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Lake Chelan, Washington -- July 2007

Trips, Travels, and Meet Ups

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Old 08-03-2007, 07:15 AM   #1
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Default Lake Chelan, Washington -- July 2007

For the past five years, my family, friends, and I have been coming to Lake Chelan in Washington to get away from the hustle and bustle of normal city life. Located 3.5 hours east of Seattle, Lake Chelan is the popular hotspot to soak up the rays. Downtown Chelan is usually swarming with college kids while the lake itself is a popular destination for the go-fast boats. Along the lake are million dollar plus homes that go about 5 miles or so up the lake. Past that, the remaining 50 miles of the lake is nothing but barren hillsides with a house here and there accesible only by boat or float plane. This year my family and friends and I spent a weekend enjoying all that Lake Chelan has to offer. Check it out!

Day 1 – Saturday:

Innertubing and exploring up the lake was the name of the game today. My brother, our 3 friends, and I spent the day on the lake. The day started with seeing who could stay on their tube the longest while my friend Jon used the boat to try and launch us all off. It became quite a thrill with my friend driving faster and faster each round and the three of us wondering where we would end up when the tubes came together. We all came out of it alive luckily with some crazy moments to remember.

After innertubing in the first, populated part of the lake, we decided to head up the lake and see how the water was and what was going on. The water stayed calm with no winds so we just kept going and going. We headed up past the mansions, beaches, and the ends of the roads through a scenery of dry hillsides. We finally stoped and anchored in a cove about 25 miles up the lake. We hung out for an hour or so, listening to music, swimming, exploring the hill side, and just relaxing.

Continuing up the lake we came across small houses only accessible by boat with no running water, power, or other amenities. Some looked more inhabitable than others.

Pushing further up the lake yielded a large cove, secluded from passing boaters who were few and far between as it is. With a large dock and official looking signs, we went in for a closer look. What we stumbled upon was “Safety Harbor” which happened to be a US Forest Service camping area. We explored the area to find several large fire pits along with many flat camping areas. Instantly, the discussion of the group turned to planning a camping trip for the next time we come over.

At this point in our excursion, we were about 35 miles up the lake with the sun starting to go down. With a calm lake between us and home, it was time to open up that Volvo V8. We headed back home at WOT, trimmed up for maximum speed. With 5 guys and 50 gallons of fuel, the boat wasn’t exactly flying, but we were definitely doing about 40 - 45 mph, a pretty good clip on the water. About 45 minutes and a couple Brad Paisley albums later, we arrived back at our mooring spot. Once we got the boat all cleaned up and covered we headed on home to rest up for tomorrow's events.

Day 2 – Sunday:

Realizing that finding that glass wakeboard water was going to be next to impossible on Lake Chelan, we decided to head over to the Columbia River, just down the road from Lake Chelan. Technically it's called Lake Entiat as it is damed by Wells Dam and Rocky Reach Dam, but everyone just refers to it as "the river."

We first had to get the boat out of the lake and over to the river. I drove the boat up to the Mill Bay boat launch and met my dad there to get her up on the trailer. Once secured and ready to go, I spotted what looked like a 97 ish Mariah 180 Shabah in line for the launch. I immedeiately ran to the truck, jotted down the URL of our club, and headed off to deliver it to the boat’s owner. I met up with him on the launch ramp and chatted for a minute or so and gave him the URL. He informed me that the boat was actually his dad’s and he was just launching it but he was definitely excited about the site. Hopefully one of them checks out the site!

So with the boat on the trailer, we headed down to the river. Heading across BeBe bridge, we reached the launch and got the boat all ready to go. Of course, we had to take the opportunity to dock start off of the dock!

Heading up the river with wakeboarders in tow, all 5 of us got out on the board.

I had to snap a shot of the Centurion with the ladies on the sun deck because.. well, i had a 200mm lens and had to use it I'm not sure if the driver is confused as to why we are taking pictures of his lady friends or wondering where he can get a boat like ours!

After a couple hours of wakeboarding and about 30 attempts getting our friend up on the board, we headed for a place to beach and eat some lunch. We found a cool spot in an etty up the river that looked like it had a nice beach. Once beached, we all ate lunch and then went off to explore the hill side and the surrounding waters.

We did some swimming and found a little sandbar that wasn’t so sandy but fun to swim out to none the less. After we got bored with the beach, Jon (schweddy) had the great idea of taking shots of the boat from the beach as my dad put the boat through its paces just off the shore.

After taking about 100 pictures of the boat doing all kinds of turns and what not, we continued further up the river. Not realizing how far we had gone up, we came around the corner to find Wells Dam staring us straight in the face.

With the wind picking up, no longer did we have the glassy calm water of the morning so we decided to call it a day and head back down river to the launch. Though not to bad at the dam, further back down the river we were in for quite a surprise. We ended up in 3’ swells with large breaking whitecaps which was quite eventful and very unexpected on a river that is normally dead calm. Not to worry though, the deep hull of the 252 Shabah did just fine.

Though it was a short stay in Chelan, we all had a great time and came out with some amazing shots of the boat along with and idea for a future camping trip. Checkout more shots in the Mariah Owners Club Gallery under the Member Travel Pictures section!

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Last edited by MariahMan; 02-05-2008 at 07:15 PM.
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  • Old 08-03-2007, 04:31 PM   #2

    mikeyt is currently offline
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    Excellent pictures & one cool trip Ryan! I've never been to the Seattle area so there's another place i need to put on my Destination List
    Rarely visit this site given its problems and lack of management interest.
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    Old 08-21-2007, 02:22 AM   #3
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    Default Great pictures!

    Lake Chelan is a wonderful. When I was a kid we went to Lake Roosevelt, Crescent Bar and Pond Orielle every weekend with a caravan of Reinell's.
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