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48 Hours in Lake Chelan

I like wine. No, what I should have said is I love wine (as evidenced by my bio in the right-hand column, my angst of not having it during the Whole 30, by how we spend our time on road trips, and my favorite part of the Festival at Sandpoint).

Those of us native to the Northwest understand the travel itch that comes along every February/March. When we’re just over the dreary winter days and ready for a little exploring that doesn’t involve a parka. This year we were lucky enough to get invited to go on not one, but two short trips to Washington’s wine country.


The first of our trips took us to Lake Chelan, a small lake town in the middle-of-nowhere Washington. Our good friends Megan, Dylan, Caitlyn and Aaron invited us to split a condo they rented over Valentine’s weekend.

This was actually my second time visiting Chelan, and I can’t believe I forgot to do a post about my last trip! I totally thought I had, and when I went to reference it while we were there, I found nothing. So aggravating because it would have been a good one (it was for a bachelorette party). Sorry, my bad.

We headed over early on Saturday, coffee mugs in hand, hoping to make it to town by lunch. It doesn’t take much time on the highway to go from city-scape to prairie as we made our way through eastern Washington. We passed the occasional small town and farmhouse, but other than that, nothing. Just rolling hills covered in snow for miles in any direction.

We spent the afternoon strolling the main street, stopped for ice cream and looked around at shops while planning our evening.


We decided to hit up a couple wineries before we could check in to our condo (more on what wineries we went to below). While sipping on our last wine flight of the day, we asked for dinner recommendations and quickly decided on a Mexican place with the reputation of having excellent margaritas.

We woke up fairly early the next morning and decided to go for a hike before heading back into town. We ended up hiking at Echo Ridge, a trail system that offered sweeping views of the valley, river and lake.

Hiking Echo Ridge in Lake Chelan

Hiking Echo Ridge in Lake Chelan
There was a lot more snow there than we had anticipated, but luckily the path was hard enough to walk over in most places.

We spent the entire afternoon driving around (with DD’s, don’t you worry), sampling wine and its paired chocolate (it was Valentine’s Day weekend after all). That night we made a steak dinner, played games and enjoyed the company of good friends before leaving town the next morning. 

Where we went:

Marcela’s Mexican Restaurant

Marcela’s has your typical Mexican cuisine but what stood out to me the most is their margaritas. So good! When it comes to mixed drinks, less is more for me so I ordered their “healthy” margarita made with fresh lime juice and asked for some Grand Marnier to top it off.

Wineries:

Felding Hills 

Felding Hills Winery, Lake Chelan

Favorite Wine: 2010 Syrah

Fielding Hills Winery wasn’t my favorite, to be honest, and I didn’t realize it until I forgot to put it on the list when I started writing this. They did have some really cool decor, but they were extremely busy, expensive and we were forgotten about multiple times. That said, they had a beautiful view, nice staff and the wine was delicious.

Siren Song

Siren Song Winery in Lake Chelan
Favorite Wine: Auberge

Reservations Required

The Siren Song winery/restaurant we visited is very new, and very unique. Their site describes their wines as:

“Siren Song wines reflect the food and wine adventures of proprietors Kevin and Holly Brown. The Brown’s believe everyone has a calling, a ‘Siren Song’. Their calling is to share the romance and beauty of hand crafted wines and food pairings with you!”

Siren Song is bright, colorful and has some cool artwork. I’d recommend it.

Hard Row to Hoe

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Favorite Wine: Seduction

MY. FAVORITE. BY. FAR.

Their wine is good, but I’m married to this as my favorite because of their story.

The owners of Hard Row to Hoe took over the Edgemont Lodge, a brothel built in the early 20s, located at Point Lovely.

According to their story, “during the late 1930’s construction was winding down at Grand Coulee Dam and a few of the Coulee Dam professional ladies moved to Edgemont Lodge to ‘serve’ the miners from the newly operational Howe Sound Mine.

One story has it that a long-time Manson resident ran a rowboat taxi service from Lucerne to Point Lovely in support of the thriving enterprise.”

Their decor is both hilarious and historical, the wine is great and the owners love to tell the story first-hand. PLEASE be sure to visit Hard Row to Hoe some day.

Ciardeas

Favorite Wine: Consonance

Cairdeas (pronounced ‘Cardis’) actually had some of our favorite wines of the visit. Cairdeas is a new winery, and carries a very family-owned industrial farmhouse vibe.

According to their site, Cairdeas is an ancient Gaelic word meaning friendship, goodwill or alliance.

“We believe in all three. Good wine should be shared with friends, goodwill spread at every opportunity, and alliances created with those who share our passion.”

I really like a good blend, and they had several excellent ones to choose from.

Tildio

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Favorite Wine: Stride

I most remember Tildio for their dogs,  Jake and Ruby (would you expect anything less from me?). We learned that a Tildio is a cute little bird, that serves as their logo. The owners, Milum and Katy Perry (not the singer, we asked), started planting Tildio’s vineyard in Lake Chelan in 2002 and opened their tasting room three years later.

That’s my “Lake Chelan in 48 hours” trip guide. If you go, be sure to also go to the Lake Chelan Winery, we didn’t get to go on this round, but when I went before we got to learn a lot more about the area and go back to where they ferment the wine and try a sample straight from the tank.

What’s your favorite winery in Lake Chelan? I’d love to put it on my “next time” list, as I’m sure we’ll go back again.

Cheers!
Andy

Northwest Instagram Inspiration

Happy Friday, friends! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving last week and spent little (or no) time waiting in shopping lines and traffic.

Life has slowed down quite a bit in the Nagel household. It’s now completely dark before and after work, so I’ve been taking very few pictures, and Kyle had a case of bronchitis so we’ve been laying low for about a week. Yep, it’s officially that time of the year when we hibernate during the week and do our best to get out on the weekends when there’s more light.

So, since I have few stories to tell, and no imagery to share, I thought I’d give you a peek into my Instagram feed and show you some of the very talented people that inspire me every day. So without further ado…

Northwest Instagram Inspiration 

As a photography enthusiast, I love looking at other people’s work and Instagram is a great way to follow some of my favorite photographers from all across the northwest.

This post was originally supposed to be my favorite accounts from Idaho, so only three of them aren’t Idaho-based. I wanted to clarify that because there are a TON of awesome accounts from Washington, Oregon, Montana, and BC that should really be included in this post, but I’m sure I will do more posts in the future. After all, if I feature all my favorites right now, I’ll be out of lazy blog post ideas ;)

Northwest Instagram Inspiration | Stuck in North Idaho

Idaho Explored (idahoexplored)
Idaho Explored features photographers with great images of the Gem State. Scrolling through their feed reminds me of an Idaho-themed calendar or the pretty images that serve as the backgrounds for motivational posters. They cover everything from our beloved Lake Coeur d’Alene, to the rolling foothill of Boise and so much more.

CDA Idaho (cdaidaho)
CDA Idaho is actually a new local business selling Coeur d’Alene themed goods, but they highlight local instagrammers and area photos. They show a little bit of everything from good ol’ Cd’A including beautiful landscapes, portraits, downtown living and their goods.

Idaho Daily (idahodaily)
Your daily dose of Idaho. This is a group of photographers who share both their work and the feature people who use their hashtag #idahodaily. Since they pull from a bunch of different accounts, there’s a lot of variance in their imagery which is a nice contrast to some other accounts I follow where almost every picture looks the same.

Washington State University (wsupullman)
How could I not include my alma mater? It always brightens my day to see the rolling hills of the Palouse and Butch T. Cougar reminding me of game day. Who wouldn’t want to see that while scrolling through Instagram?

Becca Skinner (beccaskinner)
I don’t know if I want to be her, or be friends with her. Either way, her feed is amazing. Becca is a photographer for National Geographic (#coolestjobever) that lives in Montana with her adorable dog. She shares photos from all her adventures around the Northwest and beyond. She makes me want to become an avid backpacker, buy a vintage motorcycle complete with doggy sidecar, take up fly fishing, and majorly up my photography game. Major girl crush.

Pacific Northwest Wonderland (pnwonderland)
This community of adventurers post amazing images of the PNW. From the Oregon Coast, up through Washington and (I think??) parts of Idaho, this stunning feed perfectly captures the spirit of our area.

Rachel Shamberg (rachsham)
I came across Rachel’s feed because she’s a friend-of-a-friend. And apparently, a friend-of-another-friend, and so on. We should probably just become friends too so it’s easier to explain. She’s a Cd’A based photographer, so a lot of what she shares are portraits. But I love her airy style, framing composition and indie-vibes clients. She mixes in cute pics of her dog and and pretty pictures of the Coeur d’Alene area.

Brock James (brock_james)
I can’t tell where Brock is from, but I think Idaho or Oregon. He posts photos of his adventures from all over the PNW and feature bright, colorful landscapes and the occasional furry creature.

Visit Idaho (visitidaho)
Visit Idaho’s official Instagram is full of fun pics from around the state. Most of the photos highlight southern Idaho and the Boise area, and features a variety of photographers. It’s really fun to see photos of towns I haven’t visited yet and learn about new spots to see and events.

Be sure to follow these guys (and me!) for a peek into the lives of our great northwest explorers.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Have a wonderful weekend!

XO
Andy

Kyle does Movember

Facial Fur for Health | Kyle Does Movember

Every November for the past, I don’t know, five years I have heard references to “Movember.” Until recently I presumed that is was nothing more than a justification for lazy grooming. I admit that I have haphazardly jumped on the bandwagon and grown an upper lip sweater without doing any research or having any clue why Movember came to be.

Well this year I decided to change that, so I ventured to the Movember website to see what kind of programs the Movember organization raises funds for. I learned that Movember started with 30 Aussie guys and has since grown into an international phenomenon. It made its way to the United States in 2007. The organization promotes men’s health with regard to four critical categories: Prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health, and physical inactivity.

Kyle does Movember via Stuck in North Idaho

Now we all know how these crowd sourced, trendy fundraisers can tend to spend more than they donate on line items like travel, entertainment and salaries, which is why I was surprised to find that the Movember organization allocates an impressive 80 percent of the funds they raise to men’s health programs. But don’t take my word for it. I encourage anyone who is interested in this cause to do your own financial research. They post their audited financial statements on the website.

It’s not just about growing a grass grin for men’s health though. The thing that convinced me to jump on board this year and cultivate a cookie duster of my own is the emphasis on getting active. Movember now includes a “move” challenge. The goal is to achieve 30 minutes of physical activity every day in November. I can’t pass up a fitness challenge so of course I signed up. In addition to exercising every day I will make an effort to eat fairly healthy and finally make an appointment with a primary care physician. No joke, I haven’t had a primary doc since my pediatrician. I’m probably due for a physical. Are you?

I think for men my age this is the root of the issue, I mean I feel fine after all. Why should I see a doctor? According to the Testicular Cancer Society, “Testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer in men ages 15-35.” And a quick search on the American Cancer Society website revealed that about one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.

Guys, please join me this month and consider the state or your health. Girls, you can join the challenge too. I will be posting to FB, tracking my exercise with Strava and I’ll follow up at the end of the month with some sweet soup strainer pics and another post to say how everything went. If you want to help me raise funds for an organization that is making a big difference and watch my progress, just visit my page at mobro.co/nageledit.

Hike to Revett Lake near Murray, Idaho | Stuck in North Idaho

A Birthday Hike to Revett Lake

As I sit down to write this, I have to say that my heart is very full. You see, my birthday was Monday and between Kyle, our friends and our family, I celebrated all weekend. The highlight of my birthday extravaganza was a hike out to Revett Lake, near Murray, Idaho.

Hike to Revett Lake near Murray, Idaho | Stuck in North Idaho

On Saturday morning eight of us loaded up with our six dogs into two Subarus for the trek to the trail. The hike begins at the top of Thompson Pass, on the Idaho-Montana border. The drive there is one of my favorites, winding along the Coeur d’Alene River, then turning east toward Thompson Pass. This year the colors along the river are of mosaic of golds, on fire against the dark greens of the pines.

The turnoff for the trail is pretty obvious, being a large parking area and restroom at the peak of the pass. From there we could see the residual smoke from this year’s wildfires settled in the valley. We took a dirt road, passed the outhouse and parked just a bit farther up. The trail is well groomed and well traveled.

Hike to Revett Lake near Murray, Idaho | Stuck in North Idaho

Hike to Revett Lake near Murray, Idaho | Stuck in North Idaho

It is four miles round-trip, with gentle grades and spectacular views. I couldn’t help but marvel at the large rock slides and enormous boulders lining the trail early on. One boulder so large and flat, we joked about pitching a tent on top.

After two miles the terrain changed from rocky to soft and forested as we approached the lake. We bumped into two sets of campers but otherwise had the place to ourselves. Kyle and I made note to come back here to camp next year. The dogs ran wild, wrestling in the grass and jumping in the water. Juneau spent almost the entire time in the lake, attempting to dig up some rocks that refused to float to the surface. Such a weirdo.

Revett-Lake-Birthday-Hike-24

Hike to Revett Lake near Murray, Idaho | Stuck in North Idaho

Hike to Revett Lake near Murray, Idaho | Stuck in North Idaho

We (meaning Kyle and Aaron) made a fire and Megan unloaded some snacks, including wine, cheese, crackers, and Pilgrim’s pumpkin bread with chocolate chips. We warmed our chilly hands, legs and faces and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. Had it been a bit warmer, I could have stayed all day.

Hike to Revett Lake near Murray, Idaho | Stuck in North Idaho

Revett-Lake-Birthday-Hike-18

Revett-Lake-Birthday-Hike-5

Thank you to all of my wonderful friends for such a fun, memorable day full of love, laughs and happy pups!

XOXO
Andy

Green Bluff Growers is Spokane, WA via Stuck in North Idaho

A visit to Green Bluff

This morning as I sipped my coffee, I watched out the window as the fog and clouds dissipated from the city streets and the morning sun lit the gold leaves still clinging to the trees outside.

Fall is here. Earlier this month the days became noticeably shorter and the nights cooler; but the days stayed warm and sunny. Not our typical October. This week though, there’s been a shift and now there’s a bite in the air and early morning clouds and fog, bringing fall into full swing.

Green Bluff Growers is Spokane, WA via Stuck in North Idaho

To help us get in the spirit, Kyle and I took our annual trip over to Green Bluff for a day of apple picking, pumpkin hunting and of course – pumpkin donut eating.

This year we went with our friends Lisa and Tom. When we arrived at their house, we discussed which farms and attractions we wanted to see. It was then that we realized they had NEVER been to Harvest House and therefore, had NEVER experienced the amazingness that is pumpkin donuts. Don’t worry, we remedied that.

Green Bluff Growers is Spokane, WA via Stuck in North Idaho

As we wound our way through the hills, I couldn’t help but notice the lingering effects of our unusually hot and dry summer. The trees were brown and crispy, the orchards and fields already almost empty, a few of the farms were already closed for the year.

Needless to say, the pumpkin donuts were a resounding success – each of us got a dozen to take home and we’ve been eating them all week long. Which reminds me, I should probably go for a run tonight ;)

pumpkin doughnuts at greenbluff WA - stuckinnorthidaho.com

Green Bluff Growers is Spokane, WA via Stuck in North Idaho

On our way out, we stopped by High Country Orchard to check out their pumpkin selection and peek around the store. Lying in the middle of the floor was a beautiful St. Bernard named Hadley. At just 2 years old, she already weighs over 160 pounds. That’s two of Juneau for anyone doing the math.

Hadley the St. Bernard at High Country Orchards, Green Bluff Growers is Spokane, WA via Stuck in North Idaho

She was so sweet and friendly, I ended up spending most of our time there with her. Her family owns the farm and store. Her dad, Don, was there, holding a little dog while we talked. I asked him about Hadley and her sister, the orchard and about the dog he was holding.

“Oh this isn’t a real dog,” he joked. “This is Poopsie. The worst dog we’ve ever had.”

As it turns out, Don and his family lived abroad for a while and when they wanted to return back to the states, they had to leave his son’s small dog behind. Poopsie (I can’t stop laughing at that name) is the “replacement” he promised to his son.

Poopsie seemed nice enough, and sure had a sweet face. But being a lover of the large breeds, Hadley definitely had more of my attention.

Green Bluff Growers is Spokane, WA via Stuck in North Idaho

Green Bluff is my favorite annual tradition, every year I get to learn more about the area, its history and about the wonderful people that work so hard so that we experience the magic that is fall in the Inland Northwest.

Happy Fall!
Andy

Carved Pumpkins from Green Bluff via Stuck in North Idaho