Our son, Blake, took us out for supper, then drove us to the Oklahoma City airport for our 9:05 p.m. flight back to Seattle. It was a loooooong day, as we flew west across two time zones. During our last flight, a child two rows behind us screamed for two hours solid. Needless to say, we didn't get much sleep during that flight. It reminded us why we prefer motor home travel over airline travel. So when we landed in Seattle after midnight, our bodies thought it was 2 a.m. Mark drove us back to where we had stored the motor home, and we fell into bed. The next morning we were relieved to see that everything weathered the three weeks of our absence very well.
The motor home was glad to get out of its confined space, and we were on the road the next morning towards our next destination in the state of Washington. Our drive took us up 2,000 feet in elevation over the Blewett Pass . . .
and then back down again as we pulled into our new home town for the next week--Leavenworth, Washington. Denisa was very excited to see the fruit orchards lining the highway as we rolled into our new home town.
This little town is best known for its Alpine architecture. Back in the 1960's the town's leaders came up with the great idea to change its image. The facelifts for all the stores downtown turned it into a tourist sensation. They add hanging flower baskets every ten feet along the street to make this one of the prettiest downtowns we have ever wandered. It doesn't hurt that Leavenworth is situated in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, so this little alpine village has a mountain back drop.
All this alpine architecture made us feel like we were in the mountains of Europe. It is such a popular destination that it is always difficult to find a parking place.
You would expect the hotels to follow suit with those characteristic balconies, window boxes, and ornate roof lines. This was one of our favorites, complete with the Cascade Mountains in the background to complete the alpine feel. But the banks, grocery stores, and even McDonalds follow the strict alpine codes in their buildings as well.
The Wenatchie River runs a couple blocks off Main Street. We dipped our toes in the cold water on our first day in town, and plan to kayak here before we leave.
Since Leavenworth is in the foothills of the Cascades, it was only a short drive to the west to put us on this mountain loop trail that follows Icicle Creek.
Most of the 3.5-mile Icicle Gorge trail was in the shade, but occasionally it wandered into the sunshine so we could get a picture of the tall trees around us. Denisa is dwarfed by these tall trees, seen here walking on the trail at the base of the pine trees.
After three weeks of eating too much and exercising too little, we are glad to be back on the trail. We loved being back in the mountains along this raging mountain stream just west of our new home town!
Just east of Leavenworth the fruit orchards start. We also found that the fruit stands also begin, and Denisa certainly intends to be one of their best customers during the next week.
On the first day here, we bought our first local cherries. While we were back in Oklahoma, we kept reading the fresh cherry packages to see that they came from the orchards within 30 miles of where we are staying. The local cherries are huge and super sweet, and Denisa hopes to eat her weight in cherries before we leave Washington.
We feel lucky to get a camp site for a whole week in Leavenworth during the peak tourist season. We're looking forward to finding all there is to do here in central Washington--tucked between the mountains and the fruit.