After all of the travel articles I have written, you would think I do not like staying at home. Actually I live in one of the most beautiful recreation regions of the world (doesn’t everyone say that!) on one of the longest and deepest fresh water lakes in the United States. Maybe I travel a lot so I can better appreciate Chelan County when I get back home. To give you a geography lesson, I actually live in the lake community of Chelan, at the foot of Lake Chelan which is the gateway to the North Cascades National Park. My court is located about 35 miles south in Wenatchee which is on the Columbia River. If you draw a line from Seattle to Spokane on a map and put your finger at the midpoint, you will be in Wenatchee. The county is on the eastern slope of the Cascade mountain range so we are spared the rainy seasons of Seattle and the pacific coast.
Lake Chelan is crystal clear with abundant recreation alternatives. You can boat, fish, hike, sky dive, tour wineries, parasail, white water raft, golf, and eat world famous Chelan apples. As the chamber of commerce tells it, there are 101 things to do. For a complete look check out www.ComeToTheLake.com. By a click on their website they will be happy to send you the 101 Things To Do in the Lake Chelan Valley magazine or call 1-800-424-3536.
Access to the eastern entrance (Stehekin) of the North Cascades National Park is by going to the upper end of Lake Chelan. You can get there only by boat or float plane. Three different boats are available in the summer. You can check out the options at www.ladyofthelake.com. Upper Lake Chelan is compared to a Norwegian fjord and is a gorgeous day trip, or there are over night accommodations and great camping. You can enter the park from Western Washington on an easy drive from Seattle via Arlington or Mount Vernon. You would then cross the magnificent North Cascades Highway (SR 20) to the western theme town of Winthrop (www.winthropwashington.com) in the Methow Valley and then south to Chelan. http://www.north.cascades.national-park.com. The following website will provide some great photos and a tantalizing look at this unique mountain park: http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np.north-cascades.html
An interesting two or three day road trip to visit the park and Lake Chelan, is to follow the Cascade Loop, which takes you from Seattle over the North Cascades Pass, then to Lake Chelan, on to Wenatchee and returning with a visit to the Bavarian theme city of Leavenworth, and finally to Seattle over Stevens Pass. Information on this alternative is available at www.cascadeloop.com.
The next time you are in the Pacific Northwest I hope you will spend a few extra days and enjoy some of most majestic scenery in the world. Now, why do I go traveling all the time?
(Published in the Winter 2008 issue of the ABA JD Record)