Visiting Lake Chelan

We didn’t get up early on last Saturday as we all decided to sleep in to 8 am. During our breakfast, we were talking about what to do today and Alan suddenly told us that we were taking a road trip to Lake Chelan. Both Korinne and I were so excited for this trip as we passed through the City of Chelan many years ago when we did our North Cascade trip alone. I always wanted to go back there, and Alan helped me manifest it.

Lake Chelan is a narrow, 50.5-mile (81.3 km) long lake in Chelan County, in north-central Washington state created by a receding glacier. Before 1927, it was the largest natural lake in the state by any measure. Upon the completion of Lake Chelan Dam in 1927, the elevation of the lake was increased by 21 feet to its present maximum-capacity elevation of 1,100 feet. The City of Chelan and Manson are the two primary communities and lie on the southern end of the lake, straddling the entrance to the Chelan River, at far north end of the lake is the community of Stehekin providing a gateway to the North Cascades National Park. Stehekin is a small unincorporated town in Chelan County, Washington, and has only 75 permanent residents. There is no road access to Stehekin. It is only reachable by passenger ferry (the Lady of the Lake) from Chelan, by private boat, by foot over Cascade Pass from the north, by floatplane, or by small aircraft via a turf airstrip open from June through September. The vehicles in Stehekin, which has 22 miles of road around the community have been barged 50 miles from Lake Chelan on the southern end.

We decided to go to the southern end of the lake first and stay in the City of Chelan or Manson overnight, then take an early Ferry to Stehekin on the northern end of the lake. It is a 2.5-hour one-way trip by the fast-ferry going about 12 mph and 4-hour one-way trip on the slow ferry, respectively. We chose to take the fast boat 2.5-hour trip up-lake to Stehekin at 8:30 am in the morning which allowed us to have a 3-hour layover for site-seeing at Stehekin, then to take the 4-hour slow-boat trip back the City of Chelan where we parked our car. The beautiful scenes along the lake as we slowly made our way up and back was incredible.

It was about a 200-mile drive one way from our house to the City of Chelan. Although we made the decision on a spur of the moment and were fully unprepared, we managed to pack our clothes quickly and hit the road in about 45 minutes. At 8:40 am the three of us were ready and we backed out of our garage about 8:45 am. When we got on interstate 90, Korinne started to buy the next day ferry tickets from the City of Chelan to Stehekin. After she bought the ferry tickets, she started to book the hotel. Unfortunately, all the hotels were fully booked due to the peak summer season, but we went there anyway because we knew from our past experiences that we would find a hotel to stay. I did a prayer to ask Spirit to provide us a room to stay one night and then let go and let God.

We took I-90 and then US 97 to the City of Chelan, it was a beautiful scenic route. We arrived in the City of Chelan around 12:30 pm in the afternoon. Korinne continued to search, but all hotels showed no vacancy. Alan took us to the town of Manson which was about 8 miles driving distance from the City of Chelan on the southern end of the lake across from Chelan. On the way to Manson, we drove beside apple orchard after apple orchard. The apple trees were right beside the road, and I was able to practically touch and see all the different types of apples. The apples were vibrant and beautiful. Alan stopped the car many times and allowed me to take closeup pictures of all the different types of apples.

As we drove through both cities on the southern shore, all of the places to stay had no vacancy signs reaffirming Korinne’s fruitless internet searches to find us a place to stay. After making a leisurely drive through the apple orchards, the seeming impossible happened, we spotted a resort that the sign said vacancy, so we drove into the Wapato resort hoping lady-luck was shining on us. Alan and I went to the front desk where a young lady searched frantically through her computer system and to her surprise found us a last-minute cancellation, so our prayers and positive thoughts manifested, and we had a place to stay for a night. It was a beautiful room with a view overlooking Lake Chelan, with a private beach and a swimming pool with a hot tub right outside the condo building our room was in.

After we unpacked everything in our room, it was already 2:30 pm and so we went out for a late lunch in the City of Chelan. We walked through the small town, and picked a restaurant called BC McDonald’s randomly and sat at a nice table overlooking the lake. We enjoyed a simple but pleasant and delicious lunch. Because the lake is a glacial lake, the water there is so clean and natural, so the food also tasted clean, simple and delicious. I thoroughly enjoyed my Caesar Salad and soup.

We spent all day Sunday from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm on the Ferry and in the small community of Stehekin. Being surrounded by the most beautiful and clean water, immersing ourselves fully into nature is one of the most delicious treatments for ourselves. Here are a few pictures Korinne and I took; enjoy, I did!