places I have been and it allows me to share those places with my family and friends. Summer of 2013 I decided to hang up the keys for a while and moved back into my stick house. After nearly two years, I am on the road again.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Lake Chelan, September 14-15

On the way to Lake Chelan, we stopped at the little town of Winthrop.  It used to be mining and logging town , but now it has morphed into a western style  town with false  western fronts and wooden sidewalks located along the Chuwuch River. Everything was really smokey from all of the fires near Wanatchee and Lake Chelan.

 Joel's motto:
 That's a live squirrel advertising the pet area.

We continued on to Chelan with the idea we would park at the ferry parking lot.  The Lady of the Lake makes daily cruises to the little village of Stehekin at the very end of the lake.   We checked on the parking and were told although we could park overnight the city ordinance prohibited any over night camping on any street, parking lot etc. and apparently they were very strict.  We turned around and ended up parking at the casino in Manson, a few miles away.  I call Chelan the city of "no".  No parking, No swimming in the lake, no skate boards, no RVs, etc.  Not really RV friendly.  They want you to stay in the city, county, and state parks for big bucks.  Lake Chelan is about 52 miles long and the road ends on the south shore after about 25 miles at a state park.

Lake Chelan National Recreation Area is located at the end of the lake and Stehekin is considered a gateway to wilderness. The cruise to Stehekin turned out to be a really relaxing day.  The only thing that would have made it better would have been clear skys.  Due to the fires, it was really smokey and everyone was complaining about it. The only way to get to the village of Stehekin is by boat, plane, or hiking in.  The Pacific Crest Trail crosses about 10 miles from the village.

The Lady of the Lake ferry.
 Once we arrived at Stehekin, we took the bus a few short miles up to rainbow falls.  Later we found out we could have rented bikes and road up to the falls for the same price as the bus or we could have taken a shuttle to the end of the road and rode bikes back to the landing.  We only had a three hour layover before returning to Chelan, which really wasn't long enough.  Rainbow Falls is 312 feet high and usually flows a lot bigger, but it has been dry.  We were told most of the mountain tops usually had some snow at this time of year, but there isn't any.  The cascades, which we drove through the other day had 1/4 the snow they usually have.
 The bus driver said he rarely uses the bike racks on the front. A ranger on the short 45 minute tour talked about the residents of the village and how they survive. Most only go into Chelan when necessary and provisions are brought in by barge, boat, or sea plan. We later visited the Golden West Visitor Center which the remaining part of an old hotel, one of the major draws to the town. People come here to camp and enjoy the quite. There is no TV, cell, or internet coverage, so if you want to get away from it all, this might be just the place.

The Stehekin Landing.  See how smokey it is 
 One of the ways to arrive at Stehekin.  This plane makes regular drop offs and pick ups during the day.
 We look back at Stehekin as we leave. There are numerous beautiful hiking trails leaving from Stehekin so it would be nice to return someday and explore them...when there is no smoke.  We were told the ferry runs all year and that it is beautiful in the winter time.
The smoke had cleared somewhat as we arrived back in Chelan.
 Mid day with all of the smoke.
We left Chelan for our next stop in Quincy, Washington which is near Crescent Bar on Saturday.  Joel's daughter called and the doctors have induced labor and her water has broken, so Joel should have a new grandson soon.  More to come.

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