A new day dawned; last March I knew it would come. I started this trip with only one thing in mind: To place myself
on the ferry to Holden on the morning of August 5. What came after that was unknown to all but God. I spent a
lot of time simply breathing, trying not to anticipate the future.
Breakfast (and coffee) were congeniel and delicious, with Phyllis and Jackie, the gracious hostesses of Holden
Bed & Breakfast. I chatted with Mary Beth, and with Emily, Holden's new pastor, and her husband Brian, who would
be Holden's high school teacher that year. Several others were also gathered around the two tables, but it was all over
too soon and we were off to Fields Point Landing, where we would catch the ferry.
Mary Beth and I got our stuff into my car and drove the 3 miles to the lakeside. At the ferry landing
(owned by the Forest Service, and operated by Holden staff), we took it to the pier, handed it over to the folks
who would load the boat, and bought tickets. The early ferry was already there, loading passengers bound for
Stehekin, a tourist attraction, and the woman who sold the tickets was shouting out names, frantically trying to locate
everyone who was going. Some folks came slowly down the stairs, senior citizens who needed a bit more time, and the
woman got exasperated, and gave me one of those looks.
I said, "Hey, that could be me in a few years."
She replied, "No way; you aren't even as old as I
"How old are you?" I asked.
"And how old do you think I am?" with a twinkle in my eye, knowing what was coming.
"You can't be older than 35."
I gave her a big grin. "What is your name? You are my newest best
Her name was Lynn, and she couldn't believe my age! When she asked how I did it, I replied with a quote
from (yes, I admit to having read this) The Harrad Experiment: "The secret of eternal surprise --
Curiosity, wonder. Maintaining a child's mind in an adult world...and being just yourself."
(So, James, the race is on, and I'm ahead...in relative terms, which are the only ones that matter...)
Onward - Time to park the car for 3 weeks. Then run into the office to tell them my space number.
The man was so nice and chatty, but my ferry was loading the final passengers, and I had to run, literally.
"Go in peace. Serve the Lord!" he called.
"Thanks be to God!" I shot over my shoulder, and boarded the boat.
We pulled away from Fields Point Landing and headed up lake. Consistently ranked as one
of the most pristine waters in the United States (you could see 'way down!), Lake Chelan is 55 miles long, and 1,486
feet deep, making it the third deepest lake in the nation, extending nearly 400 feet below sea level in places.
There is a dam, but only to raise the water level; it's really a natural lake, filled by snow and glacier runoff.
But that's not what impressed me. I was busy coming to grips with the fact that my trip had ended and my
journey begun. It was time to get quiet, time to accept the things placed before me, time to let the journey and the
place have its way with me.
There's nothing like a two hour boat ride to the middle of nowhere to let you know you're passing from one world
into another. And there's something about locking up your car, knowing you won't see it for three weeks, that lets you
know you're leaving more than just the car behind. Those of you who know how much I love to drive can imagine how hard
that was for me!
Back in May I downloaded a version of the picture (above) of the lake and mountains (taken by
the Chelan Chamber of Commerce), and stuck it on my PC as wallpaper. I've been staring at it every day for three months
or so, and now I'm looking right at it! An eerie feeling, though I knew the moment would come. (Yeah, yeah, I
know it's tilted, hey, I was on a BOAT, you know!)
I catch myself musing about the people I've met.
Phyllis, a retired guidance counselor who, with her husband, sold their house, and has spent the last year running
the Holden Bed & Breakfast and Fields Point Landing where you get the ferry. She describes herself as "homeless".
Brian (married to Emily), who is also "homeless", heading up to Holden Village for a year to teach 7th through
12th grades, for the children whose families are living in the village for a year or more. Emily (married
to Brian), headed up to be the pastor for a year, having gone through a call process the year before. And
of course, Mary Beth, student of "Healing Through the Expressive Arts", the major she constructed for herself.
How very different these people are from those I was musing about on my trip up! They meet life with open
minds, hearts and arms, and it is a joy to be in their presence.
After the narrows of the previous picture, the lake opens up, and if you know where you are (I didn't), you would
know that we would dock just around the trees on the left bank. We're about 20 minutes away from Lucerne, where we'll
get off the ferry and head up to Holden Village.
We have arrived at Lucerne, and the Holden bus is waiting! You can rely on that. You say you're showing
up on a given date, and they are there to meet you.
You can see the back of Mary Beth, and Brian's head in this picture.
The Holden Mavericks (the strong volunteers) will load the luggage on the truck, and the folks will load themselves onto
the bus. Others who have come down to the lake to swim will join us, and the bus will be one huge conversation going
up the 10.5 miles along the mining road to the village.
Ed, the driver, tells us we will go up a total of 2100 feet, the first 1100 in the first two miles. He also
assures us the ride is safe, because, "while you're watching the scenery, I'm watching the road. Here