Leavenworth is a darling destination that is well worth the stop. The community has been created to look like a Bavarian Village. There are weekend festivals most every week of the summer, and charming, fun shops with hand-painted walls outside. The feel is like being in Europe without a passport or jetlag.
We have seen other small towns that have barely survived when logging stopped and the train no longer ran through. So it was refreshing to learn these people pulls together and found an innovative way to survive. The streets and business have expanded since our last visit some time ago. In fact, they call Leavenworth the Miracle Town.
Our real reason for coming to this area was to visit Washington relatives. Four generations of Davenports, ages 94 to nine weeks live at the bottom of one of the mountains. Jim’s aunt has always been precious to him. Her son was best man at our wedding. Their daughter was sweet enough to take us into town to explore.
We had two unusual (to us) forest experiences. Our relatives heat their homes with wood from the forest so Jim went with his cousin to help load cut logs to bring home. They are also able to cut their Christmas trees in the forest.
Later, when we were driving back to our RV there was a forest fire so we watched a helicopter drop giant splashes of water over the area.
We stayed in Wenatchee at the county RV park. The river runs through the back of the park. Rafts full of people often bounce along the rushing waters. We would recommend it for anyone passing through. But it was full all the time we were there so make a reservation.
Wenatchee is called the Apple Capital. There are orchards of cherries, apples and pears all across the landscape where beige soil and sagebrush once reigned. Cherries are being harvested. We purchase some right at the park. Rainier cherries were $2.00 a pound and Bing cherries were $1.50. Delicious.
As I saw all the people in the trees picking fruit I wondered where they stayed. The lovely county park also provided housing for the migrant workers. A whole section of houses and large hard framed tents filled the area. They even provided a playground for the children and basketball hoops for anyone who still had energy after a hard day at work.
The needs of the many workers who come into an area for a short time never crosses our minds when we pick up our fruit at the store, does it?
Our relatives live on Icicle Road. The picture is of Icicle River in the canyon near them.
While taking a drive through the mountains we stopped at Plain, Washington. The Plain Hardware store had a lot more than what you’d imagine. My favorite part was the wall of pictures of people from the area who had traveled all over the world and taken photos in their “Plain” T-shirts. Very clever.
We also had lunch on Highway 2 at the 59er Diner which looks like the only place around, but the customers just kept coming. They keep track of how many milkshakes they make a year. Last year’s number was over 38,000. Amazing. Who drank all those milkshakes? We will be in the total for the 2014 numbers.
Traveling Blessed USA