Lakeshore Trail, Lake Chelan WA,- Vid now included - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-12-2007, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Default Lakeshore Trail, Lake Chelan WA,- Vid now included

Just got back from this 4 day trip and I have to resize the phots and work on the actual TR.
Great weather, great scenery and a great time.I'll add it altogether a little later as I have many things on the go right now.
Here are a few 'teasers' though



Dusty

.... back at it! ....
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-12-2007, 11:58 AM
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I'm planning this great future trip, but I haven't worked out all the details yet, but I'll keep you posted.

Here's a little 'teaser' though:

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-12-2007, 12:38 PM
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Sorry DB, I couldn't resist. I like your pics and I'm looking forward to reading the trip report.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-12-2007, 09:25 PM
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Quit teasin'

Can't wait for the TR to come out later.
4 day trip? wow! This is gonna be great!
The mountains are calling.....[^]
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 10-14-2007, 02:18 AM Thread Starter
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I've been wanting to do this trip for a number of years, since it 1st showed up on my radar screen, close to 8 years ago. Part of it's appeal to me was the fact that you had to take a 'water taxi' up lake, do the 18 mile hike and then board the water taxi, to go back down lake.

Things transpired over the years and I was unable to do this hike, for one reason or another. This past winter, I said this is the year to put a 'stroke' through a number of hikes I'd been wanting to do.
I had originally thought to do this as a Spring hike, as being located in the Southern part of the Okanagan Valley of Washington state, anything after the beginning of May, makes it too hot to do, until Fall. I then considered the high probability of getting Ticks, a busier trail and I decided that Fall would be more appropriate.
I had originally asked my pal Allen, if he wanted to join me. He did, but had just sold his house and wouldn't be in this part of the country.(He and his wife are currently in New Brunswick, to live out their retirement years)

I posted an invite and got a couple of bites. After some thought, one decided that the amount of unfinished work on her plate was too great, to allow her the time needed for the trip. Another said he was committed, but bailed a couple of days prior to departure, on account of the weather forecast,(40-50% POP) despite my assuring him that we'd be on the 'dry side' of the Cascades. I'll admit that the weather forecast for Stehekin, influenced me to second guess some of my gear choices and as a result, I ended up with a heavier than normal pack. I was just over 40lbs, including food, fuel and water, for my planned 4days/3 nights. I was also christening a new pack, so it's ability to handle this amount of weight was an unknown.(It worked out just fine!)

So, I headed south on Saturday, Oct 6, bound for Chelan, namely Lake Chelan Sate Park, to take it easy and catch the water taxi up lake on the Monday. I was actually a little relieved that I was going solo, as that is my preferred 'style', having no agenda to fulfill, except what I felt like doing, when I felt like it. Soloists, know what I mean.

After a short stop at my US mailing address in Oroville, I soon arrived at the State Park and began looking for a suitable site. This time of year, the park closes off half of it's campground and the tent sites are a terraced affair and cost $19/night. It took a while to find one that was suitable and I soon had 'camp' set up and 'chillaxin', watching out over Lake Chelan and the arid hills of Manson, on the far side. Very similar to what is in my area of BC, even the weather, for this time of year. Warmish temps, with scudding clouds, that give 'life' to the terrain, by means of 'lighting'.
I also watch the 'life blood' of the lake(The Lady of the Lake II), which is the 'water taxi' that will ferry me to my starting point, at Prince Creek, 36 miles up lake from Chelan. Almost every time I look up lake, towards the area I'll be starting the hike, there are ominous clouds hanging over the peaks, although no rain falls in the valley.






On Sunday, I decide to go and explore the area a bit and drive some of the local byways, just cruising and taking in the local charm the area has to offer. I head out a coulee and end up turning up the Entiat Valley, checking out future 'possibles'. I end up in Wenatchee, where I have lunch and pick something up for a friend. I head back and decide to book my passage on the Lady II($39) in advance.. I find out that if I catch the Lady II from Field's Point Landing, travel time on the water is reduced by 1.25 hours, each way. I pay for my fare at the main office and head back to camp. Again, the skies are threatening up lake, so I prepare for the chance of rain, so I can pack up a dry tent and get an early start.



As night falls, the winds pick up from the NW and I busy myself adjusting the tension of the tarp and add my trekking poles on the windward side, as the large tarp makes an excellent 'sailcloth'.
I know that with winds like that, came a change in the weather. hopefully, not for the worse.

Monday dawns clear and I hasten to break camp and head to Field's Point, pay the $18 parking fee($6/night) for the 3 nights I plan to be up lake.
There are close to 15 people waiting, as the Lady pulls up to the dock. We board and I am directed to place my pack on the bow of the ship and I soon find out that a father and son are getting off at Prince Creek as well.
I wander inside and idly watch the shore slip by and marvel at the very large burn areas, as we cruise up lake at 15 mph, the twin diesels, throbbing away. This area is prone to many forest fires, mainly caused by lightning strikes. Due to the steep, rugged terrain, suppression is very difficult.
I am surprised at the number of private 'cabins', that appear along the precipitous shoreline, as we head towards the heart of the Cascades. I listen as the Captain tells the passengers that Lake Chelan is the 3rd deepest lake in the US @ 1,486' deep(behind Crater Lake OR 1,932' and Lake Tahoe CA 1,645') and the deepest Gorge in North America, at a depth of 8,631'!
After close to 2 hours, the ship slows and I'm told to get ready to go ashore, as we pull in towards shore by Prince Creek. I though the Captain overshot the dock at Prince Creek, but he heads the ship directly to shore, running her aground, as the crew hand lowers a gang plank off the bow of the ship and the engines rev higher, running further ashore as I can feel the ship's hull hitting/grinding onto rocks/boulders below and the gang plank is firmly rammed aground, almost on the trail! [:0] What service. [8D]
The three of us get off at approximately 11.30. The Lady of the Lake II, pulls herself off the shoreline and heads on, up lake, it's final destination, Stehekin, in the North Cascades NP.
The father asks if I would take their photo and tells me they plan on doing the hike with just one overnight camp, catching the Lady in Stehekin, for her return trip at 2pm. I told them that I plan to take my time, taking it easy and spend 3 nights, enjoying what the trail has to offer. I don't see the wisdom in racing through. He informs me he has to be back for work, in Portland, I think to myself, why bother then, but I then remember that most Americans only get 2 weeks of vacation time. [V] I am sure glad I get 8! [^]
They race off and I wish I had gotten them to take my photo but shrug that off, while I adjust pack and poles. I soon start and after a few minutes, catch up to them and soon pass them as they stop to mess with either a GPS or something. As I pass by, the father says to me "you're doing well". I mumble to him "I've done this a time or two before. It isn't until I take a break an hour later for some pics, snack and a smoke, that they rush by and I never see them again. I make my way to the nights camp at Meadow Creek Shelter, choosing to bypass Cascade Creek Camp.





Just after I pass the trail to Cascade Creek Camp, I hear the Lady II, heading back down lake, after stopping off at Lucerne(accessible only by boat), which is close to the ongoing Domke Lake Complex wildfire.



After 3 1/2 hours and 7.5 miles(12.5k) of leisurely hiking(besides 1 set of 7-8 switchbacks), I come to Meadow Creek Shelter. Not many level spots to pitch a tent, so I choose to pitch my TarpTent inside the shelter.



I'm not overly impressed with this camp area and wonder if I should have stopped to check out the Cascade Creek camp instead.
After a good night's sleep, I awake to temps of 10* and soon pack up and head off. Moore's Point Shelter, my next stop, is only 3.5 miles(5.7k) distant. I hope it is better than this one.
Again, as I make my way along the undulating trail, lollygagging in the burns, I curse myself for opting not to bring a pair of convertible pants, as it is fairly warm. I am wearing a pair of MEC Rad pants and a midweight, zip neck top. It's another glorious day and I'm free from all my 'urban' thoughts and beginning to 'tune in' to my surroundings. I'm surprised at the lack of wildlife. Even songbirds are lacking. Other than a big heap of old bear scat on the trail, shortly after I got of the ship, and some old cougar scat, no evidence of large mammals, or ungulates.



I had a little break in an old burn, to have a snack/drink/smoke and shortly after getting underway again, scare up a pair of Mule deer and watch them for close to 2 minutes, as they 'hop' their way to 'safety'. Soon after that I spot Moore's Point below me and soon start descending down some switchbacks and come within earshot of Fish Creek. I notice a series of quite extensive rock 'fences' or walls. As I come to a junction and the bridge over Fish Creek, I keep to the left section of the trail that heads toward the lake and Moore's Point. Again I pass evidence of what was a pretty massive undertaking. An old water main, with the wood 'pipe' rotted away, leaving just the spiral wire hoops, that bound the wood together, heading down towards the lake and what was once Moore's Inn(built in 1869), the 1st hotel in the upper lake. As all buildings on the lake. It was built on an alluvial fan and was flooded out in 1948, by a large debris flow, when Fish Creek was diverted by a large debris flow. It eventually burned down in 1957. It must have been quite the sight, as terraced rock walls are visible around the area, along with must only have been a lawn bowling or tennis court area.
There are 2 camping areas here. Just before you reach Moore's point, there is a trail that takes you to the Old Orchard camp, as well as the more developed, main camping area, that's also for boaters. It includes a shelter, many picnic tables and numerous outhouses. You could easily set 100 tents up in the main camping area and not feel crowded.
It took me a while to choose a suitable spot, as the wind was starting to blow. I found a nice spot, tucked in and protected by some bushes and trees, close to the new outhouse and not far from the shelter.




I did some exploring around the area, while collecting downed wood for a fire that night. There's lots available, despite it being a popular stop over spot. Actually while I was sitting around the campfire that night, I detected a strong, fetid odour, that smelt like feces and dead carcass. It took a couple of minutes before I remembered what the stench was and I got up off the picnic table , talking loudly, stating that I was one mean MF'er and a real badass and would whip any bear's ass, any day. Within a minute, or two, the smell was gone! No, I don't carry any spray, although I do have some bear bangers, which were sitting at home, until I find a good 'holster'/sheath/case, to carry them on my pack. Any suggestions?

After a while, I went to bed and I was awake at 4:30am, when I heard a strange noise, coming from the direction of Fish Creek. The sound is hard to describe, but I would say it definitely was 'mechanical' in origin. Kind of reminded me of a cross between a wind chime and a xylophone. Strange indeed.
Was this my 'sixth sense' coming alive, again? I seem to hear/see things that have happened in the past. I pick up on these 'power spots', most of them spiritual in nature and usually when I'm alone, as other people distract me from 'tuning in'. (read my report in my Salt Creek Canyon TR, or with RM after we did the Grand Canyon, for an example.) Still can't figure out what it was, although I heard it 4 times distinctly and the direction was from where the old Moore's Inn, used to stand. [8)] [8D] {I was told by a psychic , that I had many past lives, at least 20, she said. Could be why I seem to be such a 'conduit'. I know I'm leaving myself wide open to the critics, but how else can you explain these ... 'happenings'! I used to wonder about it and why me, but now I just accept it.
The next time I woke up, I heard the pitter patter of a light rain. Nothing serious, as it was intermittent.
I slept until 7:30, when nature forced me to get up. I retrieved my food bag and started breakfast, then a slow pack-up of camp, packing my pack under the protection of the old shelter.
I lingered around and the sprinkles now turned into a light, steady rain. I donned some gaitors and my rain pants/jacket and hit the trail. Today's destination is Flick Creek Shelter(location of a large burn in 2006), which was another whopping 4 miles(7k) distant!
En route, I would be ascending to the trails highest elevation, at Hunt's Bluff. An elevation gain of roughly 300m. I figured that it would be a good test for the rain gear, as there is a fair amount of low bushes/grasses along the trail. Perfect for wetting out your rain gear! We'll see how my new full side zip Marmot PreCip pants and my Teva Elements Trail Jacket would work under a telling trial. Warmish weather, elevation gain and a 'steady' rain, from a 'sweater' like me, under those conditions. [:I]
It turned out the pants didn't have any moisture build-up in them at all. I was very pleased with them. My jacket, however didn't fair as well, as I did get a little 'clammy' underneath it, wearing a MEC silk weight, crew neck top and the jacket's hood up. All in all though, not bad at all considering the heat I generate under load, in those conditions.
Not long after I started out for Flick Creek, I was in an internal turmoil. Knowing that the Flick Creek area had been the scene of a bad burn in 2006, I considered hiking the extra 3.7 miles(6k) to Stehekin, as I didn't relish the thought of staying at a burnt out shelter and it was raining. I'd have to hustle to cover the 8 miles(12,9k) in order to reach Stehekin, before the Lady II reached there and took off. If I didn't make it in time, I'd have to wait till the next day for my ride back down lake. Here's the turmoil part. I was set on having a cheeseburger and a pint at the lodge there. I figured I could make it in time for my ride, but [i[not the burger[/i]! [V]
So, I was hustling along and I made it the 4 miles(7k), up and over Hunt's bluff, to the cut off to Flick Creek Shelter in 1.25 hours. Shortly before nearing the shelter, it had quit raining. There's an old 'Okanagan saying' - "rain by 7, gone by 11"
I debated on whether or not I should veer off the trail, the short distance to check it out. My curiosity won out and I took the short path to the shelter. Boy, I'm glad I did.
It was a nice shelter, superbly located on a jut of land, amongst water and old forest. There were also some great ledges right in front, for swimming/diving off from, during hot summer months![^]
Although located in a burn, it had been spared the ravages of fire by the fire fighters. After 2 minutes there, I knew that this was 'home' for the night. There was a nice dock and beautiful views, up and down lake, although the mountains high above Stehekin, were still shrouded in dark clouds. I had as of yet to see them! [V]
More than once had the thought crossed my mind, that those mountains above Stehekin, reminded me of the shots of Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings I was also within sight of the end of the lake. I soon had a rope strung up, drying some wet gear, having a mug of Hot Chocolate and checking out my new digs. It was a relatively small site, with only 1 tent site. I, however chose to erect my Double Rainbow, inside the shelter to dry, protected from wind and any further rain. Not too long after, the Lady II was steaming by. I thought I'd kill some time playing cards, as I packed them along, but ... well, you'll see.




Night was falling and again the winds picked up and really blowing, turning the lake into frothy whitecaps. Hmm, another change in the weather. For dinner that night, I had instant potatoes and country style Turkey gravy. I also added 2 cans of flakes of turkey, that I had dehydrated, to 'beef up' the turkey content. It actually wasn't too bad! [:0]
After I cleaned up and out everything away in the food locker, I decided against having a campfire and instead brought out my MP3 player. Before long, I was singing along, quite loudly, I'm sure. Who's going to hear me. It kept the noise of the wind and waves down. The dock was creaking and moaning loudly. What's the matter with a little more 'moaning'? []
I was just sitting on the picnic table, looking out upon the lake and the darkness that enveloped it, when I noticed a 'mist with some 'figures'. gliding by, on the water. I strained my eyes to try and make it out. I could barely make out 12-15canoes with First Nations people aboard, heads down and paddling for all they were worth, while at the same time, keeping very quiet! I watched in silence as all the craft passed, knowing that I was having another one of my 'spiritual moments' It appeared to me, they were making a yearly pilgrimage to their wintering grounds, hurrying to keep ahead of winter. I felt like waving to them but I just 'nodded' and smiled.
The wind continued to howl and I was glasd I brought a heavier jacket to keep me warm.
I went to bed at 10pm and awoke in the morning, in time to catch the sun hit the surrounding peaks and finally catch sight of the peaks above Stehekin!
Seeing as I only have a 3.7 mile(6k) hike to Stehekin, to catch my ride back down lake, I spend time trying to capture the moment, before having breakfast and starting out for Stehekin, for my rendezvous the water taxi and a cheeseburger!






I left Flick Creek Shelter at 11am and arrived in Stehekin 5 minutes after the Lady of the Lake II had docked. I went and had my cheeseburger and beer and then had a few minutes to look around and talk with visitors and residents of Stehekin alike. . I was not prepared for how friendly everyone was. On the ship, in town, ... evryone would just walk up to you and engage you in conversation! [8D]
I noticed the plackard about the meaning of Stehekin and how the 1st nations peoples used this lake as a passage way and my 'vision' the night before, all makes sense now.
I barely made the return boarding, as I was busy conversing with some locals. [:I]
On the return trip back to field's Point, I took a couple more shots.
The Lady II put in at Lucerne and a bunch of USDF Forest Firefighters boarded, having completed their 'shift' I was told by 'Tom', that they were being pulled out to let the local crews mop up and he was looking forward for the next 'call to arms'.



We pull into Field's Point at 4:40 pm, more than 2 1/2 hours later. I get off and head for my vehicle, glad to be headed home, while at the same time sorry to be leaving. I had a great time and might just return to Stehekin, via the Lady of the Lake II, to do some hiking up in the Stehekin River Valley.
Would I recommend this hike? ... most definitely!!!!

Watch the 'Movie'


Dusty
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 10-14-2007, 06:19 AM
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ooohh Dusty I don't have time to read your whole report yet but just glancing through your lovely photos brings back fond memories of a wonderful trip I enjoyed with fine company a few years back
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 10-14-2007, 08:39 AM
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Great TR Dusty! Looks like a nice dry weather alternative to our wetter trails out here. So does the trail then more or less follow the shoreline?
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 10-14-2007, 08:54 AM
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(nothing finer than having a freshly brewed cup of coffee while reading a great trip report on a Sunday morning)
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 10-14-2007, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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quote:Originally posted by Shadee

ooohh Dusty I don't have time to read your whole report yet but just glancing through your lovely photos brings back fond memories of a wonderful trip I enjoyed with fine company a few years back
Ya Shadee, the trip you guys were on is the only other reference to this trail. I remember reading it.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 10-14-2007, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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BG, the trail is within sight of the lake almost entirely the whole time. You might loose sight of it for at most five-ten minutes, while you are 'detouring' around a point, or a drainage.
Excellent views, up/down/across the lake! Down close and up high, mostly higher up, from the lake. Water is not a problem , as there are quite a few drainages to cross, most of them 'running' to some degree.
At Prince Creek and Fish Creek, there are trail that you can take up to the Chelan Summit Trail and others.
I imagine in the early spring, there would be lots of Balsam Arrowroots blooming, along with some other flowers, but would be a real Tick Haven! I think fall is the better time as it is probably less used then. Other than the father/son duo, I saw 1 other couple, on day 2(Moore's point),who were out for a dayhike from Stehekin.
Hmm.. funny, ... I didn't remeber noticing any prickly pear cactus though.

Yes, the 'dry side' is always an excellent 'alternative'!

Dusty
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 10-14-2007, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Seagull



(nothing finer than having a freshly brewed cup of coffee while reading a great trip report on a Sunday morning)
unless it was freshly brewed on the Lakeshore Trail!

Too bad you missed out.

Ken
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 10-14-2007, 10:43 AM
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what a lovely trip report DB - sorry I couldn't join you. I'm putting this trip down as a must-do for next spring - your photos inspire me!
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 10-14-2007, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, you missed a great, easy trip CWall. [:I]
Hope you make it next spring, as this trip is very worthwhile and the water taxi adds something to it, as well. [^]

Cheers, Dusty
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 10-14-2007, 11:09 AM
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Very Nice Dusty, an excellent Sunday morning read! [^]
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 10-14-2007, 11:59 PM
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Looks fabulous DB!! Thanks for the TR.
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