To celebrate being done with my exam and spend some time with my family PC and I made the drive out to Lake Chelan for the weekend. We ventured through the beautiful and highly underrated North Cascades National Park on our way, which was filled with natural beauty every direction you looked, but I must say Lake Chelan is a natural wonder in itself, as it is over 1,500ft deep and 50 miles long. It is the third deepest lake in the country after Crater Lake and Lake Tahoe. Chelan is a popular vacation destination for Washingtonians and is nestled in mountains and surrounded by land that is used for growing fruits like apples, peaches, cherries and blueberries. Everyone thinks of Washington as being super rain but this part of the state is actually quite dry with about 12in of rainfall a year. Unfortunately the area was hit pretty badly by wildfires last year and you could still see some remnants of that on our way over.
There is a tiny town called Steihekin across the lake from Chelan, with a permanent population of only 100 people that is accessible by boat or hiking in, but not by road (sounds a little creepy/cool right?). There is a ferry that leaves from Chelan daily to go to Steihekin but the ride takes several hours one way. PC and I wanted to take the ferry, called Lady of the Lake, out to Steihekin and hike back to Chelan along a 17 mile trail but we just didn’t have the time, as it would be a two day venture where we would take the ferry out to Stehekin the first day and then leave early on the second day to hike back, so we will have to do that on our next trip to the area.
The house my family rented for the weekend was actually in Manson, a smaller town further down the lake coast than the city of Chelan. Manson is less commercial and crowded so I’m glad we stayed there instead. The house had a beautiful view of the lake and you could often see boats zooming around. The evening we arrived I went down to the beach and jumped in the lake to swim around a bit with my dad while PC helped my mom and aunt make dinner 🙂 The water in the lake is so clear and refreshingly chilly, but not too cold since the temps run in the 80s and 90s during the summer months, making a dip in the lake feel quite nice. When we got back from the lake we enjoyed a nice family dinner with a lake view.
Every morning PC and I woke up and went for a run around town. We like to run in the morning because it makes us start the day feeling accomplished. Its a good time to talk and enjoy each other’s company before we get into whatever shenanigans we have going on that day. After our morning run we went to a famous local breakfast place for our morning meal with my sister and cousin. The four of us order a giant streusel muffin as an appetizer when we arrived (now you’re wondering if appetizers at breakfast are a thing). We also sampled the blueberry juice. For my main course I got the blueberry blintzes.
They were featured in The Seattle Times as breakfast worth the drive. They were delicious but so rich, so I made PC trade me for some of the tasty hash browns and sausage he got with his more tradition cowboy breakfast.
The restaurant itself is located on a family owned berry farm where you can pick your own blueberries so of course we had to do that afterward. It was so much fun!!
We picked only the biggest juiciest blueberries – I’ve never seen such big ones.They tasted amazing and it was hard to stop picking.
Plus they were only $2.50/lb! I would say that Blueberry Hills is a must do if you are staying at Lake Chelan!
That afternoon we went to a few of the wineries in the area (there 30+ in Chelan) to do wine tasting, including Tildio and Hard Row 2 Hoe. Then we hit up Mystic Pizza in Chelan for some good pizza. Sun + wine + pizza = sleepiness so next it was time for a nap.
That night PC, my sister, my cousin and I made dinner for the family, including beer-boiled brats, hamburgers, corn on the cob, sweet potato fries and grilled asparagus. It was controlled chaos with all of us working on the meal but it was actually really fun! PC did a great job on the grill and I liked being his assistant. We made chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter s’mores cookies for dessert and we had a family game night. We played Blockus and Bananagrams, two fun ones.
The next morning we woke up and went for a run. When we got back PC and I shared some tasty sourdough toast with some of big juicy blueberries we had picked. That gave us the energy to go paddle boarding.
Paddle boarding is actually pretty hard work because you have to constantly use your muscles to stay balanced and not topple off your board into the water. Its especially hard when there are lots of boats on the lake making waves. I must say that PC did not love it – he look pretty terrified the whole time he was on his board! But he was a good sport. We tossed a little football around in the lake too, which he liked better.
After all that paddle boarding we needed some refreshment so we went to a local wine spot to have some chardonnay while playing cribbage, then hit up the brewery in Manson and final stopped at Rootdown Cidery for some delicious cider samplers.
Overall it was a fun trip to Lake Chelan, that went by too fast and we were sad to leave but we hope to back sometime in the near future!