By 5am we were all packed up and on the road. Seattle was enjoying a light rain, Issaquah its usual fog coating and we made good time up towards Snoqualmie where it started to snow, hard. By milepost 40 there were several inches on the roadway and a very generous blanket was descending from the skies. Thankfully, traffic was light and while some cars seemed to be exploring the lesser-travelled shoulders of I-90, we pushed on through�without too much of�a problem. We were the first travellers over Blewitt Pass�and waded through the�snow all the way up into Chelan. Four hours and 180 miles later, we took a quick breakfast in Chelan before boarding the Lady Express for Stehekin. (The two hour ferry is the only way to get to the small village of Stehekin which is isolated from everything -- roads, people, cell phones, TV, radio -- 55 miles from Chelan at the north end of the lake).
We skipped the organized Rainbow Falls tour and put the bird straight into the oven. In honesty, Katie did the bulk of the cooking for the big dinner but I definitely did something with the parsnips. We ate very well at four and had quite enough left overs to feed an army for the following two days. Meanwhile, Stehekin was cold and snow still lay on the ground from the morning shower. By evening it was starting to melt and the runoff from the trees was enough to give the impression of rain. The night sky was clear and the Milky Way stunningly obvious in the sky.
Saturday was cold too and although the snow lingered on the slopes (which surround the village on all sides), the snow line was visibly rising. A six mile walk along the road up to Rainbow Falls had some good exercise, scenery, discussion, animal encounters and fresh mountain air.�Sunday morning we found another trail that ran up behind the lodge and gave some great views out over the lake. As before, the North Cascades Stehekin Lodge gets top marks -�a warm cabin in such a beautiful spot makes for a great getaway.