Monday, October 4, 2010

Travel to Holden Village

Train conductor
I'll be putting up a series of posts in the days ahead on my two week trip to Holden Village, located down lake and up the mountain from the town of Chelan, Washington.  Holden occupies a evacuated mining village.  Many millions of tons of copper were extracted from the mine between 1896 - 1957.  Holden is now an eccumentical retreat center rooted in the Lutheran tradition. 

There is no easy way to get to Holden.  My journey began by car, which took me to the Amtak train station in St. Paul, Minnesota.  From there is was something over 30 hours on the Empire Builder train to the town of Winatchee, Washington.  An hour bus ride c/o the Link Transit Bus (#22) then brought me to the Chelan Boat Company, in the town of Chelan, where I boarded The Lady of the Lake for a four hour ride across much of Lake Chelan to the port of Lucurne.  Lake Chelan is surrounded my mountains and is over 1,500 feet deep. 

Once at Lucurne a Holden bus transported me and the other visitors 10 miles up the mountain, which part of the Cascade Range, in the Wenatchee National Forest.  Upon arrival a host of folks from the village were on hand to cheer for newly arrived guests.  A similar departure ritual occurs when villagers wave to those departing on the bus.

The departure home went smoothly, with the one exception, that being a four hour train delay.  An accident occurred in Washington that then further delayed the train as it made its way back east.  While the train was considerably slower than airplane travel, it more than made up for it by comfortable seating, ability to carry on plenty of baggage, food and beverage and great scenery all along the way.  It was a much more relaxed atmosphere than the considerably more stressful airline travel.

New traveling friends

Horse coral outside of Shelby, MT

Montana fields

Signs of the past
Harvesting wheat


Moving fall landscape from train

Pronghorn antelope

Columbia River
Shadow of trestle over Cut Bank Creek
Whitefish Lake
Early morning view of Columbia River

Moon along side train during stop

Bus between Wenatchee and Chelan

Lady of the Lake on Chelan
Lake Chelan... duh ;-)
Lucerne Landing for Holden Village
Farewell for bus passangers leaving Holden Village

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