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My father spent part of his 20s herding sheep in the high meadows of the Washington Cascade Mountains. Some of the areas he returned to over and over again later in life.
One spot he especially enjoyed was Miner’s Basin above Lake Chelan, and the surrounding area. As a kid we camped at 6,400-foot South Navarre Campground many times in the summer and returned to hunt in the fall. When I was very young my father got a trophy-sized mountain goat in Miner’s Basin.
I had not returned to the campground since my mid-teens. This summer, thanks to good friend George, I visited the area again. I was not disappointed. The old horse corral was still standing and the vistas were magnificent.
George was kind enough to break out his Jeep Rubicon for the drive, and what a drive it was. From the Methow River we covered 36 miles on dirt roads to the Campground, and much of the last 15 miles was on a very rough and rocky road. The last five or six miles were a jewel though, with alpine areas covered with colorful wildflowers.
After visiting the Campground, we continued on dirt roads for another 33 miles to Manson with great views over Lake Chelan. Then we made the loop back to Twisp on paved roads via Chelan and Brewster.
Needless to say, it made for a long day. But, it was great to return to the Campground. It brought up special memories of my father, mother, uncles and old hunting partners.