137 – Backpacking Lake Chelan – Chelan to Moore Point, Old Orchard Camp

We had been wanting to visit the little town of Stehekin (population less than 75!) for a long time, so even the planning of this trip was fun. Stehekin is located on the northwest end of one of the deepest fjords in North America, Lake Chelan, and is quite remote. There are only a couple of ways to get to Stehekin. One, a four and a half hour ferry ride on the Lady of the Lake from the town of Chelan, and the other – a very long hike. We opted for a combination of the two, but first, because the drive from our home to the town of Chelan was over five hours, we first drove to son Brian’s in Rock Island (about a four hour drive from home), spent the night and then continued on to Chelan to catch the ferry the next morning.

Son cooking up burgers
Son Brian grilling us some dinner

Here I am, aboard the Lady of the Lake II.

(pic by Kent Doughty) me - on the Lady of the Lake
(pic by Kent Doughty) me – on the Lady of the Lake

The Lady of the Lake is a foot-passenger only ferry, not to be confused with the type of ferries that might sail through the San Juan Islands or on up to Alaska. This is a much smaller boat, and it makes stops at several beaches along the way between Chelan and Stehekin. It gets as close to the rocky beach as it safely can, and passengers that want off wait as a crewmember lowers a walkway.

Our Stop - Moore Point
Our Stop – Moore Point

Moore Point was our stop, and it felt rather like walking the plank as we got off. We were the only passengers to get off at that stop, and once safely ashore, we watched as the crewmember pulled up the ramp and the boat backed away to continue on to Stehekin.

Waving good-bye to Lady of the Lake
Waving good-bye to Lady of the Lake

Once at Moore Point, we quickly discovered that a group of AmeriCorp workers had pretty much taken over the camp there, so we hit the trail in search of a place to set up our camp.

AmeriCorps work camp at Moore Point
AmeriCorps work camp at Moore Point

We hiked on to the Old Orchard Camp.

Hiking on to Old Orchard Camp
Hiking on to Old Orchard Camp

At the remains of an old homestead by the Old Orchard Camp, several lilac bushes remained, and there were many swallow tail butterflies flitting about the flowers.

Swallow tail butterfly on lilacs
Swallow tail butterfly on lilacs

Later on the beach, there were swarms of them.

Swarms of swallow tail butterflys on the beach
Swarms of “puddling” swallow tail butterflies on the beach

There were lots of bugs, so by dinner time, our bug nets came out.

Camp cook - with bug net
Camp cook – with bug net

Because we were going to be on the trail for several days, we had dehydrated our own shrimp and vegetables to lighten the load in our backpacks. Cooked up with some brown rice, garlic and olive oil, turned out, this was one of the best backpacking dinners we’ve ever had.

Backpacker dinner - shrimp and pasta
Backpacker dinner – shrimp and pasta

More photos of our adventure on the Lady of the Lake from Chelan to Moore Point, Old Orchard Camp.

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