Another year of volunteering with Washington State Blind School to ski with visually impaired teenagers. Fun day with these amazing and inspiring kids. Nothing is impossible!
Holden Village on Lake Chelan, Washington
A friend of mine has been working there for the 6 months over the fall/winter so I decided to make the trek to visit. And I mean trek! Drive 6 hours, boat ride about 2 hours, 12 mile bus ride on gravel road to the Village at about 3000 feet elevation.
This village began as a mining facility/town, in the 1930’s housing up to 600 people during its peak. The Lutheran Church came to ownership in the 70’s and have turned it into a “retreat”. Today, the many buildings house paid and volunteer staff and about 100 paying guests, all year.
The school is part of the county school district, they generate their own power, have an extensive library, and host guest speakers on a wide variety of topics. The Village is self-sufficient to the degree possible considering they are a long way from “civilization”. In addition to the school, they have several on site medical staff, a trail groomer, a pastor, a carpenter, and I don’t know what others. Much of the day-to-day work is done by short and long term volunteers which includes kitchen and cooking duties in the large kitchen and dining hall.
During my visit, I did a little Nordic skiing, some running, and attended a presentation by a ski mountaineer; I learned that Bonanza Peak, visible from the Village, is a ski mountaineering destination.