Reporting from the Stehekin Valley Ranch
The shuttle bus here to The Ranch was packed with a party of thirteen backpackers headed into the wilderness from Bridge Creek. This backpacking thing makes horse camping and riding look easy! I’ll stick with the horses!
People love to tell their stories, on the bus, over lunch; I came here to escape that and enjoy the solitude. No phones here, I hear the “over and out” of a two-way or short wave radio for the grocery order!
Lots of built in time to relax and get a little away on your own. . . .hammocks out behind the dining hall, cape cods on the cabin front decks, a quiet walk.
The mountains surrounding us are majestic pieces of rock. It amazes that the trees find somewhere to root and the water to grow and flourish! It reminds me of a previous horse camping trip on the north side of all this, in the Chelan-Sawtooth wilderness, a bunch of rock. In spite of the pristine beauty, everyone was “done riding” after three days, ready to go home, which some did pull out, the hardness of the trail reverberating up through the horse’s feet and legs into our own!
Mmmmm, dinner after a raft trip down the Stehekin River – but since I’m sitting here vegetating over coffee and blackberry pie from the Stehekin Bakery – parmesan chicken, stuffed eggplant, this yummy bread with poppy seeds in it, fragrant and crusty with a dollop of butter, ready to spread. Finish off with PIE topped with whipped cream!
Coffee, decaf, and hot water are simmering on the hearth in big, old fashioned coffee pots, grab the hot mitt, and pour out what you want – delicious! as is the smell of the logs on the fire. Bus your place, and have as much as you want! Sawdust on the floor, and outdoor patio seating. . . .ahhhhh. . . .I’m full!
A little after dinner stroll, the horses have been let out on pasture – they resume work tomorrow taking sightseers into the mountains.
Sitting on the cabin’s front deck, enjoying the evening breeze, folks who came up from the village for dinner are being taken back in the Ranch’s white schoolbus.
After eating, rafting, and relaxing, we retire to our cabin to dream of tomorrow’s adventures!