Our summer 2012 RV trip to Michigan travel blog

A Methow Valley farm

The Methow River

The Columbia River

Wells Dam

Don Morse Park in Chelan has a skateboard park,

A go-cart ride,

An 18-hole all putting golf course,

A swimming beach,

And Lakeshore RV Park

Local Myth Pizza, recommended by the Ace hardware store lady

The Lady Express

She can move out, cruising at 28 mph

The luggage hold

The east shore is more rugged

The end of Lake Chelan at Stehekin

The shuttle bus to Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls from the lower viewing area

There is so much water coming over the falls that at the...


View of the lake from our lunch spot


The water is so clear

Mr. mule deer crossed the road right in front of me

Followed by Mrs. deer

As Richard patiently waits for me

Ranger Chris talks on mule deer

Stehekin store

Passengers at Lucerne Landing, some had been at Holden Village

Loading the luggage


Vineyard near Manson

Wapato Point

Fields Point Landing

The rugged east shore

25 Mile Creek State Park

The narrows

A pretty nice house

An interesting house

Passengers waiting at Fields Point Landing

The end of the road on the west shore

And the west shore is rugged uplake

More snowy mountains

And waterfalls

The end of the Lake Chelan

A glacier

The house was really built by someone named Jack, now it is...

Waves against the shore

Railroad Creek

A waterfall on the east shore

Quite a paint job

We took Route 153 to follow the Methow River Valley down to Route 97 toward Chelan. The Valley is very narrow and the road winds a lot crossing and re-crossing the river. At Pateros we turned south following the Columbia River till we turned on 97A toward Chelan. There are basaltic cliffs on both sides of the river which, instead of being fast-flowing, is a chain of lakes behind dams all the way past Wenatchee.

Chelan’s main street had road construction. We turned the wrong way and found it difficult to turn around. Then we drove past the entrance to Lakeshore RV Park and had to turn around again. Even with all that, we arrived too early. When Lakeshore says 2 PM is check-in time, it is and not a moment before. We had to pay $2 in the day use area. But it gave us an opportunity to walk around Don Morse Park. Both evenings we stayed at Lakeshore we played the 18-hole, all putting golf course. Did I mention that there are a lot of children in this park?

The next day was our boat ride uplake to Stehekin. Lake Chelan is a remnant of the Ice Ages. Scoured out of the mountains by glaciers, it is one of the deepest lakes in the region, more than 1500 feet deep in at least one area, which places its bed at 400 feet below sea level. It is 50 miles long but quite narrow, and the mountains rising from its shores give it the appearance of a Norwegian fjord. We had a beautiful day for our journey.

The road around the lake ends at Manson on the east shore and just beyond 25 Mile Creek State Park on the west shore so the only way to get people or things to Lucerne and Stehekin is by boat, barge, small airplane or walking. So the Lady Express and the Lady of the Lake II are working as well as tourist vessels. We took the Express (2 hours) uplake and the slow boat to China back (4 hours).

Stehekin has about 85 permanent residents scattered over nine miles of the valley. Surviving and providing for the physical needs of life is primary here. There is wood to gather, gardens to tend, repairs to be made, and snow to shovel. Since there aren’t a lot of convenience foods, food preparation takes time. Employment is through the National Park Service, school teacher, postmaster or power plant operator. And there are a lot of seasonal workers. A barge service brings fuel, building supplies, household goods, vehicles and a variety of other large items. Smaller items such as groceries are brought on the passenger boat. We saw a lot of toilet paper.

We learned of a place called Holden Village that can only be reached from Lucerne Landing after a 12 mile bus ride. Holden was originally a mining town. When the mine closed in 1957 the property was left to the Lutheran Church. It is now a family retreat center welcoming people of all ages, races, faiths and lifestyles so says its brochure. It is open all year. Worship forms the core of the Village’s daily schedule but there is also ample opportunity to explore the adjacent Glacier Peaks Wilderness. Summer programs include a broad array of presenters such as theologians, artists, scientists, poets, economists, musicians and others who volunteer their time to elicit lively conversation. Guests can choose to explore the arts: pottery, weaving, papermaking, needlecraft, drawing and painting.

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