ORIGIN STORY:  The Sunshine Farm

Garden of Sustenance

The vision came on a dark October night in 2003.  I was driving past Rocky Reach dam.  I was to move back home to our family apple orchard.  For the next ten years I toiled.  Ultimately the vision died, but something far better grew up instead.

From filmmaking to farming

I remember the moment even now. I had just finished presenting my documentary, Broken Limbs, in Wenatchee.  As I passed the twinkling lights of the dam,  a flash of insight.  I was to return home to our family orchard and create:

  • A sustainable, multi-crop farm
  • A cohousing community, and
  • An institute and learning center. 

The vision for the Sunshine Farm and the Sunshine Institute was born. (more…)

Winter Walking and Running at Lake Chelan

1, 2, and 4 mile options from Downtown Chelan

Getting outdoor exercise can be difficult in the winter.  Especially if you love to walk or run.  Thankfully, Chelan enjoys a growing number of trails near to town that are accessible year round.  Check out these one, two, and four mile options to help stretch the legs and clear the mind. 

One Mile – Riverwalk Loop

Everyone loves this classic year-round downtown walking loop.  The paved Riverwalk trail covers just under one mile as it loops from the old Chelan bridge near Campbells to the Dan Gordon bridge and back again.  I enjoy bird watching and people watching on this route. (more…)

How Do We House Our People?

Thoughts on Hookup Fees and Affordability in the Lake Chelan Valley

Our valley is growing.  New homes pop up around the lake with abandon.  But where are the new homes and apartments for local wage earners?  The City of Chelan will commission a new utility rate study in 2018.  Here are several concepts the study should consider to incentivize local wage-earner housing.

Quick Relief:  Multi-family rentals

Concept 1:  Incentivize multi-family rentals through a reduction in sewer and water hookups throughout the city limits.

Based on analysis of population growth since 2010, our valley lacks over 200 rental units.  This absence is felt as rents surge and our lowest wage earners move out of the valley.  Building more multi-family rental housing offers the quickest way to release this pressure. (more…)

Christensons Survey Prize Winners!

Don and Vicki Christenson of Chelan were the lucky winners of the Guy Evans Real Estate 2017 Survey Drawing.  They enjoyed wine tasting at Tunnel Hill Winery, the Evans’ family winery, and went home with a delightful mixed case of wines for the holidays and beyond.  Congrats Don and Vicki!  Thanks for your survey input and ongoing support.

My Favorite Echo Ridge Ski Loop

Nordic Skiing High Above Lake Chelan

Here’s one of our valley’s little secrets: we have some incredible cross-country skiing.  The Forest Service calls it Echo Ridge.  I call it nirvana, especially on a moonlit night.  But where to go?  So many trails!  This 8km loop offers views of the lake on both ends with fun, rolling terrain inbetween.

The Route

I love this loop because it offers a quick hour-long workout if I’m alone.  Or a more leisurely ski with kids and friends.  On clear days, the views of Lake Chelan, Stormy Mountain, and the Cascades keep you pulling your phone out for photos.  And on clear nights with a moon, your mind quiets as the trail winds its way among dark pines.

  • The route begins from the upper parking lot.  Head north on No-Where to Hide for 2 K.  This is a perfect warm-up.  As you approach Spaghetti Junction, the pitch nudges up.  Get ready to climb for about a kilometer.
  • Your climb up Outer Rim is complete at the High Five Junction.  If I am skiing hard on a cold day, this is where I peel off a layer or unzip to let in more air.
  • Morning Glory to Grand Junction and Zippity Do-Da to Chaos Corner offer a pleasant and gradual drop of vertical.  These sections meander through the trees but can be quick descents if icy.   Snowplow is your friend.
  • Finally Nuthatch leads you back to the parking lot over the final 2.5 km leg.  Here the views open up again to the lake and mountains.  Nuthatch is also one of the widest trails at Echo Ridge, perfect for practicing skating technique.



Three Itineraries - Three Days or Less

Stehekin: that magical valley at the inlet of Lake Chelan.  A hundred years ago, my great-grandpa fell in love with its fish.  I love the fishing, biking, hiking, and simple, cell-phone-free serenity.  Here are three itineraries that offer a bit of the magic.


Rhett Crow – Powerhouse Agent

Lake Chelan’s Top Realtor

I share an office with a powerhouse: top real estate broker in Eastern Washington; six-foot five ‘heavy’ at the local gym.  Rhett Crow’s story is inspiring.  His perspectives on our valley’s future insightful.

The Makings of a Powerhouse:

At 32, success has come early to Rhett Crow.  But the elements of his success – discipline and focus – are not new.  Whether in real estate, golf, or lifting weights, Rhett’s drive to succeed springs from a healthy competitive spirit cultivated at an early age.

“My wife calls real estate my new sport”, Rhett says with a smile.  “And that’s very accurate.”


Lake Chelan Wine Tasting 101

The Basics of Sampling Wine Around the Valley

Are you new to wine and Lake Chelan’s wine tasting scene?  Join the crowd.  Here is a quick overview to get you headed out for a great time.  My rules for the road: pay attention, note what you like, and then learn how to ask for it again.

The Basics:

Before we talk tastings, let’s cover logistics:

  • Do wineries charge tasting fees? Yes, as a rule.  $5 to $10 per person.  Most waive the fee if you buy a bottle.
  • How many wineries should I visit in an afternoon? I say four tops.  Your mouth will get tired (to say nothing of your intoxicated brain) if you push it.
  • Is it true that some people spit?  Yes, it may seem sacrilegious, but if you want to consistently follow Rule #1  (pay attention), ask for the spit bucket.


ORIGIN STORY: The Making of a Filmmaker

How a Chelan farm boy discovers the magic of video.

I use video nearly every week as a Realtor.  With my phone, computer, and Facebook, I quickly produce short videos that sell houses.  But my skills were honed nearly twenty years ago on a much larger project.   Once upon a time, I dreamed of creating a documentary.  This is that story.

The Artist’s Way

The story begins with The Artist’s Way.  The book changed my life.

Dedicated to encouraging creative expression, the Artist Way charts a twelve-week path of discovery.  In 1998, I worked through the chapters with some friends, and began to rise out of my dark twenties. (more…)

“I Won’t Ever Forget This Day”

An alpine day hike builds forever memories

Hiking builds character.  Plain and simple.  And character-building makes memories.  Here’s a chance to do both in a hike to Crater Lakes.   Our family recently made this nine-mile trip.  Follow these tips to the trail and enjoy a satisfying day.

Begin with the End in Mind

Here’s the end: a pair of alpine lakes set like jewels high in the flanks of the Eastern Cascades.  If you like to fish, pack the rod.  If you like to take icy swims, pack a bathing suit (or not).  And if you like to snooze, take a small pad to stretch out on next to the lake.  #BestNapEver.

Here are a few more visuals to get you psyched: