People are talking

I’m really excited about some of the feedback I’m getting on this book.  Here’s what other people are saying:

“An engaging new book.  We loved it.”    Margaret Larson, Host of New Day Northwest

“A great read”       Wilf Woods, Charman of the Board – Wenatchee World News

“Some of the stories in the book are funny, others are hilarious.”  Foothills Magazine

“I couldn’t put it down, and I was laughing so hard my husband told me to leave the house (not really)”     Karen Daubert- Executive Director Washington Trails Association

“Great book. The author weaves together the facts & history of Lake Chelan while at the same time entertaining you with the ups & downs of daily life. I laughed so hard during one part that I cried. How often does that happen?”

“I knew it would have some funny stories, but I didn’t expect to find so many funny stories.  People will love this book.  It will help them reminisce about their own adventures here in the Northwest and maybe learn a lot of things about the region they didn’t know.”                                                                   Washington Trails Magazine

Here’s a link to a fun interview about the book  on King 5’s  New Day Northwest,

Here’s a link to a great article  (scroll to page 7)

Here’s some letters I received – and these make my day!:

My husband reads constantly but I’ve never seen him laugh so hard at a book until he received (and finished!) yours as a birthday gift this week. When he came to the part about the “scientific experiment” of bats he laughed until he cried! .I think you are kindred spirits!  S.E.

Master piece!  – John,

Having finished your book on Lake Chelan I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it….. not only all the illuminating information about various lakes  :)but especially your stories within a story.

Keep writing books with such eloquence of description and you’ll become legendary. Looking forward to your next publication.      J.R.
I just wanted to let you know that the skiing deer chapter was so funny that I laughed so hard I cried.  That has never happened to me while reading a book – so thank you for that and all the other humorous and interesting things that you shared in your book.  I loved it and am sharing it with everyone I know.  A.R.
 I laughed, cried, and came up with dozens of new hikes I want to try while reading this book. — A.R.     (From Pinterest Bookshelf)

Absolutely loved the book!  Bought it while at The Vogue in Chelan.  We have been going to Chelan for years and it is one of my favorite places on earth. The only draw back is most other lakes we go to I do not want to even get in because they do not hold a candle to the clear blue crystal waters of Chelan! I really enjoyed the history and geological education of the Lake Chelan area, very interesting.  My wife and I want to do the same hike into Stehekin that you did, we hiked the Sahalee Arm last year and loved it.    Thanks for writing such a funny, entertaining and educational book on such a wonderful place.  I look forward to your follow up book, “The greatest mountains” on earth.
Take care,                        J.S.

Okay- forget 50 Shades of Gray-  This year’s summer read is “Lake Chelan, the Greatest Lake in the World.”  Maybe you should rename it “50 Shades of Blue” so everyone in the country will read it.  I serously laughed until I cried a dozen different times – and then I just cried ( the part about Otis).  I was sad when the book was over.  I wanted to read more.  I hope you really are writing the mountain book you mentioned at the end.  I have always loved that Lake, but I love it even more now.  Thanks so much.  A.J
Hi John
I really enjoyed your presentation at the Chelan Rotary last week and so I was excited to go home after and read the book.  I opened it up after dinner, and I have to tell you, I couldn’t put it down.  Seriously.  The next thing I knew, it was midnight, and I was halfway through.  I finished the book in three days (a record for me).  It just kept getting better.  I am an absolute fan.  Please please let me know when your next book is finished.   I cant wait to read more.  I’m telling all my friends about it and you can be sure everyone in my family is getting one for Christmas.  Thanks again for sharing.
Dear John, As long-time lovers of Lake Chelan, we thoroughly enjoyed your book! We laughed, we cried, we groaned, we sighed. So if you’re going to be in the area any time before August 15, we’d love to share a bottle of wine at Tsillan Cellars or the winery of your choice, and have you autograph a few copies of your fabulous book. It is incredible how much our passions intersect!     S.E.
Wow!  What a book!
Just finished reading your book cover to cover. Amazing, perfect and hilarious! I love how you weaved in your own stories and adventures along with painting a wonderful image of this great lake!  Well done, you are a great writer.  If you ever get a wild idea to put out an illustrated version of your book, I’d be proud to have my images be a part of it.
I felt a kinship to your experiences as my brother and I have explored the far reaches of the valley since we were kids – taking after my Mom and her sister who did the same back in the 50s when it was even more un-touched. Thankfully it hasn’t changed much. It was fun to be nodding my head to places I’ve been that you’ve described so perfectly.
Would love to grab a cup of coffee somewhere and have you sign my book and maybe exchange a few stories.  Also if there are any posters still available I would love to get my hands on one.       A.S.
(Note: Andy took the amazing picture that graces the cover of the book – for which I am very grateful –  J.F.)
 (From Facebook post) Beautiful day in Lake Chelan..sun, pool, walk around town…even had time to sneak away to get a spa pedicure and read my book…. not embarassed to say I was laughing out loud more than a few times & everyone in the salon asking about the book I think at least 5 people were off to the Vogue to buy it.  M.Q.

Congratulations.  You can be proud of your “baby”. Great read which I am recommending to everyone. I am attaching a piece which will appear in this month’s Tsillan Cellars Wine Club Newsletter. While I have at least 30+ years on you we have tread so many common paths. I was with you all the way until your critique of “Pickled Herring” which I love. In fact, was savoring this delicacy on our front terrace while reading your review of this Scandinavian delicacy. Also was enjoying an assortment of wonderful cheeses and a great ’08 Riesling.  While reading that specific passage it occurred to me I had only sipped the wine after the appropriate cheese. The herring awaited without the company of wine.  Tried pairing the herring with the Riesling. Didn’t work. Opened a bottle of Sangiovese going for the light red that can pair with fish. Didn’t work. The epiphany. Of course it didn’t work. Cann’t grow grapes in Sweden or Norway. No wonder they addle their brains with vodka. Now my pickled herring indulgence will be limited to non-wine paired snacks. Incredible that I would have to read LAKE CHELAN: THE GREATEST LAKE IN THE WORLD” to gain such insight.  R.J


Hello, John,
My name is Matthew C.  I, currently, live in Barcelona, Spain, but I was born and raised in Wenatchee.  My family has had a cabin on Lake Chelan for over three generations, the cabin is located 1.5 miles above the Lake from Kelly´s.
My sister gave me your book for my 50th birthday, which I celebrated two months ago.  In her forward, she reminded me of a comment I´d made about Lake Chelan, how we´d wake up in the morning, and the sun, breaking over the crest of Fourth of July Mountain, would cause prisms of light to dance on the ceiling of our cabin.  I didn´t know until years later that those lights were a treat that all of my siblings shared, we loved those mornings at the Lake.  I read your book this week, quickly over a few short days, and it was a wonderfully, nostalgic experience, just noticing the photo on the back cover is the section of the Lake opposite Slide Ridge.  Although I have lived in various places in Asia and Europe for nearly 20 years, my mind, often, wonders back to N. Central Washington, in particular Wenatchee and Chelan.  Like my dad and my grandfather, we have been infused with a great love for Lake Chelan, I remember our family´s orchard on the mountain above First Creek, as a kid looking down at the Lake, without even questioning it, I knew it was the greatest lake the world.  For all of us, it is simply ¨the Lake¨.  My sisters and brother and their families return to the Lake, to our cabin, frequently, and we are thinking of buying a lot across the road to expand for our future generations.  No doubt, your book will long grace our cabin bookshelves.
I wish you well in your continued adventures, whatever they might be.  I am heading to Zurich next week to ski for four days, we will be staying in Murrens, your account already has me excited to see the town, I´ll be assessing to see I, too, conclude that Chelan is a greater lake.
Happy Easter.
Un saludo, Matthew
P.S.  I bookmarked the comment about the ¨galoop¨ sound of the waves washing up under the rock docks of Kelly´s — I know exactly that sound, we have gassed up our boat at Kelly´s for decades.


Your Great Book!

Hi John and Amy
thank you both for our own book
I have just finished reading it, it made me laugh and cry (Otis)
loved the comment ab. Homeowners Assoc.
I know Zell am See and there is several people who know ab. lake chelan in germany
I was born there and we’ve had visitors fr. the old country over the years
keep up the good works and don’t forget to add. 7UP to your Beer, that is known as a Radler
thanks for all of us at Lake Chelan Shores
I loved your book, and I especially love your wife Amy.  I think you and my husband are cut from the same cloth, and so I found myslef admiring her patience and cheering for her the whole way through.  I know just how she feels.  Your stories are hysterical, and when I read the part about Romania, I nearly spit my coffee out.  You’ve inspired me  to go travel more!  Thanks for sharing your adventures.       C.C
Are you kidding … of course their are moose in the Stehekin River Valley!  No doubt about it.  I watched a moose swim in the lake near Stehekin.  I worked 2 summers for the NPS out of Stehekin … lived at the Bridge Creek cabin and covered the upper Stehekin drainage to Cascade Pass, Flat Creek, Park Creek and the North Fork of Bridge Creek.  The uplake country is the real soul of the lake!  It is the source of the cold, clear, wild spirit that lingers all the way downlake.  I’ve spent nights on the lake in a boat watching dozens and dozens of  lightning strikes hit the mountains near Stehekin … what an incredible show.  Then there was my fellow backcountry ranger that took off his boots and went in his stocking feet when walking in the subalpine to save the heather … but also help the lake!
The second year, the summer of 1981, I watched a young moose make his way from the turtle pond at the end of the lake, cross the road and swim off toward Weaver Point.  Don’t know where we came from or where he went.  I suppose he was shopping for his own moose heaven – and also suppose that he didn’t find the Stehekin Valley to be suitable. Several people saw him – I was irritated that some boats got kind of close and stressed him out.  It seemed nuts at the time –  a moose at Stehekin!  He was a parting gift to as I was on my way to catch the boat downlake.  Probably early September.
Thanks for the book!  Great spirit and so much fun…
The NPS imports well meaning people from New Jersey and similar places to tell you that “we are loving our natural wonders to death”.  In North Cascades I thin we love them just right .. I’m glad to be part of it!      R.D
Thanks for the feedback on the books.  I push your book at every opportunity.  I think you did a great job.  What I like a lot about your book is there is no real down time in the text. You have inserted lots of humor and interesting observations which keep the reader enthused.   All the best-   M.S.
From review:
What a fun read! Thought it might be a historical bore, but just the opposite. Lots of interesting past and current facts. The characters are funny and Mr. Fahey writes of personal events that will make you smile. Have spent some time at Lake Chelan but now have a list of things to do and see to look forward to. Would not have had this list unless I read the book. Treat yourself!!!
Great Book.  Wonderful lake.  Chelan is really the greatest lake in the world!  RR (facebook post)
Just moved here, after years and years of summer fun with the kids.  They are grown and now we get to build our empty nest here!  Yaaay!  Loved your book, doubled over laughing reading about the bats!  Hahahaha, I have a phobia and do the “bat dance” all the time!     ST           (Facebook post)
I have lot’s more letters. almost all of them good-  I would love to hear from more people!   I’m hoping to get them all published in a new section on this website –  many of the stories people are sending me are more interesting than the book  (did I just say that?)
And in other news..the lake monster contest is complete, and there was a clear winner.  Thank you so much to everyone who submitted names for the contest.  We received hundreds of submissions, though many of the names were submitted multiple times (in one case, 22 times ).

And the name with the most votes was…..    Tsilly  (pronounced Chilly).  This name was submitted more than any other and received the most votes by a wide margin.  Some people preferred the pronunciation “silly” and some “Shelly” and some “Shilly,” but Chilly was the most common.  The first four people who submitted the name split the prize.  Special thanks to the Vogue coffee shop and the chamber of Commerce for support with the contest.

There is lots more information about the monster in the book, including the history and first hand accounts.  Is there a monster?  If so, how did it get in the lake? Read the book and find out.   It is a funny and fascinating section of the story.

The book is now printed and available online to purchase at It is also available at River Walk Books in downtown Lake Chelan.  Please drop by and buy a copy there if you’re in town. If you can’t make it to Chelan, It is available on in paper back or electronic format.

Thanks again to everyone who participated in the contest.

For more info on the monster, listen to this interview from KOMO news AM 1000  Fm 97.7  :

Compiled below is a list of each unique name that was submitted.  I’ve made some notes to clarify the meanings of some.
Here are the names in no particular order.
Glacial Gertie
Glacial Gator  (note: one of the initial recorded reports of a monster was aligator-like in nature)
Cheldon  (pronounced Sheldon)
Sheldon  (alternate spelling)
Tsilldon    (alternate spelling also pronounced Sheldon)
Tsilldon     (Same spelling but pronouced Shildon)
Lucy            (note: a reference to the Lucerne glacier basin)
Lucerne Lucy
Lucerne Lucky
Chelly        (pronounced Shelly)
Chelley      (alternate spelling also pronounced Shelly)
Tsilli           (Pronounced  Shelley, but spelled using the original spelling that was recorded by Alexandrer Ross when he encountered the native Americans in the region and learned of the lake)
Tsilli           (Same as above but pronounced more like Chilly)
Tsilly          (Allternate spelling, but same as above)
Tsilli          (Same as above but pronounced like Silly)
Tsilly          (alternate spelling – same as above)
Silly           (alternate spelling
Eddy (many sightings look like strange waves or currents)
Wapato Mo     (with the Mo being short for monster, put presumably pronounced Moe)
Gieza (Possible name given by the local native Americans – I could not get confirmation – or any information on how it would be translated)
George from the gorge
Domke  (named after one of the first settlers in the valley)
Chelanny Fanny
Slithering Sam
Deep Water Dave
Deep Water Dan
Deep Water Darcy
Manny from Manson
Pelton     (The Pelton Basin is a hanging glacier Valley at the headwaters of the Stehekin River).
Shelton from Pelton
Cascadey Katie
Chell        (pronounced Shell)
Chell         (pronounced Chell  with a harder CH sound)
unktehi  ( A lake monster from Native American Myhtology- this is a Lakota word)
Ahtunowhiho  –  (one from below)
Ziracuny      (water Monster or water demon)
The whispering Lake
Lady Lala
The Chelanimal
Tsillan Snake
Chelan Slither  (the above three submitted by a person with a first hand account of the monster)
Big Foot
Heela Monster
Leviathon of Chelan
SADIE of the Lake
Lady Layla
The Cove Creature
Sahali – Queen of the Lake Monsters\
Slider – Of Slide Ridge
McGregor – King of the Lake Monsters
Choo Choo from Railroad Creek
Prince of Prince Creek  (The creek is named after Henry Domke’s horse that died when he first came to the lake)
Trapper of Trapper Lake
Geisla  (possible but unconfirmed name used by the Wapato family for the monster)
Chelanosaurus Rex
Ono “Oh no, the lake monster is here!”
The serpan of chelan
The Apple Monster
Wiggles, or Mrs. Wiggles
Fuku Chelan Riu
Please scroll down to vote.  You can vote only once.  Thank you
About the contest

No lake could possibly be a contender for the greatest lake in the world if it didn’t have a lake monster.  It is a fun, mysterious, and slightly creepy necessity.  Fortunately, Lake Chelan is home to at least one, and possibly more.

Perhaps the most famous lake monster lives in Scotland’s Loch Ness.  Reports of this serpent-like, or sometimes, dinosaur-like monster date back over five hundred years.  The creature is affectionately known as Nessie.

Closer to home, just north of Lake Chelan at Okanogan Lake, there is reputed to be another famous lake monster known as Ogopogo.  There are hundreds of lakes around the world believed to be inhabited by these cryptic creatures, and although most of theses lake monsters have official names, the monster in Lake Chelan does not.

This is a situation we are hoping to remedy.  Along with the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce, and local merchants, we are announcing a contest to name the Lake Chelan Monster.  There is no fee to enter and  no purchase necessary.  There are no parameters.  We are simply looking for a clever creative name that seems fitting.  You can draw on the mythology of the monster, the region, the geography of Lake Chelan, or on something contemporary.

The winning name will be voted on by the community, and the winner will receive a fifty dollar gift certificate for The Vogue Coffee Shop in downtown Chelan. The name will also be featured in the upcoming book Lake Chelan, the Greatest Lake in the World.

The winning name has been slected.  Thanks again to everyone who participated,

Please contact me with any feed back, questions, or input about the book.  I would love to hear from you.

Contact the author:

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