Two weekends ago, Monday rolled around with a family offer to visit their campsite in Wenatchee, on the east side of the Cascade Mountains. I had never been able to join in on this nearly annual ritual that my extended family had been doing for years. Rob and I made it just past the afternoon before we decided to saddle up and make the 4.5 hour commute to Lincoln Rock State Park in Wenatchee. He drove our Ford Ranger of a chariot over the pass to be confronted with his first look at the eastern side of our beloved Washington State. He did a fantastic job for his first time behind the wheel in the Northwest – thank goodness his manual transmission driving skills far surpass mine!
We had a great time with my aunts, uncles, and cousins swimming in the Columbia River, playing in the sun, and relaxing in the shade. We hiked to the tip top of Turtle Island, wake boarded (attempted to in the very least), and intertubed along the river.
An exhausting couple of days in the extreme heat, and we moved on to our last-minute trip addition to Lake Chelan to visit some ship friends. We took a quick stop at the Rocky Reach Dam (very cool if you’re in the area), and captured some gorgeous views along the way.
Lake Chelan is the largest lake in the state, stretching 55 miles in length, and is deeper than 1400 ft (third deepest lake in the US) and I had never been there. Luckily our friends provided us the perfect excuse to get over there and see it finally! We met them at Vin du Lac winery, just beyond the small town of Chelan where we enjoyed some delicious entrees and wine with a fantastic view of the lake and surrounding hills.
From there we drove 19 miles to their family’s humble abode – a beautiful lakefront “cabin” with lovely decks, rooms, and views. Even just sitting there watching the moon rise was AMAZING.
We are so fortunate to have had the opportunity to enjoy such wonderful hospitality and company. They even had us jet skiing off their dock. We took it pretty easy though because neither of us fancied getting thrown off in the 25th deepest lake in the world. No saying what kind of creatures lurk beneath that surface!
Overall, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend visiting the town of Chelan unless you either know people over there; are taking a boat with you; or plan on wine-tasting at one or more of the multiple vineyards. Otherwise it’s a hot town that doesn’t offer much in the way of in-town entertainment, but it does have desperately beautiful scenery. As did most of the journey back to the west side. I love my state!