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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Here We Are in Leavenworth—Washington, That Is!


Tonight’s first picture is of my Johnny Carino’s skilletini which I ate for dinner last night. Can you imagine how huge the portions are? No wonder the meal is 27 points—not a good plan when I only have 33 points per day!  Took it easy on food yesterday til last night—veggies and fruits are 0 points—that helps a lot!

We had a beautiful sunrise to begin our day in Moses Lake. Our first stop was the Chamber of Commerce to get a decent Washington map. Can you imagine they charge for it????? The only State that does!  The lady gave us all kinds of literature on the San Juan Islands etc. We asked for directions to the Gingko Petrified Forest—gingkoes are my favorite tree—a living fossil, just like horseshoe crabs. Well, we followed her directions to M street which took us through lots of agricultural lands-=-Grant County is the biggest potato growing area of Washington!

We came to the four mile long O’ Sullivan Dam which is not only long but also serpentine!  It forms Potholes Reservoir—part of the reclamation project. Opposite the water is the Columbia River Wildlife Refuge. We started to enter the State Park but the fee is $10—forget that!  If we do go into any of the State Parks I think we’ll buy a pass—probably cheaper than paying a fee each time.

Soon we began to see apple orchards as far as the eye could see. Probably knew that the espalier method was used to grow the trees but I’d forgotten that.  Also lots of corn with a clean up crew in one of the harvested fields. They were so cute but can’t tell what kind of ducks they are—Pekinese? No, they are wild but not familiar. Some of the trees had really small fruits that looked almost like apricots but when I enlarged the photos on the computer they are just very small apples.

At the crossroad leading to Royal City we saw the first of the foothills of the Cascades. And some very elaborate rain coats to protect the hay bales. In places so many of them were arranged every which way that they looked like a trailer park. Rain was predicted for today and in places the sky sure didn’t look inviting but we only had a few drops from them and then continued with sort of partly cloudy skies and once in awhile toward the end of the day, bright ,hot sun. 81 degrees at one point. Better that the 20 degrees Bill says will be in Vermont tonight.

Our road intersected I90 once more at the foot of basalt pillars and the town of Vantage. It is here that we found the Wild Horse Monument—shown on the map as Wanatum Vista and on a more localized map—Grandfather Let the Ponies Loose! From the vista we looked down on the bridge that would take us across the Columbia and to the Forest. Looking at the bridge from that vantage point makes it look quite intimidating. In actuality, it was easy to cross and the river as beautiful as ever.  So we got to the Forest—the interpretive center is open Fri-Sun and today is Thursday—took a couple of pictures of the towering gingkoes in the parking lot, recrossed the bridge and headed north to George. Love George, Washington’s water tower!At this point, having made just one big circle we were three hours and only 27 miles from Moses Lake, where we'd spent last night!!

Proceeded to Quincy. Seems that town on the Second Saturday of September celebrates what it calls Farmer-Consumer Awareness Day and for ten miles there are signs indicating the crops planted along the way. A sign told us that label signs would be found in the fenceline. We got quite silly trying to guess the crops before seeing the labels. We were fond of the bare fields labeled beans, or potatoes , or the fields with stubble labeled wheat or spearmint. There were pasture, dairy heifer and nursery signs also. Not exactly crops. But anyway we saw Timothy and Timothy hay; grain corn and field corn; grapes and wine grapes;apples and crispins. Fun.

As we turned west we came to  a farm stand and I bought myself a big, juicy, sweet, white fleshed peach. My blouse was almost soaked with juice. Just delicious. I’m eating fruit almost all day. We also picked up a few Italian plums. The pears and tomatoes were a bit too ripe and were attracting swarms of fruit flies—past prime. A bit farther along the road took a dip down to the Rock Island Dam.

Checked the Miss Veedol reference on the East Wenatchee sign. I’d laughed and said WHY? would anyone choose this place to fly out of to cross the Pacific—well, no one did!  Here’s the story and it is amusing, interesting and sad.


When we arrived at Cashmere the home of Aplets and Cotlets, I remembered coming here in 2000 but wasn’t sure how we’d done that. Looking at the map, I realize that we took Rt 2 across Washington from Coeur d’Alene and then headed south to Yakima and the Columbia River Gorge. We may return this way when we head south toward Oregon and California.

Now we are headed toward Steven’s Pass and Everett ,Washington ( which I believe may have been the birthplace of the Crosby boys). It is about a two hour drive just to Everett and the towns along the way look pretty small. We decided to stop in Leavenworth which is prettied up to look like an Alpine village—even the Muffler Shop is a little chalet. Thought for sure it was going to be costly but we have a terrific large room with all the normal accoutrements ( Howard Johnson’s Lodge! ) and with out senior discount it only cost $71 + tax. Thank goodness for small breaks.

Tomorrow the mountain but also at some point, the sea. I’m just going to concentrate on the sea and not the mountain.

Time for some fruit, cheese and ham for dinner. Good night once more from the Happy Wanderers, yodel-ai-he-ai-o  Kathy and Barb

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