Category Archives: NCW Tidbits

A Wenatchee Area Christmas Light Must-See

If you love Christmas lights and live in the Wenatchee area, you need to check out the Nelson Family Lights!  A light display so awesome it has its own Facebook page:

This fantastic LED light display is set to music you can listen along to.  Just pull up, find a safe parking spot, make sure you’re not blocking the road or the driveway, and tune to 105.5 on your car radio.  Here’s a very small sample.

Thanks for the family fun, Nelson Family!

A Getaway To Mt. Rainier And Cowlitz River Cabins!

Looking for an out of town getaway recently, we headed to Mount Rainier National Park. At just over three hours away via Blewett Pass and White Pass, it was close enough for a quick drive yet far enough away to feel significant. A great time was had all over the park, including time spent at historic Longmire and of course the visitor center at Paradise. There were also a number of fun stops all over the place where trails, mountain lakes, and waterfalls could be seen.

One of the things that really made the trip special was our stay at Cowlitz River Cabins.

Cowlitz River Cabins

We stayed at the Rainier Log House, one of the three cains they offer. As the name suggests, the location is right on the Cowlitz River, famous for its turquoise water. Cowlitz River Cabins is located approximately nine miles west of Packwood and six miles east of Randle, right where the farmland meets the forest.

The house is impressive to see when you drive up to it. It’s a two story log cabin with construction that can be immediately admired. It doesn’t take long to figure out that this is going to be a great choice for lodging for the night.

Cowlitz River Cabins

Cowlitz River Cabins

It also doesn’t take long to see that the examples of craftsmanship on the outside of the log home continue into the inside. The ground floor features a full bathroom, complete with one of the most interesting clawfoot bathtubs we’ve ever seen, a welcoming bedroom, a fully functional kitchen with modern appliances, and very comfortable dining and living areas. There is also an electric gas fireplace there, as well as a flatscreen television with a DVD player and Direct TV.

Upstairs in the loft, there’s a second bedroom and a bathroom with one of the most beautiful riverrock showers we’ve ever seen. There’s also a built in bookshelf and desk to use too. Throughout the home, the attention to detail and all of the custom woodwork is really stunning.

Cowlitz River Cabins

Cowlitz River Cabins

The outside of the log home is one of the best parts of staying at Cowlitz River Cabins. It’s there you’ll be able to enjoy the wraparound deck, the covered picnic area with barbecue and goldfish pond, the firepit, and of course the hot tub. When you stay in this part of the state you’ll be surrounded with some great attractions and fun things to do. Staying at Cowlitz River Cabins though means you’ll also have plenty of enjoyment coming your way when you return from a day out in the mountains.

Cowlitz River Cabins

Check them out online:

Cowlitz River Cabins

Online: Cowlitz River Cabins
Facebook: Cowlitz River Cabins

Did You Notice That Tumwater Dam Looks Different?

If you’ve never stopped at the Tumwater Dam, a huge mistake as far as I’m concerned, you may not have noticed anything different recently. If you haven’t stopped there in awhile, you may not have noticed either. But, if you’re a regular visitor to this cool little historic spot on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains, you should notice almost immediately that something is a little different.

For years, perched atop the rim of the dam and resting down on its concrete apron has been a very large tree that had floated there down the Wenatchee River. Through high spring runoffs and fall storms, the tree clung to the dam like it was part of it. It had to have been there for at least the better part of a decade.

It finally got washed over though with the high water from a late fall storm this past November.

Tumwater Dam Tree

The Washington State D.O.T. Incident Response Truck On Stevens Pass

Those of you who have made the trip back and forth across Stevens Pass during the winter know that traveling can at times seem a little treacherous. The Washington State Department of Transportation has a number of plow trucks and other maintenance vehicles that assist in keeping the pass not only open but safe to travel. One that people don’t see too often is the Incident Response Truck.

The Incident Response Truck resembles a pickup type truck with a sort of camper unit on the back. In reality this vehicle is set up to almost perfectly handle any situation that should arise on the roads. The Incident Response Truck can assist emergency vehicles who are responding to disasters like flooding, rock slides, and avalanches. It can also assist stranded motorists who are having either mechanical or other problems. The number one priority of the truck is to restore normal traffic flow as safely and quickly as possible. This can mean adding a gallon of gas to a traveler’s empty tank or actually pushing a disabled vehicle out of the roadway and onto the shoulder.

So if you’re driving across Stevens and you see a large white pickup with a WSDOT logo on the door, be appreciative that its there and should you need assistance know that it may be on the way.

Check out more info on WSDOT’s Incedent Response Program here: WSDOT Incident Response

Chelan Complex Fire – Photos From Afterwards

The Chelan Complex Fire raged in the middle of August in 2015, burning hillsides, forested areas, homes, cabins, and businesses.  A visit to Chelan now still shows the flame retardant dropped from the sky on the neighborhoods below.


And the hillsides are charred.





Some of the most dramatic damage occurred in the fruit packing area along Highway 150, just up the hill from Chelan Falls.







Chelan is a tight knit community with a lot of strength.  Without a doubt they will rebuild and flourish.

August 5th, 2015 – Steve Miller Band Comes To Wenatchee

Formed way back in 1966, Steve Miller Band has been a radio mainstay since the 1970s. They have toured around the world multiple times, recorded a number of highly thought of albums, and are known for some of the most memorable songs of their era. The music they have made over the years has truly left its mark on the world.

When you go to a Steve Miller Band concert, you are going to hear songs like Abracadabra, Fly Like An Eagle, The Joker, Rock’n Me, Jet Airliner, Jungle Love, Swingtown, and Take the Money and Run. They’re all easy to sing along with too because you’ve heard them hundreds of times. You’ve never heard them like this though when you hear them live and in person.

A Steve Miller Band concert is high energy entertainment and extremely comfortable at the very same time. Any fan of theirs or music from the 1970s and 1980s will have the time of their lives.

North Central Washington residents will have the treat of seeing Steve Miller Band in person later this summer when on August 5th they play in Wenatchee. The Town Toyota Center will be the sight of the concert and the place to go to enjoy this legendary band.

Get your tickets here: Steve Miller Band – Wenatchee Tickets

Rent Bouncy Houses In Wenatchee… And Beyond

There are few better ways to make a kids birthday party a success than renting a bouncy house for it. You know what a bouncy house is. You’ve probably seen them occasionally at parks or residential backyards from time to time. For kids they are pure heaven. These brightly colored, air filled enclosures are home to a great opportunity for jumping, bouncing, and rolling around.

Bouncy House Rentals outline colors

We recently rented one for our daughter’s sixth birthday party. She loved it. We found the ad on Craigslist (it’s the phone number in the photo above) and it was surprisingly affordable. The coolest part was that they didn’t just bring it by for a few hours. It got dropped off in the morning and they didn’t pick it up until well past dinner. This meant that not only was it filled with kids for the birthday party, but my two kids got it all to themselves both before and after too. And it was quite the air filled baby sitter!

They also rent tables and chairs which is convenient too. If this is something you’re looking for… don’t hesitate to give them a call!

Reach them at 509-885-8458!

Bouncy House Rentals Rectangle

They’re located in Wenatchee but they also deliver to East Wenatchee, Cashmere, Rock Island, Leavenworth and the surrounding area.

Snoqualmie Pass Snowshed Comes Down

For anyone who has made the trip west to the Seattle area over interstate 90, the snow shed on Snoqualmie Pass has been a very noticeable landmark.  The shed was built to protect the highway from avalanches, beginning in 1950, but is being torn down now to make way for a raised freeway that will allow the snow slides to easily pass right underneath.

Snoqualmie Pass Snowshoe Is Coming Down

For NCW travelers used to heading that way… it’s kind of the end of an era.

A Dozen Fun Facts About Wanapum Dam

Wanapum Dam sits in Central Washington near the small communities of Beverly, Schewana, Desert Aire, and Vantage. It spans the Columbia River and state highway 243 runs right alongside it. Here is a look at a dozen fun facts about Wanapum Dam.

Wanapum Dam

-The Wanapum Dam generates over four million megawatt-hours annually.

-The 50 year license for the Wanapum Dam was issued in 1955, construction began in 1959, and initial operation began in 1963.

-The water backed up by the Wanapum Dam forms Lake Wanapum on the Columbia River and extends 35 miles in length.

-The total cost of the Wanapum Dam’s construction was over $93 million.

-Wanapum Dam sits 415 river miles above the mouth of the Columbia River where it empties into the Pacific Ocean.

-The closest dam to Wanapum Dam is Priest Rapids Dam which sits just 18 miles downstream.

-Wanapum Dam has 12 spillway gates.

-Each of the 10 turbine generators used for power production in Wanapum Dam has 150,000 horsepower.

-The waters of Lake Wanapum touch land designated in four different counties: Kittitas, Grant, Douglas, and Chelan.

-The maximum height of Wanapum Dam from its deepest excavation point is 185 feet.

-Prior to the water backing up behind Wanapum Dam and widening the river in the early 1960s, much of the townsite of Vantage had to be relocated to higher ground. Some foundations of the old buildings from that time are still able to be seen beneath the surface of the water.

-The original Vantage Bridge crossed the Columbia River from 1927 to 1962. It had to be removed with the rising water behind Wanapum Dam so it was dismantled and replaced. The bridge was then reassembled at Lyons Ferry, Washington where it spans the Snake River.

Photos of the 2014 Wanapum Dam Drawdown can be seen here: Link