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Day 2 (9.3.07) The REAL Trip Begins (Photos added)

Sightseeing, Picture Taking, and Getting Lost in WA

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Starting Mileage: 110040, Skykomish WA
Ending Mileage: 110188, Pateros WS
Weather: Light Overcast, 58 F

Wow! What a difference a day makes (and a good nights sleep).

We woke up in Skykomish City Park to a beautiful setting by the river and nestled in the foothills to Stevens Pass. After a refreshing breakfast (Mom picked wild blackberries for our cereal) and walk to the river, we headed east on Hwy 2. We both took lots of pictures, especially near the summit. I decided to post separate blog entries for the moment because Mom & I both seem to have such a different perspective on things. This may change as the trip wears on, but for now it was interesting to see how differently we approach things - yet we both enjoyed the travel very much today.

For example, today she seemed to take a lot of pictures of wild flowers whereas I was taking more pictures of mountains and scenery.

Anyway, shortly after we left the campground we came to Deception Falls - very beautiful, but the best part is just off the highway (we didn't quite walk up that far, so can only share pictures of the lower falls, sorry - this is going to take us a while to get the hang of things). I also tried taking some video of the falls, so will have to try to figure out how to edit and post that.

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Steven's pass summit isn't very high (4,061 feet above sea level) but get's enough snow that chains are required in winter. There is a nice ski area at the summit. It's a bit of an uphill grade, but not for very far.

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About 20 miles or so from the summit is the town of Leavenworth. This used to be a lumber town, but was suffering after the mill shut down, so decided to remake themselves as a bavarian village sometime during the 1960's.

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This was very successful and they are quite the tourist attraction now. However, this isn't just a tourist trap (to me anyway) as the town is quite lovely and the shops have lots of really cool stuff in them. (No confessions as to amounts, but I did spend a little more than I planned). Mom and I both chose some bavarian cream pastries for lunch.

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Highway 2 follows the Wenachee River down the eastern side from Stevens Pass.

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Ten miles past Leavenworth is the town of Cashmere. The town was settled by people who liked the regions weather for their orchards. Eventually they adopted Turkish Delights to include flavors from their orchards and Cashmere is the birthplace and home of the Applets & Cotlets plant (which gives tours and has a nice gift shop).

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However, we didn't make it into downtown Cashmere & the Applets & Cotlets factory. We stopped at the Pioneer Village & County Museum and spent so much time there we almost didn't leave. I also took so many pictures I had to go back to the RV for more batteries for the camera! All but one of the buildings are original pioneer buildings from various places in WA that have been moved and placed into a 'village' setting. All are furnished with period items (sometimes from the original buildings) and several buildings are open (all were open, but some had wire doors and you could just look through). It is interesting how much smaller and more utilitarian the buildings are than the hollywood westerns imply.

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The difference between Western WA (Puget Sound area) and Eastern WA are striking. The weather over here (in Eastern WA now) is much hotter and dryer (this time of year). The hills are brown and there are far fewer trees. While interesting, I prefer the cooler climate and green trees of western WA (good thing I live there I suppose!)

After spending most of the day at Leavenworth and the Pioneer Village, we headed east on to Wenatchee (apple growing region) and stopped at the "Confluence State Park". This is close to the confluence of the Wenatchee & Columbia Rivers.

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Then we headed on thinking we'd catch Hwy 2 on eastwards towards Grand Coulee Dam. However, we took an unexpected route on the west side of the Columbia River, so headed north instead of west. (Mom says there are no navigation mistakes on this trip, just alternate plans…)

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Near Pateros, we found a very nice place to camp at Alta Lake State Park. There were hookups at some sites, but Mom wanted to stay as close to the lake as possible, where the sites didn't have hookups.

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So if you're counting, we've been on the road for two nights so far, both dry camping without internet service or hookups. Hmm, too bad we told everyone to check the blog to keep track of us!

Posted by jl98584 20:36 Tagged family_travel

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Hey! I'm green with envy already! Had to laugh at the idea of boxing up your paperwork to take with you because you didn't get it done in time for the trip. Must be a Johnston trait. (As I try to work around the stacks of paperwork on my desk and floor and the card-table I set up for more surface space). Can't wait for the pictures.

by TexasRTJ

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