Monday, September 14, 2009

Washington 8-2009 to 9-2009

Hi! Everyone we hope you all had a great summer.We are starting our 5th year of full timing, and starting on our next adventures. After spending a week in Oroville WA. Where we just chilled out we headed to Wenatchee WA.

In Wenatchee we stayed at the Wenatchee County Park, it was a good thing we rested last week and you will see why. This is a super park, with all paved sites and wide roads, even wifi. Our first side trip was to Leavenworth,WA. What a cute place. It is a small village in the eastern foothills of the Cascade Range. The Bavarian architecture is noticeable everywhere, even McDonalds. The Murals on all the walls are beautiful, many great restaurants and gift shops. They attract over 1.3 million tourist a year. In 2003 they captured the title of “Ultimate Holiday Town USA” on the A&E Network. It must be beautiful at Christmas time. Plan on visiting here if your ever in the area.

Our next trip was the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum. This is a must see also. There are over 5,ooo nutcrackers dating back to the 14th century from over 40 countries that are all enclosed in large glass cases. NO PHOTOS allowed, we were politely told. The nutcrackers are made from wood, metal, porcelain, ivory and man made materials. Name any subject, and they have a nutcracker for it. We though nutcrackers were wooden toy soilders used at Christmas time, goes to show what we know. They also have nutting stones which date back 4,000 yrs, and nut bowls and picks. They also have a 14 min. video on the history of the nutcracker. There are several life size nutcrackers you can take photo’s of . The saying “from soup to nuts” comes from early 1900’s, referring that meals started with “soup” and ended with “nuts”. Margie B. you would love this museum. Check it out at

We were lucky enough to have our own personnel tour of the Stimilt Apple Processing Company. This was really fascinating; you don’t realize all that goes into processing the apple before we get to eat them. They are washed several times in the process. They are sorted by size, color and condition of the apples, the ones that don’t make the grade go into apple juice and the rest the cattle get to enjoy, nothing goes to waste. They enploy 500 people year round. The most interesting was how the apples where put to sleep, they are put into cold storage at 32 degrees, the oxygen is removed from the apples. When the time comes that they are needed , the apples are awakened by putting the oxygen back into the apples and they are just as crisp, juicy and fresh as when they were picked. The packaging is something to see, they are packed any way you can imagine, for store use, gift boxes and bags.

We also visited the Rocky Reach Hydroelectric Project. They have a fish viewing room and a video called “Experience Chelan County” which takes you on a trip up the Columbia River. They have an interpretive museum and many exhibits. You stroll thru 18 acres of award winning landscapes. Some of the attraction there are the Fish Ladder Island, a teardrop flower bed with 5,ooo brilliant flowers , including a bed depicting the US flag and many more flower beds. The Dahlia’s were huge and the colors very bright. Check it out at

Next side trip was the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery. You can follow the spring Chinook Salmon through it’s life cycle here. The hatchery plays a huge role in the survival of this Icicle Creek salmon run. It has been in operation since 1940 and raises and releases 1.6 million juvenile spring Chinook salmon annually into the Icicle Creek. They remove the eggs from the female(up to 4,000 per female) and the milt(sperm) from the male. Eggs and sperm are combined in a bucket where fertilization occurs and life begins for the salmon. The incubating eggs are taken to the nursery and cared for at the hatchery. Check it out at

The Ohme Gardens in Wenatchee are well worth the visit also. It is on a bluff with a view of the snow capped Cascade Mountains and the Wenatchee Valley. In 1928 George Ohme and his bride Ruth began planting the orchard on 40 acres. There are evergreens, native stones form the paths, desert sage is a major ground cover and massive natural rock formations help form the pools. All the work was done by hand, starting by hauling water in5 gallon milk cans from the valley below, it now has an irrigation system. The Ohmes worked on the garden for 42 yrs., until Mr. Ohme died at the age of 80. Their grandson took care of the garden till 1991, when the Chelan County took ownership. Check out at

If you like fruit this is the place to visit. Cherries. peaches, nectarines. apple and pears you name it you can find it here and it is DELICIOUS. There is one stand after another, if one doesn’t have what you want the next one will, including jellies, marinades, pastries and dips. Right now the trees are heavy with any kind of apple and pears you can name, they are just waiting to be picked so we can enjoy them.

Did you ever get a gift at Christmas with Aplets and Cotlets candy packages in them? Next we toured the Liberty Orchard Company in Cashmere WA. where the applets and cotlets candies are made.. They make other flavors also but these two are the favorite. A small company, everything done by hand, and there were many samples. Great places to put on your list of must sees. You can’t leave without buying after the free sample tasting. Check it out at

Guess what! we are finally at our last side trip, before leaving this area. We told you we had a busy week. Our last stop was the Mission Creek Apple Cider Mill. Not your ordinary apple cider here. They have very unique flavors. There were many fruity flavors, raspberry ,strawberry for example and Lavender which was our favorite. They had tasting just like wine tasting. Of course we bought the lavender it was DELICIOUS.

There are 56 wineries in North Central WA, and probably that many across the border in BC. Most of the wineries have a tasting room. It reminded us of the NY wine country.

We are now in Randle WA. We are at a great Coast To Coast park that has an indoor pool and hot tub and sauna. They also have several golf courses. You can start play right from the RV Park. The trip to here through the Cascades and White Pass was beautiful. We are between Mt. Rainier Nat. Pk. and Mt. St. Helens Nat. Volcanic Monument. Mt Rainier has very dense forests and above the tree line many glaciers. It is a beautiful National Park. The snow capped mountain above the deep green giant trees is a must visit if in the area. When at national parks we try to at least visit the lodges and have either lunch or dinner. This lodge is nothing special when compared to some of the other lodges we visited, like at Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon. Lunch was just Ok. We could write all day about the beauty of MT Rainier but instead go to their web site and have a look for yourself. Next we visited Mt ST Helens. This was an awesome ride. You just can’t imagine the destruction from the 1980 eruption. The eruption covered 230 square miles in less then 10 minutes. The blast which went sideways and killed trees up to 17 miles away. We could see 2 steam vents. Again go to their web site to learn more as we could go on and on.

The dogs are doing good. Lilly is having a hard time on the stair. We did get a new medication for her hips, which seems to be helping. Her hearing is completely gone and we believe her eyesight is giving her problems when she looks at the steps. Once she makes up her mind to go up or down she has a lot less problems since on the new meds. She is 15 . An old age for a Lab. She is a sweetheart and never complains. Blazer is Blazer, very very busy.

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