Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Going "Downlake"

Heading "Down" Lake Chelan from Stehekin
If we wanted, we could never set foot in civilization as we know it, again. Stehekin gives you that option. Groceries and supplies can be ordered through the mail, as was tradition until the internet arrived, and the Boat Company and Barge serve locals just fine by bringing those orders to us "uplake" across  mile deep blue waters.
However, there are babies to be born, teeth to fix, weddings to attend, hairs to cut, and new walking shoes to try on.  Sometimes you just want to pick out your own head of lettuce. And simply, sometimes, you just want to “Go Downlake.”
Getting ready to go: Where are my keys?

One of many beautiful sights along the commute: Domke Falls

If Lake Chelan ran from the west to the east straight across the map of Washington, instead of its northwest/southeast orientation, and we traveled from Stehekin, would we still call it “Going Downlake?” Yes. Yes we would. 

We leave McGregor Mountain and surrounding spires. We leave firs, cedars and maples and quiet. We leave a churning wild river and pounding waterfall. When we arrive at “the other end” where all the vast amounts of water are flowing down, down, down to the Columbia River, oh yes, we are most definitely traveling “Downlake.” Fifty five miles later, you have arrived in arid, barren hills and…traffic.

Most of us have a "Downlake" Car (Field's Point Landing)

The little city of Chelan, at “the other end” of Lake Chelan is most gracious to Stehekinites. At our home away from home, we are tied to the good folks there much like relatives. When we DO have the need to go downlake, our trip is made lighter by greeting friends in town who are always anxious to hear news of “Uplake.” Is the river flooding? they ask. Is the Ranch open yet? Is there lots of drift in the Lake?

      Some frequent Chelan stops: 

Hours of time in the parking lot, waiting, at this stop!

And, if we can squeeze it in:
A little time spent visiting with a "Downlake" friend 

Always, a list

“Going Downlake” has one hundred variations.  Every Stehekinite will have their own version and I can guarantee, each an adventure. If you are lucky, most of your list will be completed. 

Tomato plants for Stehekin. Hope they make it! 

Help from sturdy sons is a blessing
Then, there is the return trip uplake! We'll save that for the next story! l.c.