We (or at least I) used our birthdays as an excuse for a weekend getaway to Leavenworth, Washington. Destin’s birthday was Thursday, and mine is this coming Tuesday, so it made for an excellent excuse. Leavenworth’s draw is it’s “Little Bavaria” theme, as well as it’s higher altitude for snow sports. This year we’ve had shockingly little snow, but it was still a fun weekend.
I-90 had less snow at the summit than I’ve seen in April in past years. The road was bare and dry on the drive across, and slushy and wet on the drive back, which is much better than it could have been, though surprising with the lack of snow!
We got into Leavenworth in the early afternoon – it’s only about a 3 hour drive from where we live – got checked into the hotel, and then found lunch and spent some time wandering the shops. I only ended up getting a souvenir pressed penny, and a postcard that I mailed to my Grandma, but it was fun to see the little shops and do some people watching. Saturday was fairly clear, with some pretty views of the mountains, but today was completely socked in with clouds and fog! (Please excuse the quality of my photos, I was using my “little” camera most of the time and sometimes the focus leaves something to be desired).
After relaxing back at the hotel for a little and getting some dinner, we walked back into town to check out the Christmas lights that are still decorating the town and walk off some of dinner (during which I discovered that I’m terrible at taking night photos, but I had fun anyway).
We stayed at the Best Western “Icicle Inn,” which was really nice. It seemed very clean, and the room was pretty snazzy compared to hotels/motels I’ve stayed at before – a king size bed, a pull out sofa-bed (that we only used as a sofa) and a gas fireplace in a little nook at the end that was set up to appear to be a different room, and two flat screen TV’s (that we didn’t use at all). I’ve had good luck as far as I can remember with that hotel chain, and actually ended up staying in one in Garmish, Germany when I went on a class trip in 2003. One of the main reasons I chose this hotel in Leavenworth, though, is that I’d stayed there before once in high school, and the complimentary breakfast is absolutely killer. Cereal, eggs, oatmeal, sausages, cinnamon buns, fresh fruit… and my favorite, which was my breakfast this morning: Belgian waffles!
After breakfast this morning and checking out of our hotel, we headed a couple miles up Highway 2 to the Tumwater Pipeline Trail. There wasn’t enough snow to need snowshoes, but we grabbed our trekking poles and enjoyed the hike. I like crunching through the snow, and there were some great views of the Wenatchee River.
The rock formations around here are really neat – seeing the layers of the rock going at different angles in different areas… and how stubborn trees are able to wedge roots in and grow out of solid rock! I also find it interesting how much rock formations can vary in different areas of our state.
Destin also decided to play another game of good-idea-bad-idea on this hike, but this time I had the guts to follow him across – even though wading through the stream looked more appealing (I do have waterproof boots and gore-tex gaiters!) But I made it across the slippery logs in one piece – a good thing, because it was probably only about halfway out to the turn around.
My favorite part of the hike was the bridge at the beginning of the trail (I’m a sucker for bridges), where the water pipeline used to run through to the power plant. The curved metal on the sides is the bottom of the pipe that used to run water from the dam three miles upstream down to the power plant (now just a foundation in the parking lot) to generate electricity to run electric train engines through the tunnel under Stevens Pass.
Hopefully sometime we can make it back up in the summer, to see the bottom of the pipeline running through the bridge, and any other goodies that were buried under the snow today! It will be nice to sleep in our own bed tonight, though, and I’m sure the kitties were glad to see us when we got home – if for no other reason, than that we have thumbs to open the door to let Monkey outdoors!