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Story and photos By rick Steigmeyer

Loopty-do A spin around the North Cascade Loop is a scenic education


f you’re looking for a fall weekend or longer vacation destination that combines natural beauty, luscious libation, great food, endless activities and fascinating people, you don’t have to look far. The Cascade Loop lassos some of the most scenic and uniquely agrarian landscapes in the country. The loop encompasses Lake Chelan, the Methow Valley, North Cascades National Park, Whidbey Island and Highway 2 over Stevens Pass and back to Leavenworth and Wenatchee. You can start anywhere and make the entire circle and take it one piece at a time. I hopped on my motorcycle this summer and took the whole Loop, focusing much of my time on activities in the Manson, Twisp, Winthrop and Whidbey Island areas with mountain twists of forest-lined riding and scenic picnic stops in between. The Loop is a popular ride for motorcyclists from

throughout the Northwest and Canada spring through fall. But it’s pretty darn exciting and no less beautiful in any kind of vehicle. Weather can change quickly in the North Cascades during the fall, so check the forecast before you set out. I started from Wenatchee with an early morning ride to Lake Chelan and Highway 150 to Manson. The little uplake village is busy with sun and waterworshipping tourists in the summer, but things begin to slow down by October. Apple and winegrape harvests are underway and the trees and vines are beginning to change color. The lower rim of the lake is home to nearly 20 excellent wineries. Close to Manson, look for Benson Vineyards Estate, Lake Chelan Winery, Hard Row to Hoe Vineyards, Cairdeas Winery, The Blending Room, Tildio Winery and others. With so many wineries and trendy new restaurants to choose from, it’s no

September / October 2013



Foothills Magazine Sep-Oct 2013  
Foothills Magazine Sep-Oct 2013  

The premier lifestyle magazine for Wenatchee and North Central Washington