Holden Village

welcome sunrise

I spent my 2010 New Year at Holden Village with a group of old and new friends. Holden Village is a Lutheran retreat near Lake Chelan. One could only get there by driving to Chelan and then taking a boat ferry to Lucerne, ending with a bus shuttle to the village. Well, one could also hike in from the mountains. Not only was Holden Village geographically isoltaed, its guests also wouldn’t have access to the internet, television, or telephone.  For a good five days, some of us skied and some of us snowshoed. I had never anticipated this much fun playing in the snow for days and days. During the trip, I learned to break trails in snowshoes, use a shovel for the first time to examine avalanche danger, made a first time light painting photograph. I was absolutely stoked and honored to help celebrate the engagement a lovely couple.  When we weren’t trekking in the snow, we ate like kings and queens, read books, knitted, played apples to apples, made music, snored, saunaed, made new friends, cheered many times to the turning of a new year. Despite of all the hesitation for a 5 day retreat away from home, I was extremely grateful for having come. At Holden, I said good bye to 2009. I was more than ready for a brand new year. Some say time heals. I think the mountain heals.


For a short hike, I visited a snow maze built on minder’s baseball park alone.

Holden Village was originally a mining town. The mines were abandoned followed by years of cleaning of the rivers and mining sites. On day 3, the snowy sky finally gave way for a pink sunset. I rushed to Railroad Creek for a shot of the mountain and bridge. I stood on the river bank where snow had collapsed the day prior when we tried to cross on an ice bridge.

Jason, Kevin, Kate and I went on an expedition up the Ten Mile Falls trail. It took a lot of work to break trails in fresh snow. We traded leads and got to a point where it was no longer safe to proceed. The next day, with some expected clear sky for a sunrise shot,Elias, Kevin, a couple of other new people, and I trekked up the same trail to a look out point. The view was breath-taking, especially after we snowshoed in an hour in the darkness. The view was worth the hard work. We caught sight of the rising sun on far end of the valley. Then around mid morning, I came back down the mountain as fog blanketed the valley again. This video is a slideshow including a short clip of the sunrise over the valley.

At the end of the 5 day retreat, I had written my new year resolution quite a few times. I wrote concrete actions plans for achieving what I want such as where I want to travel to this year, work out programs, study plan..  I decided that I was brave to face the challenge of finding true love again. Like so many Americans, I love my life with unapologetic optimism. I don’t regret the heart breaks I have endured. Now I feel ready to look for my soul mate. Someone with whom I will laugh together, share food together, travel and see the world together, care for each other, grow old together… Best friends and partners in crime. Despite of all of my quirkiness, I do think even I will be able to find my soul mate for life.

This entry was posted by Maya.

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