The Pacific Northwest and in particular the State of Washington is a magnificent natures playground with beautiful mountains, boundless rivers, rambling streams, vast forests, tranquil meadows, and sparkling lakes with enough wilderness to get yourself lost in and in so doing find yourself.
The objective of this blog as part of the ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ series of sites is to inspire, through stories, photographs, and helpful trip reports. Get off the couch, stretch the legs, fill the lungs with fresh air, flood the heart with joy, and release the soul so it may soar. Our lives are so busy rushing here, rushing there, punching a time clock, paying bills, chores, meeting obligations, don’t you think that we all need a little balance in our lives? Don’t we all yearn for a little break? A moment to listen to ourselves, and discover who we are? What better way to accomplish this than in the middle of no where drinking in an grand adventure and boundless natural beauty.
I invite you to join me in this pursuit to find one’s inner self through adventures that shows you marvelous things, perhaps takes you a little out of your comfort zone, and so importantly balance the hectic existence that is life. The idea is to inspire you so that you can do the same or if need be I am happy to share and you can live vicariously through my ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure.’
‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ has multiple websites encompassing adventure opportunities throughout the West. This particular site will show my adventures in Washington. A place I have lived in for a short time in the past. It was fabulous to be in the Northwest again and I kept saying to myself now these are proper mountains.
>8 miles, 2,630’ elevation change, 4 hour duration, rated Hard
I took this hike, ‘Hiking the Firebreak’, back in November and it was easy to see that the firebreak made a big difference to the Palmer Lake area as the wildfire burned over the ridge and right down to the firebreak. The use of the firebreak by the brave firefighters made a difference. Last year the ground was charred and black, but now with Spring’s promise of renewal the area is literately “Springing” back to life. It was great to see not only the domestic animals, a herd of beautiful horses being sustained by the land, but a strong deer population as well.
On this particular hike I went past the ridge line to a nearby peak. I had wanted to summit nearby Bullfrog Peak, but came to realization that there wasn’t enough time in the day to accomplish that task. There was a climb down from where I was and then up to the summit of Bullfrog and all of that was going to add mileage and elevation change that there just wasn’t time for. Another day…
Thanks for joining me ‘Pursing Balance Through Adventure’ to a unnamed peak above Palmer Lake via the Palmer Lake Firebreak. I find solace in the renewal Spring brings each year. The ice on the lake is long gone, winter snow has melted away from all, but the Chopaka Mountain. It is good to see new life rise up from the ashes. Please stay with me for more adventure here at ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ Washington Hiking by leaving a COMMENT, LIKE, FOLLOW and SHARE. You can find adventurous undertakings throughout the West by going to the Menu above. Each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. You can find PBTA Adventure Wear at SHOP APPAREL.
Palmer Lake is a special place in Okanogan County just outside Loomis, WA. It is wonderful anytime of year, but with the blossoms from the pears, and cherry trees in bloom along with all the apple trees beginning to leaf out it is spectacular. The weather starts to warm up, the deer are down grazing near the lake edge, and the osprey are soaring overhead.
A little walking by the lake, a little hike up the mountain to enjoy views of the surroundings, and of course the heavenly views of Palmer Lake.
The things I do to increase my FOLLOWING! No that is not a rubber snake nor is it dead, checkout the video, (Coming Attraction), and watch the flicking tongue. The creature in my hand has the coloring of a RATTLESNAKE, however it does not have the large angular head, nor the rattle. It is a gopher snake. Just the same KIDS DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME, OR HOME ON THE RANGE EITHER!
Thanks for traveling with me to Palmer Lake, located in about the center of Washington State just shy of the Canadian Boarder. What a great place to find yourself ‘Pursing Balance Through Adventure’. It is a place of mountains, and rolling grass highlands, lakes, and timber, a place to perch on a peak, or stand next to the lake and reflect in the quiet ambience of a sunny day. If you want to be included in more inspirational experiences then here is what you should do: COMMENT, LIKE, FOLLOW and SHARE. If you would like to checkout other places to be PBTA then go to they menu above. Each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. While you at it go to SHOP APPARELwhere you will find logoed adventure wear. You will not only adorn yourself with top quality gear, but you will carry forth the manta ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ immersing yourself in a world of unplugging- a place about getting away, putting down the heavy pack filled with all the worries, fears, noise, confusion, responsibilities, and deadlines of our busy, crazy, world… if only for awhile. Breath in, breath out, breath in nature, breath out stress and anxiety.
A couple days after my adventure: ’Quiet Walk Through a Dormant Land’ in the Sinlahekin Valley I returned to the area. In stark contrast to my first outing, the weather was bright and beautiful. I savored the joys of adventure and discovery through the snowy area this time along Blue Lake with my brother-in-law Dale, an outdoor enthusiast, backpacker and lover of nature.
All of the surrounding mountains and ruggedness of the cliffs were now fully exposed, illuminated in brilliant sunshine. However, the weather did change towards the end of our hike as the low hung clouds once again returned to the valley with weather beginning to rolling in.
We navigated the snow covered back road effortlessly with 4WD, and then hiked the backside of the lake along a snow hidden trail. I was fascinated when Dale discovered bob cat tracks on our trek. Boy, would that have been something to see if I had the chance. Most of Blue Lake was frozen over, but there still was a portion where we saw ducks and geese enjoying the day in ice clear water. A spectacular outing in a beautiful pristine spot.
Thanks for joining Dale and I as we found ourselves ‘Pursing Balance Through Adventure’, at Blue Lake in the Sinlahekin. My brother in law would be the first to tell you, as a busy lawyer, nature is so important to releasing some of the stress and to balance out such a busy life. Replenishing emotional and mental wellness by balancing that connection between body and mind through the healing that nature provides is essential. ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure‘s’ prescription is simple: fresh air, a little exercise, let your mind and indeed your soul be nurtured by the stunning beauty that Mother Nature has provided. You only need to get out and open up your senses. Feel the winter breeze, smell that wonderful pine scent, spy the glint of the sun off of a icy crag, listen to the wild geese honking across the sky, breath it in, breath it out, feel the rekindling. Stay with us as we continually experience rebirth through profound experiences in nature. You can do this by these very simple tasks: LIKE, COMMENT, FOLLOW and don’t forget SHARE. If you will browse the menu you will see other special places to gain this fulfillment, neighboring Oregon, or maybe Utah, California, Nevada, Arizona and numerous place across the West. Be mindful that each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. At SHOP APPARELyou will find PBTA logo adventure wear. Let’s get the word out, “Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’.
Just 10 miles from the Canadian Boarder in the Okanogan Region lies the Sinlahekin Valley and this wild area. The Sinlahekin Natural Area is 14,000 acres that supports a diverse population of birds including grouse and pheasant and it’s several small lakes are teeming with water fowl and rainbow trout. The area also is home to deer and other animals.
Those visiting Sinlahekin Natural Area can enjoy wooded areas with Ponderosa Pine, Douglas Fir, as well as various deciduous trees, rolling hills of grassland, surrounded by the steep hills and mountainsides. There are 8 miles of trail, the Dave Brittell Memorial Trail.
In the summer this place would have blue skies reflecting on it’s lakes with steep hills and mountains as a back drop. In the spring it would be green and flowering. Fall would be delightful with many deciduous trees bringing color to the landscape, and in winter it would be a wonderland.
I walked 8 miles of this area in between seasons. Not Autumn, as all the leaves had fallen leaving a earthy scent of damp soil and decaying leaves hanging in the air. Not winter per se, as there was only a few patches of crisp snow here and there. The low level clouds hung over the valley fogging the appearance of all but the nearest hills or mountain sides at their foot.
So my venture was a quiet walk through a dormant land, void of all sound other than the Sinlahekin Creek. No animals, the lakes were frozen so no jumping fish, or flocks of geese. I did see a bald eagle investigating a small open water section that was not frozen, obviously searching for his next meal. Mine was a nice hike in the country, and a time for reflection, a silent time for ‘Pursing Balance Through Adventure’.
One thing that is great about nature is how it whispers to you while ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’. On quiet frozen days like this everything seems asleep and at peace, and the experience really sets you at ease which is exactly what the doctor ordered to bring balance from the stress of our real lives, with do this -do that, be here- be there, rush around, work work work. It is nice to have nature heal us with a quiet walk through a dormant land. For more healing through nature and profound experiences of adventure please: COMMENT, LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW. Please support this site by supporting yourself with a shirt, hat or a beanie that carries the important message for you and all lovers of nature: ‘Pursing Balance Through Adventure’ at SHOP APPAREL. To help you find a special place to find that inner peace checkout the menu to see all the many locations that PBTA ventures to. Keep in mind that each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently.
Distance: 7 miles, approximately 2,200’ elevation gain, 3.5 hours duration, rated Hard
The Palmer Fire of late Summer 2020 devastated the area. If not for the hard work and heroic deeds of the Fire Fighters it could have been much worse. In regards to Palmer Lake, a command post was set up at a residence that had been evacuated along with the entire area. Resident Dale Crandall, familiar with the terrain, notified the Fire Fighters of a trail that moved along the lay of the land heading up the mountain above the lake and the Firemen brought in equipment and went to work widening the trail and cutting it deeper into the hillside.
The break did it’s job as the fire burned right to it and no further. The mountainside of the break was burned. I observed during my hike that the lakeside of the break was unaffected by the flames. The fire break was successful and stopped the fire from continuing to spread, saving many homes and structures. Due to the success of the Fire Fighters the beauty of Palmer Lake remains intact. Thank you Fire Fighters and First Responders! And our thoughts go out to those that lost their homes in the Tonasket and Loomis area.
As far as my adventure hiking up the mountain that looks down at Palmer Lake, the trail was on the sunny side. The neighboring Palmer Mt was covered with snow while I just experienced snow across the trail every now and again. But once I made the ridge line I was in snow over my boots. My climb up to the ridge left the only foot prints in the snow that fell some time ago, that is other than deer, rabbit, and maybe coyote. I spied about a dozen deer, which is nothing new for this area, but what is different is that I saw a couple good size bucks. (Unless I saw the same one twice lol).
I have to say that Layering really works. The temperature was a little above freezing when I started and a little below freezing when I finished. I was wearing my ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ beanie, short sleeve PBTA high performance moisture wicking shirt, then on top of that a fleece lined sweatshirt, a fleece jacket and finally a down sweater/jacket, along with fleece lined hiking pants, and wool hiking socks. I think I will have to do a more scientific post on PBTA Hiking and Backpacking 101 in the near future on the subject of layering. The hike was gaining altitude the entire time and sometimes at a pretty good clip. It wasn’t long until I stripped down to just the short sleeve performance shirt and I was still sweating, probably due to the fleece hiking pants, lol. I stayed that way until near the end heading down hill after the sun ducked behind the mountain and then put on the fleece lined sweat shirt.
It was a great hike to get the heart pumping, breath in some fresh air, stretch the legs, take in wonderful views of Palmer Lake, and get into some of the white stuff. The hike wandered through some upper grassy pastures. Some horses came over to say hello. They probably thought that I was going to feed them. I was rewarded with snow in an wooded area at the top. It was a very nice adventure following the Fire Break to the ridge.
Burned area is making a come back as little shoots of green are sprouting up. The picture on the right shows that the fire burned right down to the fire break, but not beyond.
‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ – Hiking the Palmer Lake Fire Break to the top of the ridge above. Thanks for accompanying me, as it is always nice to hike with someone even if it is just virtual support in spirit. Stay with me by doing each of these important steps: COMMENT, LIKE, FOLLOW and SHARE. If you go to the menu above you will see other places throughout the West that are worthy. You read about layering, now mosey over to SHOP APPARELand do some layering of your own.
My sister Peggy, brother-in-law Dale and I started out heading for a snowy summit to try out new crampons in the snow. Turns out the hike we chose had much more snow then we expected and would have called for snowshoes. So we opted for nearby choice #2.
Highland’s Sno-Park is a cross country ski trail in a delightful wooded area, with some peak-a-boo vistas of the surrounding countryside, hills, and distant mountains.
Highland Sno-Park was a nice warm up for future wintery hikes. It was wonderful to be out together in the crisp, fresh 26 degree air, listen to the wind in the tree tops, and to hear the fluffy snow crackle with each fallen foot step.
Thanks for joining Dale, Peggy, and I as we went on a snowy winter trek ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’. Stick with us like the little boy who was dared to lick the frozen flag pole bythe these means: FOLLOW, COMMENT, LIKE, and SHARE. The Menu above will give you ideas for your next outing in nature to free yourself, if only for awhile, to delight in nature, to dwell on adventure, and revel in the moment of the journey. Each Menu location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. What do you think of the new PBTA Beanie keeping me warm? You can find it at SHOP APPAREL.
After a most challenging, but fulfilling backpacking adventure along the incredibleLake Shore Trail, my sister Peggy and her husband Dale surprised me with a hotel stay in a pleasant little place in Stehekin. It was a most delightful surprise after couple days of hard backpacking. I was already to start pitching my tent in the campground on the edge of town when they invited me up for wine and hors d’oeuvres on the patio of our modest, but clean and welcoming room over looking the lake. What I really enjoyed was the nice hot shower to wash off the dust, sweat and trail.
Most things were closed up because of the Cov-19 Pandemic, but we could order to go at the restaurant next to our hotel at the Stehekin Landing. We had a delicious meal, sat out on our deck looking at the lake, recanting our wondrous backpacking trip. The next morning we had to catch the Ferry back to civilization. It was leaving just after lunch time which allowed us the morning for exploring the quaint little town and the area.
There are lots of things to do in Stehekin if you are staying for some amount of time, but our adventure was the backpacking to the end of beautiful Lake Chelan and now we had only the morning to see Stehekin. So, if you only have a short amount of time- here is the hot ticket. I first took a little self guided tour of a historic cabin, and then we rented bikes and set out for Rainbow Falls, which is about a 4 mile round trip.
Biking through Stehekin up towards the falls is filled with glorious greenery during early Summer. It was so green and so lush I had to keep taking off my sunglasses to believe how green it really was. Our first stop was at the historic one room school house. Pretty cool to step back in time and see what it was like for country kids back in yesteryear. I am pretty sure it was like this for my parents growing up in Oregon, as I remember they told me how they had to trudge miles through deep snow, uphill both ways.
Then the falls… wow oh wow. Now this is a proper waterfall! Very powerful falls with soaking mist and spray tumbles 312 feet. It was overcast and cool on this morning, so no rainbow effect, but it was astounding nonetheless- framed with evergreens with torrents of water tumbling through the air reaching for the ground below. There is a steep switch back walk way that goes up to a perch for a different view of the falls. But be warned this view should be enjoyed on a hot day in your trunks. I should also say it is not much of a view, not because it isn’t magnificent, but it is hard to keep your eyes open when the wind created by the thundering falls is blasting mist and spray right in your face. I had a rain jacket on, but my shorts were throughly soaked in seconds. So it is more of an adventure than a view. But you know I love adventure!
On the way back from the falls the thing to do is stop by the Stehekin Pastry Co which has been serving up the most delicious, made from scratch, pastries and shouldn’t be missed. Plus they have nice grounds to enjoy with your meal.
There are nice cabins in this area as one might imagine, but one in particular was so outstanding that we had to stop and do a “Cabin on the Lake” photo shoot.
Be sure to checkout the video to see the power and the glory of the falls.
Stehekin Landing, where the Ferry docks. The buildings you see house a gift shop, restaurant, shops, and the hotel in which we stayed.
Historic One Room School House
Dale, Peggy and I at Rainbow Falls
The grounds at the bakery were lovely and our pastries were so good.
There were lots of cool cabins in Stehekin at Lake Chelan, but our favorite was “Cabin on the Lake.”
A bike ride to Rainbow Falls with a stop at the pastry shop is a must do when in Stehekin, you won’t regret it.
Thanks for joining Dale, Peggy and I at the superb Rainbow Falls “Pursuing Balance Through Adventure“. It was a special few days sharing the wilds of Lake Chelan, it’s natural beauty and stunning mountains, and of course it’s breathtaking Rainbow Falls. Please leave a COMMENT, LIKE, FOLLOW and SHARE. You can have a head band like Peggy’s (which also doubles as a face gaiter to be COVID-19 appropriate), or beanie and performance shirt like mine by going to SHOP APPAREL, which also helps support this blog. Go to the menu above and click on Oregon Hiking to see my next outing filled with adventure seeking balance away from the everyday and mundane. Each location is itself an independent website and needs to be FOLLOWED as a stand alone.
This isn’t just any cabin and this isn’t just any lake. So the title “Cabin on a Lake“ is pretty simple, but perhaps poetic just like this enchanting little cabin at Lake Chelan on the edge of Wilderness.
This charming little cabin with it’s exquisite gardens is a life time labor of love. As we rode by, on the bikes we rented, we just had to stop and complement the owner, a retiree who was up on a high ladder putting wood shingles on his Hansel and Gretel cabin in the woods. I have to say he is a master at what he has created not only for himself and his lovely wife, but for every passerby to ogle over. There are plenty of beautiful cabins in the Town of Stehekin, but this quaint cabin is really special. The detail and love he has put into this home in this peaceful and tranquil setting is something movies are made of. The garden is magical, and of course the view of the lake is one of a kind.
We almost feel guilty taking him away from his work, and I was thinking that during the Summer this place has to be almost a tourist attraction and maybe he doesn’t want to be bothered. But he was eager to talk, as was his bride of many years. He loved to speak about the passion of his project, the town, and the area. In fact, we finally had to cut it off and bid them farewell, as we had a Ferry to catch back to the real world. So we said bon voyage to this bewitching ”Cabin on the Lake” and this captivating fairy tale.
What a lovely Gingerbread House on the edge of wilderness on a lake of dreams.
Thanks for joining Dale, Peggy and I as we checked out things to do in Stehekin and discovered this gem, “Cabin on a Lake” while “Pursuing Balance Through Adventure“. COMMENT, LIKE, FOLLOW, and SHARE. The menu has many adventures that you might want to review in your own search for balance. Each is a separate site and should be FOLLOWED independently. Like Peggy’s headband, my shirt, or beanie? They are available at SHOP APPAREL.
Distance 18 miles, 1800’ elevation gain, duration approximately 12 hours of hiking, rated Moderate to Strenuous
Date: June 17-19, 2020
Nestled in the North Cascades Lake Chelan is 50 miles of Summer. At one end it is a respite from the busy, hectic life in bustling Seattle filled with lakeside homes, cabins and condos, ski boats, swimmers and sun bathers. The other end is quite different. Because of the ruggedness of this area there are no roads to the small town of Stehekin at the far end of the lake. The only way to get there is by boat or float plane keeping this area pristine and majestic.
Lake Chelan is as blue as sapphires and the views along the way compare with picturesque scenes of Norway. The long slender lake reminds me of the fjords in Alaska. Lake Chelan’s idyllic shores are heavily forested with green firs, although the area is also recovering from a damaging fire a few years back. Some of the world’s roughest mountain peaks stand as silent snow capped sentinels keeping watch over this remarkable place.
Lake Chelan, the largest freshwater lake in the state of Washington, fills a valley formed by a glacier that cut through the area making it the deepest gorge in the USA, 8,631’, measuring from the top of Pyramid Mountain to the low point of Lake Chelan 386’ below sea level. Chelan means deep water, in fact it is the 3rd deepest lake in America behind California’s Lake Tahoe and Oregon’s Crater Lake.
We boarded a boat at Fields Point, not far from the city of Wenatchee. National Geographic claims this trip is a “must do” taking about an hour through some of the most spectacular scenery imaginable. We disembarked at Prince Creek shouldering our backpacks and heading out on this special adventure into the wilderness.
Our trek along the scenic Lake Shore Trail would be 18 miles long and is rated moderate to strenuous with 1800’ of elevation gain. We hiked in mid June, which is not recommended as the Summer months can reach temperatures over 100 degrees, but we had just had some rain and it was unusually cooler than normal, but I will say that even the mid to upper 80’s was quite warm. It seemed we were seldom hiking along a flat plane, constantly climbing or descending. Most of the trail is a couple hundred feet over the lake, but at times drops to within 50 feet of the lapping lakeside. Much of the time you will have a view of the water, and some of the open vistas will take your breath away with the stunning natural beauty of the blue lake, the green forest, hills, mountains, and strikingly rugged snowy peaks.
The vegetation was diverse ranging from ponderosa pine forest, as well as some of the burn area, to dry, hot, grassy and rocky areas. We fording multiple rushing streams and dropped down into green, lush, creek fern grottos. Although we only encountered lizards, a blue grouse, and a deer on our trip the area is also home to black bear, elk, and rattlesnake.
After a long day of hiking at the quick pace, set by backpacking enthusiasts brother in law Dale, and my sister Peggy, we arrived at our camping destination just South of Moore Point. After a bit of bush whacking, in order to find just the right spot, we settled in. Wow, what a place to camp! In the forest, right on a the edge of a little bluff, with a stupendous view of the lake, mountains and peaks. Peggy treated us to a scrumptious homemade camp meal Salmon Curry Couscous. The following day we doctored our sore, blistered feet and continued our journey through this land of wonder ultimately arriving tired yet satisfied at the quaint town of Stehekin.
It has been said that Lake Chelan’s Lake Shore Trail ranks among the World’s Best, and is certainly a bucket list type of experience. Something to be cherished. Thanks for joining Dale, Peggy and I as we backpacked our way through the wilds of Lake Chelan National Recreation Area while “Pursuing Balance Through Adventure”. Take a moment to LIKE, COMMENT, FOLLOW, and SHARE. There is more to this adventure and you don’t want to miss it. Checkout the menu above for other locations to ”find yourself” in, they are all separate sites and thus need to be followed individually. If you like the long sleeve performance shirt in the picture of me and the boat or the face gator with the PBTA insignia then visit SHOP APPAREL and get yours today.