Journeying to the Bavarian Alps, Washington-style

Mileage today: 227 Total Mileage: 4365 miles

After all the excitement yesterday, it was a day of repositioning and small tasks today. We started well with a good online catchup with friends, Stuart and Fi, who we will meet in Whistler in about 10 days time. They are about to head off on a trans Pacific cruise which is very exciting. Then off to get my haircut which was a great relief to get done.

Then we sadly headed north, as usual taking the quieter roads. We first headed through a high plateau of corn – wheat fields. The wheat had been cut leaving huge, huge expanses of golden stubble. Really, the fields were endless…. The road was empty, as usual we hardly saw a car. Eventually we came down from the plateau to the Columbia river and shortly afterwards we left Oregon and re-entered Washington. We won’t be back in Oregon now on this trip. What a wonderful state it is – truly it has everything: an amazing coastline and beaches, forests, mountains, volcanoes, Crater Lake, cowboy towns like Pendleton, so many rivers….. Bob really fell in love with it.

The road was a bit dull after that for a long time, I would say until Moses Lake. Then it got dramatic again and we began to pass through the biggest orchards I have ever seen. Apple plantations that stretched for miles and miles, some planted in traditional style with short full trees, some with the apple trees spread out cordon style on wooden frames. But trees in numbers difficult to believe. Not just apples: peaches, melons, pears…. then add vineyards into the mix. And sometimes great canyons with huge stone walls ran off to the east.

Eventually, we came back to the Columbia and crossed it at Wenatchee. The final leg of the journey on WA 2, still surrounded by apple orchards all the way to Leavenworth.

Leavenworth, our stop for the next 2 nights is an interesting place. Up until the mid 1960s it was a centre of logging, which gradually dwindled and dwindled and the town with it. The town council came up with the idea of re-creating the town as a Bavarian village in order to attract tourists. And it worked like a dream. Leavenworth is one of the top destinations in the Pacific North West. The appearance of the place is straight out of the Tyrol, complete with surrounding mountains, window boxes of bright flowers, painted stucco guesthouses, wiener and schnitzel, strudel, Oktoberfest, foaming mugs of beer, umpahpah bands…..

We are staying at the Obertal Inn right in the centre of town – very nice even though the whole place is bonkers mad. We intended to explore a bit tonight but it had been a long day and I was absolutely whacked. Tomorrow we will explore and you can expect plenty of photos.

Here’s a taste:

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