Chelan Lakeshore 2023-05-18/20

Chelan Lakeshore 2023-05-18/20

It all began with a trip cancellation.

We were supposed to go there about two weeks before. The weather seemed nice - Warm and sunny. Suddenly, the weather forecast turned foul. The NOAA issued a flood warning watch sue to the warm days. There would be an intense atmospheric event that caused a big transition for warm and dry to cold and wet.

We were looking at 5C/41F temperature with heavy, constant rain all day. The total precipitation amounts were forecast for 1 - 1.5 inch in 24 hours. There were going to be widespread thunderstorms, with wind gusts in the 30-40 mph range. Unlucky isolated spots would see 60mph winds. And to put an extra bad side to it, the forecaster said that we could see hail of up to 1 inch.

The trip got postponed - I managed to negotiate a ticket-reschedule for the ferry. We were out of the boat's reschedule policy. I found them very nice and accessible.

Two-three weeks go by, now the forecast says we're looking at the flood watch, and a new heat wave warning. I deem those acceptable/manageable risks, and off we go!

We took the express ferry on Field's Point Landing at 9:20. The boat ride was about 1 hour long. We debarked on the Prince Creek dock.

Route is South -> North

Our plan was to walk to Moore's Point and camp there. Moore's Point is a big campground, and when I planned this, I didn't know how many students would sign up. After the trip cancellation and all that, we remained with a single participant. We were a party of three.

With a smaller group, no we had the option to hike a shorter first day to Meadow Creek. We were feeling strong, so we decided to put that off and see how we felt.

It was a HOT day. The first creek, right next to the dock was running high. Karla and Lindsay decided to put on their water crossing shoes to wade it. I decided to do the lazy route - walk over the branches a bit upriver and down.

Changing within the first 5 minutes!? Is this how's it going to be?

A few minutes after that, I heard what I thought to be a rattlesnake. It was on a narrow section of the trail, with lots of branches and twigs. We couldn't see it. We took a minute, stomped our feet hard and continued.

A few minutes after that, I heard what I thought to be a rattlesnake. It was on a narrow section of the trail, with lots of branches and twigs. We couldn't see it. We took a minute, stomped our feet hard and continued.

It was too hot, but we were trying to stay positive and accept the beauty of the place.

We were very happy to carry our umbrellas! I believe they saved the trip for us.

We stopped for lunch on a place where we had some shade and some rocks and logs to sit down. We were starting to get tired by that point. The heat was simply too much.

Our day one plan was 11 miles. We decided to cut it short to 6.5 miles, and stay at Meadow Creek. As our watches measured more and more distance, I started to get this hopeless feeling. My watch said we had walked already 8 miles and we weren't at camp yet. Mine wasn't the only one measuring way more than what GaiaGPS said we should have walked up to that point. From then on, whenever I communicated the remaining distance, I made the disclaimer: X Gaia miles.

Karla ran out of water, so I offered her some sips of mine. I ran out of water as well. I had likes 200ml in a bottle I keep out of the reservoir. That's all we had until who knows when. Some creek were dry already.

We reached this creek, where water was running hard and somewhat deep. We drank a lot of water and gathered some more before attempting to cross.

I spent a long time deciding if I would wade the creek, or try to walk over that small log. A party on  the other side repeatedly offered help, but I was too busy trying to see what my group wanted to do. Eventually I decided to take the help and see how bad it was.

Surprisingly, just by having one of them reach their hand, it felt very safe to step on the log. It still required skill, but we wouldn't go down with any minor slips.  I'm not sure how we would've crossed if not for them. At the end of the trip we found them again and I asked how they crossed. Turns out they were helped as well, and their helpers we also helped. We had helped the group after us. I wonder who were the first ones to cross that. The picture seems mellow, but the water was running hard, and water would've reached higher than our knees.

Some time later, we finally reached our camp. There were a few taken spots, but it wasn't bad. Some pads even had some fire rings.

I wanted to beat the heat of the next day, it was supposed to be worse. After some convincing, we agreed to leave at 6:00 in the morning. It ended up being 6:30, but it worked decently. Ideally I would've liked to leave at 4:30

We got some thunders, and very few rain, but it did cool off a bit. Enough to sleep comfortably with the rain fly open.

The morning was great. It was nice and cool. We kept shaded from the sun by the mountains to our right.

It was my favorite part of the trip by far.

As we approached Moore's Point, I started to become concerned because I could hear a roaring river. Fortunately it has a very well built bridge. There is no way we could've crossed that.

Moore's point is down in the lake where the pier is, on the left side of the picture

On the trail we encountered this cache register book. It was very nice equipped with a flashlight and some first-aid supplies.

We stopped on the other camp (can't remember the name), halfway between Moore's Point and Stehekin. It was about 11:00 and we rested, had lunch and took a dip in the lake to cool off.

It looks like I actually know how to dive

I brought some extra water here so that I could put on my hat and sleeves to cool off. I think that made a huge difference. I could see Karla was struggling and was headed into a heat stroke by the time we reached the next creek.

I asked her to dip her hat in the water, which she reluctantly did. I was starting to get concerned, so I'm thankful that she did it.

After that, on our way to Stehekin, I had a real encounter with a rattlesnake. I just heard this ticking sound 3 distinct times. As I looked down, it was about 1.5m/ 4-5ft away from my foot. It was sort of coiled, with the head up  coming close to my ankle. I later learned that is the striking pose. We backed off, and it slithered away, below a rock.

We reached Stehekin about an hour later, and setup camp at Lakeview Camp (In Gaia it's called Purple Camp Overflow).

It was very, VERY hot. We waited for the restaurant to open and had an expensive dinner, but one of the tastiest beer we've had (spoiler alert, it was just a beer, it was just too hot and it tasted great).

On the morning we took the shuttle bus to the Bakery.

We ran from there to the Rainbow Falls, and then back to camp. It was about 5.5 miles.

The falls were the other highlight of the trip for me. I really enjoyed them. Probably because of the heat, and the flood watch, they were running VERY hard.