A few pictures from my trip to Leavenworth Washington with my Mom, 2001
This whole area of the Cascade and Wenatchee Ranges are a veritable haven for hikers, bikers, fisherman, hunters, snowmobilers, cross country skiers, downhill skiers, water skiers, rafters, campers, picnic'ers, backpakers, hot air balloners, horseback riders, arts and crafts, museums, historians, sightseers, golfers, and anyone that has anything to do with snow or watersports. It is indeed a multi-use area!
July 12, 2001
Mom and I traveled from Portland via I205 across the Columbia River to the State of Washington. We then drove east on State Route 14. Highway 14 is a very pretty drive, lined with trees and numerous short tunnels as it winds its way down the Columbia Gorge. In the area from Bingen to Murdock, we were able to see the windsurfers with their brightly colored surfing sails out in force on the whitecaps on the river, as well as many different types of boaters enjoying the sunshine and breezes.
We wound our way through and around numerous small towns, catching the occasional glimpse of the mighty Columbia River. The Washington side is much different than the Oregon side of this route. On the Oregon side, you can see the Columbia River all of the way, from the Washington side, you are sheltered by the trees. At any rate, we drove through Camas, Washougal, North Bonneville, Stevenson, Carson, Home Valley, Cook, Bingen, Lyle, Murdock and Wishram. Most of which are just small spots on the map! At Stevenson, we stopped for a lunch break at a local diner and had a fine meal there. Revived, we hit the road again and continued on our eastward trek. Finally, just past Wishram we connected to Highway 97 to head North.
Having exited the serenity of the woods that we just traveled through, we found ourselves plunged into the deserts of Washington! Making our way north into Goldendale, across Satus Pass (ele 3107), and into the Yakima Indian Reservation to Toppenish, Harrah, Wapato, Parker, Union Gap, and Yakima, we turned up the air-conditioning!
Just north of Yakima, I82 and Hwy 97 join for a bit so we enjoyed a brief bit of higher speed to get to our goal city! Portland to Yakima is roughly 190 miles
From Yakima to Ellensburg there is basically nothing of note. You skirt the US Military Reservation and that is about it! At Ellensburg, Hwy 97 splits off again and we traveled North through Liberty, Mineral Springs, and over Blewitt Pass (ele 4102) in the Wenatchee Mountains. Finally arriving at the thriving metropolis of Peshastin and then to Leavenworth. From Ellensburg to Leavenworth is only about 50 miles, but is mountainous travel with alot of curves, climbing and descent! It is a pretty, tree-lined route and if your not in a hurry, its a pleasure to drive!
Leavenworth was the target city! And, we had finally arrived at 5pm to our hotel, the Obertal Inn. The days' travel, about 240 miles, took about 7 hours, including a lunch break, buying gas, and ... er... another break or two along the way!
Upon arrival at the Obertal Inn, which is in downtown Leavenworth, the clouds that had been making their way across the Cascade Mountain range caught up with us and the rain started! (The picture is not from the day we arrived!)
The Obertal Inn Leavenworth WA
We got all checked in at the hotel. Mom was on the first floor and I was on the second floor by the Hot Tub!
The Hottub is behind the fence
After unpacking, we decided that it was time to get some dinner. As we exited her room, the skies opened up and it hailed like crazy for about 15 minutes. The rains reminded me of Hawaii because it was a warm rain as opposed to the cold rain we experience at home.
We found ourselves at Kristalls on Hwy 2 where we enjoyed a nice warm meal (I had a delicious seafood pasta dish and ice tea). Shortly after we arrived there, the hail stopped.
When we had finished our meals, we went back to the hotel and our respective rooms to relax before the next day arrived!
July 13, 2001
The next morning I awoke about 5am, it was beautiful outside, cool air, sun shining!! It didn't last however! The day turned cloudy and humid in no time! I really hate humid!! Oh well! We dined on continental breakfast served at the hotel lobby which was very good food! By 930am we were out and about to look at all the shops the town has to offer!
Leavenworth is a beautiful Bavarian town. All the shops, hotels, business of any type, are dressed in the Bavarian theme.
Mom on her way to go shopping!
Me and the bear at the candyshop!
We drove to the local bookstore first and then parked around the 600 block of the town to do some shopping. We wandered in and out of the many shops... sometimes just looking, sometimes making a purchase or two!
... and more shops!!!
Totem pole near the City Park
When we got to the 900 block of town, we ventured back to the car and drove it back to the hotel with our purchases. On the way to the hotel, we attempted to get a look at the Waterfront Park, but it would have required that we walk for a ways to find it after parking... and we still had plenty of walking left to do.. to finish shopping! We drove to the hotel and dropped off the car and packages instead! We then took off, on foot, in the heat and humidity, to take care of the 900 block shopping!
....and more shops!
Since it was already past the lunch hour, we sought refuge from the heat and humidity at King Ludwigs for lunch. King Ludwigs serves a host of Hungarian and Bavarian dishes, has full wall murals by master painter Herb Schrami, hand woven tapestries and lots of having flowers adorning it. There we dined on grilled Ham and Cheese sandwiches and garden salads, washed down with a glass of a local brew! My goodness did that just hit the "spot"!! For such a simple fare, it was simply delicious!
Our shopping included: A Book for All Seasons, Home Fires Bakery, Black Swan, Country Hearth, Alpen Haus, Bags by Sonja, Bearly Purrfect, Cheesemonger, The Hat Shop, Ms Arlenes, Rocky Mtn Chocolate Factory, Taffy Shop, Youngs Clothesline, Danish Bakery, Dee's Country Accents, Die Musik Box, Fashion for $12, Fritz Gourmet Coffee House, Haus of Angels, Kris Kringl's, Mainz Haus of Rocks, and Sweet Dreams.
We walked back to the hotel and dropped off the few packages we had and Mom chose to take a nap. I took off and went back to Front St and went to the Nutcracker Museum. Mom would have liked to see it also, but it was quite a climb up the stairs to get to it and her hips (from the surgery) are still not able to take that sort of thing. It was very interesting and the lady has quite the huge collection of nutcrackers!! After that, on the way to the hotel, I stopped at the Post Office Tavern and had a beer. It was an interesting place and very much a "locals" hang-out - outsiders are made to feel not real welcomed there. I drank my beer and returned to the hotel. Mom didn't answer her door when I knocked so I took off again and went to Uncle Uli's Pub on the corner to have another beer and review some pamphlets that I picked up on Lake Chelan and that area. After my beer I returned to the Hotel and Mom answered her door this time. I suggested that we go to the Baron Haus for dinner, which was on the corner. The place was very quaint and was not air-conditioned for the most part. But, the service was good and the food was really good. After dinner, we wandered over to City Park and listened to the Alpen Folks (I think that was the name of the band).
The Alpen Folks
It was very nice and they played very well. I got some good video of it. I especially liked the yodeling song the lead singer did! Part of the audience really got into the music and were dancing too!
Dancing to the music
There was also a horse drawn carriage to take you for a jaunt around town
The only way to travel!
We listened to the music until about 830pm or so and wandered back to the hotel. It was still pretty humid out at that hour! Mom went to her room and I jumped into my swimsuit and into the hot tub!! It was great and I slept well for the hours I slept afterwards.
July 14, 2001
Fresh Pastries and coffee for breakfast again. Very delicious I might add!
About 930am we took off to find the Aplets and Cotlets factory in Cashmere WA.
Applet and Cotlet Factory
The factory is actually owned by the Liberty Orchards and has been creating candies since 1920. Near the turn of the century, Mark Balaban and Armen Tertsagian, both from the Near East, fell in love with the Cashmere area because it reminded them of the "Old Country". Soon, they purchased an apple orchard and were producing more than they could sell. So, they began producing a candy based on Locoum, a traditional sweet they had enjoyed as children. The business took off and most of the candy is still produced by hand, the way it was in those old days. They have branched out into the "nut free", "fat free", and "sugar free" markets also.
The factory wasn't operating quite yet so we looked around the store and bought a few goodies and left. The factory alone probably supports alot of the local fruit growers! The "Pioneer" section of Cashmere was sort of a let down. I thought it would be quite different than it appeared. We didn't stop at any of the stores, we just continued on our way since its appearance didn't appeal to either of us.
We continued on our trek de jour! We travel up alternate Hwy 97 enroute to Lake Chelan. The route follows the Columbia River.
Very pretty and winding drive that took us through/past Rocky Reach Dam, Entiat, Earthquake Point
Earthquake Point Landmark
Earthquake Point hill
and to Lake Chelan.
What a huge and beautiful glacier fed lake it is! The blues and greens were fantastic! So much activity in the area also! Lake Chelan lies witin an eighty mile long glacial valley. The lake has a depth of 1541 feet (440 ft below sea level) at it deepest known point.
At the upper end of the lake, the limited local roads do not connect the communities of Stehekin and Holden to the outside world. To reach Stehekin, one must take a boat up the Lake. There is a road to Holden from Stehekin. Copper, Gold, Silver and Zinc were mined in the early days from the Stehekin and Holden areas. The mines have been shut down for years and years however.
McGregor Mountain rises 8200 ft above sea level and has a very challenging trail for hiking.... you must be in very good physical condition to even attempt it. McGregor Mountain, which we did not see or climb... is visible from Stehekin. It is 8 miles of steep terrain to the summit. The last 1/2 mile is a hand and foot scramble up talus and steep ledges. I mention this mountain only because it carries my Mom's maiden name.
We drove around the lake to get to Manson and Willow Point Park.
Willow Point Park
Yep, that would be me again!
Manson is Lake Chelan's second largest town and is full of people enjoying watersports! It has a small town sort of atmosphere but, it is definitely very commercial! Since it was lunch time, we dined at what I think was called the Burger Barn just outside the city limits. The food was good and we ate outside under an umbrella at a picnic table.... but, Lord, was the getting of the food slow!!!
After lunch, we continued on alternate Hwy 97 past Wells Dam through the towns of Methow, Carlton and Twisp - all of which you will miss if you blink! The town of Twisp is under some renovations to revitalize the town. It houses the local radio station, weekly newspaper and a bank. As well, it has its own brewing company. In its heyday, during the mining boom of the 1890's, Twisp (originally called Gloversville), was a thriving town. However, in 1924 a great fire turned most of the town to ash in a matter of 2 hours. Carlton (originally called Carlstown)has a post office, general store, hotel, and restaurant. Methow is the namesake town of the Valley. The Methow Store and cafe account for the commercial activity in the town. We traveled past the SmokeJumpers Base and drove on to Winthrop.
I liked Winthrop! It was set in the "Old West" theme and bustling!
It was incorporated in 1924 and served as a supply center for the mining booms at the turn of the centruy. After the mining boom was over, the town depended on timber and ranching until tourism became the economic mainstay. We stayed long enough to look in some shops and to stop and get a nice ice tea before hitting the road to return to Leavenworth.
We followed the same essential route back to Leavenworth that we had taken to get to Winthrop.... except we took Hwy 97 (instead of the alternate hwy 97) for most of that portion of the trip. Hwy 97 simply puts you on the opposite side of the river as Alt Hwy 97.
Just outside of Leavenworth, we stopped at the Peshastin Pinnacles to take a gander at them. They were nice for rock climbers I would guess. There were 3 people on top of one of the rocks when we arrived. So we took a few pictures and took off for Leavenworth.
Climbers on the Pinnacles
More of the Pinnacles
Once back at the hotel, we relaxed for a few minutes then took off to find some dinner. Since it was Mom's birthday, I wanted to go to a nice place and have a nicer dinner. So we looked at the Tumwater Inn and decided we didn't want to wait for 20 min to be seated. We found Lorraine's Edel Haus and dined there instead. We didn't have reservations, but, we did manage to get seated anyhow!
The food was truly fantastic! We had some stuffed mushrooms while waiting for the main course and bread. They were the best I'd ever had! I had the best saute'd Scampi/Artichoke/Angel Hair Pasta dish that I have ever eaten!! Mom had Pork Tenderloin Saute' which she says was delicious also. The prices weren't bad at all.. in fact, they weren't really much more than any of the other places we had eaten in town. The restaurant is in an old house that has been fixed up very nicely. The service was not the fastest in town, but, I guess with elegance you must expect slow service. (and for that they want a big tip?? sheesh!!)
Me again at the Edel Haus
Mom at the Edel Haus
After dinner, Mom went to her room and I..... you guessed it!!... jumped into the hot tub!!
July 15, 2001
Well, it is the last morning of free pastries and coffee... for today we check out and head for home.
First stop on the list is the Home Fires Bakery that we visited earlier in the trip, to get some bread to bring home. The bread is made from a whole grain sourdough starter and baked by a combination of steaming in a masonry oven and then baking on bricks. The bread is terrific!
Then, we headed west on Hwy 2 out of Leavenworth and traveled yet another mountain road, full of curves! A pretty drive however with the Wenatchee River and "rapids" on one side and rock wall on the other. It was along this route that we found The Alps candy store.
What a great place! I bought some homemade candies, some honey, and a few homemade condiment items, and also a very cute birdhouse that I decided I couldn't live without!
The proprietor was very nice and friendly - even made a couple flirtatious remarks to Mom! That was rather cute!! Then, we were off again to find Lake Wenatchee and then to conquer Stevens Pass!
Lake Wenatchee is a lovely lake, about 5 miles long and up to a mile wide. It is about 240 ft at its deepest. It is cradled by the Nason Ridge on the south, Wenatchee Ridge on the west, Dirty Face Mtn and Pole Ridge on the North and Natapoc ridge on the south east. The campgrounds at the State Park were full and there is a horseback riding stable on the grounds as well as a "general store" next to the lake. It was however, cold and very very windy when we stopped there. There was not only little whitecaps on the lake, there was actually small waves crashing on it! We did manage to get some pictures and video of the lake and then hustled back to the car to warm up from that biting wind! Brrrrrrr!!
So we went through Coles Corner and climbed the mountain until we reached the 4061 ft level of the pass. Oh my, it was socked in with fog and raining. It was not a favorite part of my trip!!
We finally descended the mountain and found Deception Falls. It was raining alittle but we went ahead and parked and followed the trail for a bit and took pictures of the falls. They were really quite pretty I thought and the walk was not a difficult one.
Next stop was Skykomish which I thought was supposed to be a quaint and cute place, but neither of us saw any socially redeeming value to this dot on the map! There was an old hotel in the town "center" but it was shut down. We quickly left the town center and went back to the Sky Chalet restaurant for some lunch. The service was slow, but, once we got waited on and got our food... it was quite good and not very expensive.
Sky Chalet Restaurant
We left there and ventured on through the Cascade Range through Grotto, Baring, Indes, Gold Bar, Startup, Sultan and finally to civilization at Monroe! Index is supposed to be an historic town, however, if there was a sign that actually said where to turn to get to it... I missed it! So, we just kept going westward.
At Monroe, we hooked into Hwy 522 to Bothell and jumped onto I405 following it passed Bellevue, Mercer Island and Renton. It joined into I5 around Tukwila and we continued south on I5 until we arrived at Portland. It rained most of the way from Tukwila to Portland, but, it was not a hard driving rain... just an annoying one!
But it is always good to be home, no matter how nice the vacation! There is nothing quite like sleeping in your own bed! I do miss the hot tub however!
Hope you enjoyed the pictures and story of our trip!
Return to the Main page