Lake Chelan — Come for Stehekin, Stay for the Wine!

Although the trip to the North Cascades Lodge in Stehekin was my “big birthday splurge,” it fell a few days short of my actual birthday.   So when my brother Don asked, “How would you like to celebrate your special day?” the first thing that came to mind was all the beautiful vineyards we had floated by on our boat tour up Lake Chelan. Continue reading

Down Lake, Stehekin to Chelan

There are many overnight options in Stehekin ranging from the luxurious cabins at the Silver Bay Inn, to “glamping” in tented camps at the Stehekin Ranch 20 minutes away from the boat launch.  There are also a few privately-owned “log cabin” options which include a van as transportation, but these were all way beyond my budget constraints.  The National Park Lodge seemed to be the “Goldilocks” of accommodations, offering Continue reading

Up Lake to Stehekin

I feel like I have started every blog post since early summer with “Back when I was here in 2014….”   This will be the last time I do this, as every stop from this point forward will be forging new territory.  But as I was saying….“Back when I was here in 2014,” I planned to explore the southern approach into the North Cascades National Park.    While touring the Newhalem Visitor Center, I learned of a town on the southern edge of the park, Stehekin, only accessible by hiking, float plane, or boat ride 50 miles up Lake Chelan. Continue reading

More to Explore in Winthrop, WA

I took an unexpected liking to the little town of Winthrop and it’s Pine Near Campground on my 2014 tour through the Pacific Northwest. I am not typically a fan of towns with an “Old West” theme…too much shtick. But something was different about Winthrop. It felt like authentic Western ambiance, with just enough tourism thrown in to make it convenient. A couple of well stocked outfitter stores, the Old Schoolhouse Brewery, and the cozy Rocking Horse Bakery offered Continue reading

The Best Things in Life Are Free — At Least in the North Cascades

Highway 20 is Washington State’s longest highway. Known as the North Cascades Scenic Highway and part of the Cascades Loop, it runs right through the heart of North Cascades National Park, earning its billing as “The most beautiful mountain highway in the state of Washington.” Continue reading

Speed Tour Around the OP

When I made the loop through the Olympic Peninsula back in 2014, the one thought I kept repeating in my head consistently was, “My brother Don would LOVE this place!”  We have always shared a similar love for the “beauty in the pathless woods” and the serenity of a “lonely shore.”

So although I had not planned on making the loop any further west than Port Townsend this year, once he decided to join me, I could not miss the opportunity to show him Continue reading

Slack Tide

I ended up staying my maximum allowed 14 days in the quaint little Point Hudson Marina.   Slowly throughout the day after the mass exodus following the Wooden Boat Festival, the marina began to come to life again as a new crew of RVers settled in and weekenders moored their yachts in my back yard.  Every day was spent Continue reading

Reflections

Through all my years of living in Manhattan, it always amazed me how the seasons were dictated by holiday weekends. Memorial Day marked the beginning of summer, and once Labor Day rolled around, the shorts and sandals were put away regardless of weather, lest you be mistaken for a tourist. It was back to “serious casual” clothing in the Financial District. No more Continue reading

Sail By on the Adventuress

The three-day Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival concludes on Sunday afternoon with a grand finale in an event known as the “Sail By.” For three hours from 2:00pm to 5:00pm, it’s a mass exodus of the sailing fleet as 300+ boats congregate in Port Townsend Bay for a festive informal parade.

In doing some research prior to the festival start, I somehow landed on the website for the Sound Experience, an environmental education and sail training program on Puget Sound aboard the historic schooner, the Adventuress. Sound Experience is a non-profit whose mission is “to educate, inspire, and empower an inclusive community to make a difference for the future of our marine environment.” The Adventuress was offering a three hour passenger sail during the Sail By, and it was listed as one of the best vantage points for viewing this end of festival celebration. And so I splurged. Continue reading

A Closer Look Inside the Wooden Boat Festival

I spread out the three day seminar program from the Wooden Boat Festival to plan my weekend with low expectations.   Not being exactly skilled in working with my hands, I didn’t have much interest in learning laminating  techniques or tying thump mats, though some of the tech sessions like Maintenance of a Diesel Engine could have transferred over to RVing.  Still, I anticipated that most of my time at the festival would be spent outdoors, going from boat to boat Continue reading