Stehekin, and the time I saw a bear

Just a quick warning...this is a long post.  And picture heavy.  If you just want to read about the bear, skip down to the bottom. 

This weekend,  Brad and I took a trip up to Stehekin, WA with some family: Brad's brother, and one cousin and her fiance. It was the perfect little group.

We left Thursday after work, and camped in Chelan that night, in order to catch a ferry up the lake early the next morning.

Stehekin is only accessible by boat or float plane.  And the boat up lake only makes one trip a day. So if you miss your morning boat, too bad for you.  There are no roads in or out of Stehekin.  In fact there's only 1 road that goes from the boat landing (the main part of town) about 20 miles back into the mountains.

Cousin Tamara, and Eric, my bro-in-law
bored husband
There actually 2 boats that travel up lake during the day, though they leave just a few minutes apart from each stop.  We were scheduled to be on the "slow" boat.  We got on the boat at 9:30 in the morning, and checked into the lodge at the top of the lake 3 1/2 hours later.  Definitely the slow boat.

We scheduled the trip back in January, and from the website, the rooms/cabins just looked like typical hotel rooms (with those gross multicolor duvet cover things). But when we got there, our cabin was beautiful.  It was the only detached cabin, so we had no neighbors sharing walls or anything.  I didn't get any pictures of the inside, but it looked like it been updated fairly recently. And it had lovely down comforters and crisp white duvets. It was 2 bedrooms and 1 humongous bathroom.  Brad and I decided that if we were to buy a cabin ever, one like that would be the perfect size. 

We stayed in Stehekin from Friday to Monday.  There is no cell reception or internet access up there. It was glorious! At first, I was a little concerned about not having access to my phone, but it turned out to be so amazing. It's so relaxing when you're not constantly worried about your phone making noise. It was the best.

We rented bikes for the whole day on Saturday.  We picked them up at around 10 in the morning, and rode them 2 miles up the only road to the only bakery.  After our stop at the bakery, we decided to keep riding to Rainbow falls, another 2 miles up the road.

On the way to the falls, we passed this old one room school house. There's only one school in the town, and they teach grades K-8. They've updated the school house since (though it's still only 1 room).  This was the school they used until the late 80s or so.

The found a baby rattlesnake under a rock...no thanks.

Rainbow falls is a 312-foot waterfall.

After the falls, we rode another 8 or so miles up the road to the only other lodge in the area, with the only other restaurant (there was a restaurant back at our hotel, too). 

We stopped a few places along the way to take pictures. 

That's me.  And this is Brad's artsy photo.

I am not really into the outdoors much.  That may come as a surprise to you.  I like the sun, but I like to sit in it.  Move around and get sweaty and let the mosquitoes eat me?  No thank you.

I also have a crazy imagination.  Before we went up to Stehekin, we'd heard that there had been several bear sitings in town; specifically mother bears with cubs.   Umm...great, I'm gonna get eaten.

Amazingly enough, while riding our bikes, I'd completely forgotten about the bears.  They hadn't crossed my mind once.  That is, until my darling husband yells, "I wanna see a bear!" while riding just a few feet ahead of me down the road.  Excellent.  Thank you for reminding me.

We didn't see a bear on the way out of town.


On the way back toward Rainbow Falls, heading back toward our cabin, Brad and I had left the others at the river and decided to keep riding, when he looks up and says, 'look a bear!'  Uh, what?! Are you kidding stop riding.  Stop right now!

On the road in front of us, about 100 yards away, a black bear was lumbering slowly across the road.  Thankfully, right as it was crossing a van was coming toward us.  The van stopped, and honked at the bear several times, scaring it up into the woods. And then continued toward us.

We flagged the van down, because I was terrified, and asked them if the bear was gone.  The man driving said, 'Oh Tabitha?  Yeah, she's gone.  You're fine.'  Apparently Tabitha the bear is not that dangerous.  But I still fled the area very quickly, leaving Brad in my dust.

We made it all the way back to the cabin without another bear incident.

All in the all, the weekend was wonderful.  Perfectly relaxing, and an amazing getaway. 

We'll definitely be going back.


  1. ohhh...this sounds like a wonderful place! glad Tabitha was friendly :)

  2. looks wonderfulllll!!!!!!!!!!


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