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Holden Village

On Friday Justin and Jesse dropped me off at the ferry to go up to Holden Village. The village is only accessible by ferry (and once you get off the ferry a school bus Holden uses to transport visitors), or by a multiple day hike in on the Pacific Crest Trail.  I got on at the first ferry stop on the south side of Lake Chelan.  I learned that Lake Chelan, surrounded by the Cascade Mountains is the deepest freshwater lake in the US, even deeper than the Great Lakes.


While we were waiting for the ferry a woman’s elderly dog fell off the dock. A man driving a Fed Ex truck came bounding out and jumped in the water, shoes, cell phone and all to rescue the dog. A reminder of the kindness of strangers.

After that exciting start I hugged Justin, Jesse and Jesse’s stuffed animals (Tucker had stayed behind in Yolo) and the ferry took off. The smoke made it impossible to see what was ahead, and while I would like the world not to be on fire, in a way it felt fitting that I didn’t have a clear view of where I was going.  

The ferry to Holden took three hours and then the school bus took us 12 miles up the mountain (including 9 switchbacks) to Holden Village. Holden was built in the Cascades as a mining village in the early 20thcentury. In its heyday 600 people lived here, but when copper prices dropped in the1950s the village was abandoned and a few years later gifted to the Lutheran Church and turned into a retreat center. In 2015 the village was evacuated when the Wolverine Fire was near and it likely would have burned the village down if it weren’t for a robust sprinkler system that had been built that very year. The forest around the village is now regrowing as most of the trees were burnt.  There are fires nearby but at this point the area is safe.

I spent Saturday and Sunday in trainings on many topics including gender inclusivity, antiracism, fire hose training and how to not get stuck in the walk-in freezer. I had my first kitchen shift yesterday making pizza. It was a hot day outside and the pizza ovens made the kitchen even hotter, but the fun music and conversation made the shift pass quickly. Each day I’ll either have a 6AM-1:30PM shift or 11:30AM-6PM shift. I am enjoying it so far. When I’m not working I’ve enjoyed beautiful hikes, water coloring and getting to know the village.

There is one place I can access the internet and I am checking texts and emails daily. I’d like to share photos, but the the connection isn’t good enough, so will share more when we are ‘downlake’.

I am excited for Justin and the boys to get here tomorrow! I hope they love it here as much as I do.

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