Friday, June 05, 2009


RV Trip - Chelan/Manson, WA

On our May RV trip around the North Cascade Loop drive, we spent our first two nights at Icicle River RV Park and I've already posted about our stay there. We next drove north to the town of Manson which is on the shores of Lake Chelan. Here is where a friend whom I worked with many years at Metro Transit in Seattle chose to retire to. We parked our RV in their driveway, connected to 120 volt power to just run a few things and were basically dry camping, using our own water and holding tanks, although we had the house right there with all of its systems.

R & D bought a home there which was on a former apple orchard and they originally did have about three rows of apple trees from the orchard on their property. When the rest of that property was sold, the new buyers of it were planning to put in grapes as they were starting a winery and wanted to grow some of their own grapes. I guess that you have certain obligations to maintain apple trees if you have more than a very few in order to protect the other orchards, and my friends didn't want that as a job so when the new owners of the bulk of the orchard asked them if they would like to have their trees "picked" along with the others, they did except for a very few chosen ones. They brought in a backhoe and chained the bucket to each tree, then picked them like a carrot. They were then run through a chipper to make a great mulch. This was about 2002 and there is now a producing vineyard where the former apple orchard used to be. I showed a photo that was a view from the deck of R & D's home, looking down across that vineyard toward the winery, which is named Tildio Winery for a type of birds that are found there. Here are a couple of other photos of the house and their view:

Manson house 02
This is a similar view to the previous one but looking over the winery with a longer lens. You can still see a part of Roses Lake (R's fishing lake) as well as ridges and mountains around the area. Lake Chelan is something like 55 miles long, extending to the west-northwest from the town of Chelan. There is a small town named Stehekin at the west end. This link will take you to the City Guide for Stehekin. There are no roads into Stehekin from the outside and about the only access is via boat or aircraft. The "Lady of the Lake" makes daily boat trips from Chelan and carries mail, goods, passengers, etc. I do not know the permanent population up there but the City Guide says it is less than 100. If one wants a place to go that is a long way away from the rest of the world, this one fits the bill well. Plan to walk when there. This photo was probably taken on May 16th and as you can see, there still is quite a lot of snow at the higher elevations of the hills in the background. This area does have a "winter."

Manson house 01
Here is a part of R & Ds west facing deck and some of the bird feeders located there. Many birds of various types are in the area, including a family of owls that has lived for some years in the evergreen glen behind the house. D especially enjoys feeding and watching the antics of the birds. Behind these picture windows is the living room so as you can guess, there is a fantastic view from there, too.

One of the things we like doing in this area is wine tasting at some of the many wineries. The dentist that D worked for many years for in the Seattle area retired over here and started a winery which is now probably the largest operation in the area and one of the longest running ones. It is named Tsillan Cellars which is the Indian spelling of the town, Chelan. This link will take you to their web site. I have posted photos from there in the past so really don't have a lot to add now, although here are two new ones.

Tshelan 02
This winery is on the other side of the lake from R & Cs home. The town of Chelan is about 7 miles down lake from Manson, at the foot of the lake, and this winery is just around the end of the lake on the other side. This view is from the winery which is located on a hill above the road and is looking across the lake. Manson is over there at the left and if the lens were long enough you could almost see the house where our RV is parked, except for the hill that is between there and the camera. Tsillan Cellars grows many of their own grapes on their own vineyards but they also bring some in from other growers, especially from other locations in Eastern Washington State.

The winery grounds are beautiful as are the buildings. Live entertainment is offered here often, outside when the weather permits. There is a large water system that starts with a pond at the upper level, then the water falls down to a lower pond that is stocked with colorful Koi fish. There is a small island in the lower pond, with a cover over it and that becomes a very popular place to enjoy a meal from the Italian restaurant at the winery, Sorrento's Ristorante (we ate our lunch there one day.)

Tshelan 01
This photo shows a young father showing his baby daughter the Koi fish from the bridge over to the island. Go check the winery website for other photos and more info about the place. If you are ever in the Chelan area, be sure to stop in for a visit and tasting and say "Hi" to Doctor Bob if he is in.

While in this area we didn't forget my daily mocha's. There is a new Starbucks but we sampled mochas from The Vogue in Chelan the first night there. They have live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights so it can be a destination place of its own. We were back there on Saturday and took R to a local place near Manson for our mochas on Sunday, the morning that we left to move the RV on to the Western themed town of Winthrop which is located at the Eastern side of the North Cascades Highway. Our home is at the Western side of that highway. I'll do another post soon on our visit to Winthrop. This time we did not see the deer family there we photographed last year, but did again eat a dinner in my favorite Winthrop restaurant.

More later. Pat's granddaughter is graduating from Mt. Vernon High School tonight and it is time for me to make sure our cameras are ready for the event and to start getting ready for dinner before we go.

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Great photos as always. Even though I grew up in Camas, Washington, I have explored little of the state east of the Cascades. I definitely would like to remedy that someday.
Love your pictures Dick, you do nice work!
Did you take that picture of the dad and the little girl? It's a great picture. I am hoping that you will find a way to get a copy of it to them, but that's probably not going to happen.
Yes, I remember your photos from your other trip to the winery. Great photos this time too.

Hope you and Pat are having a great weekend, Dick.

Love and hugs,

Lovely pics Dick, and congrats to Pat's granddaughter on her graduation!
Gorgeous photos...Hope all is well and Have a great week ahead.

Happy Sunday
Love, Jess
WOw the trip looks amazing. Pictures are very fascinating.
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