Camping Leavenworth

This past weekend B and I headed out Saturday morning for the mountains. We caravaned with a couple friends and a new member of our group.

I always love the drive up highway 2 during the autumn. It’s so pretty with all the leaves changing color [sorry bout the windshield wiper in the photo below – timing is everything]!

Autumn Leaves on Highway 2

This was a friend of ours sister first camping trip with her new to her bus [the tan one in the photo below]. This is as we are driving in to the campground.

Caravan of Buses

Our first stop was Cove Resort at Fish Lake. The lake is just beyond the chair in the photo below.

Camp Site

We stayed at this campground last year and really enjoyed it so thought it warranted a second trip. This weekend B and I planned to get another 6 Geocaches for our state parks challenge.

We quickly found our site and settled in for some lunch paninis with pesto, pastrami and cheese and Out of Your Gourd pumpkin beer by Red Hook. This is the panini press we have for camping and I highly recommend it! Once seasoned it makes really good sandwiches over a fire or a camp stove. Be sure to use butter on the metal so the bread is nice and toasty and doesn’t stick!

Panini and Beverage

We decided to head in to Leavenworth and see if it was too crowded as Oktoberfest was going on that weekend. It was slam packed with people everywhere, many of them dressed in Bavarian attire and some of them extremely drunk. Our friend and his sister braved the crowds but we decided to do some Geocaching instead.

We did a quick one on the outskirts of town and then stopped at the side of the highway for a “bit” of a hike. Beaver Hill which overlooks the small town of Plain, WA. The hike was described as “fairly steep” but only .10 mile [528 feet] long. Fairly steep for me is well STEEP! To give you an idea, we had an elevation gain of over 1200 feet in that tenth of a mile. I had to stop a couple times but the view from the top was worth it.

Top of Hill

Two older ladies had followed us up and we chatted for a bit at the top. They went further down the trail and we proceeded to look for the cache. It was actually a pretty easy find if you were looking in the right direction. It was just hanging there like in the photo below. We figured it used to have a pulley system due to the clue “One way up – one way down”.

Found it

We noticed some rain clouds moving in so we quickly clambered back down the hill and made it back to the bus in the nick of time as it started to POUR! Not to be deterred we stopped at a bridge to find a quick guard rail cache in the rain. Glad we brought rain coats!

Old Bridge

Being a a bit of a Steampunk, I’m a sucker for gears. They are so pretty and remind me of these from Restoration Hardware.

Gear

More gears and another quick cache in a gang saw.

Gears

We headed back to our campsite and started a fire. Soon we were visited by a creature that shouldn’t be living in these parts.

Moose

A moose was wandering through the campground. Per this article approximately 1,000 moose live in Washington state but mostly in the NE corner. So this was certainly a treat!

As it got darker we started preparing for a potluck dinner. Our friend Curt and his sister brought meat and cheese and mustard back from Leavenworth and we snacked on that and other food under the glow of B’s handmade McGuyver Camping Chandelier comprised of a come along strap and camp lantern.

McGuyver Camping Chandelier

After breakfast we headed out to Lake Wenatchee state park for our first cache of the day. “Native American tribes stopped at Lake Wenatchee for a feast of clams and salmon before heading west to trade with coastal tribes. Nason Creek, called Umptanum Creek by Native Americans, is adjacent to the park. This was the location where Nason bragged that he and another Native Americans had killed two white men and was one of the noted causes of the Yakima Indian War.”

Wenatchee River

We followed the river on an approximately two mile long hike round trip to discover the cache in a pile of logs. It was Curt’s sister Denise’s first taste of Geocaching. Along the way we chatted with her about the trees in the area and discovered a plant B and I had found the previous weekend called Rose Hips.

After our hike we were all hungry and ended up at the 59er Diner for lunch. I had the Philidelphia California sandwich which is basically a Philly Steak Sandwich with guacamole, horseradish, cheddar and tomato. It was a lot of bread of which I didn’t eat too much but the flavor was good.

Phili Cali

Curt and his sister headed home and Jane continued on with us on our state park cache quest. First top was the Peshastin Pinnacles just east of Leavenworth. This is a group of sandstone towers and slabs popular for rock climbing on a hillside over looking the orchards of the Wenatchee River Valley and just east of Leavenworth.

Peshastin Pinnacles

Jane decided to nap while we looked for the cache. After we walked through the gate we took a path to the left that lead on a leisurely hike around the base of the pinnacles. The cache was tucked away in a rock formation overlooking an apple orchard.

Gate at Pinnacles

While there we also did an Earth Cache about the pinnacles which earned us a souvenir for International Earth Cache day.

International Earth Cache Day

We had decided to stay at Wenatchee Confluence state park that night as it wasn’t too far away, had a cache in it and was centrally located to three others we wanted to grab the next day. By the time we got settled in to our site I needed a nap. While I was asleep B was reading up on caches in the area.

After dinner of Brats and a round of Phase 10 Jane went off to bed and B and I went to check out a travel bug hotel. It was hidden in plain site on the inside of a garbage dumpster corral.

B and Travel Bug Cache

The log was in the black tube and all of the travel bugs were in the locked ammo can it was attached to. B had procured the combination to unlock the cache. We each took a bug and left one and discovered all of the rest.

The next morning after a free shower [woohoo] and breakfast Jane headed home and B and I went off on a walk along the river on a paved trail to the state park cache.

Bird House Cache

The cache was a clever one, you had to discover how to open the birdhouse to log it. I won’t give it away but there are some things that had to be pulled in order for it to open.

Our next stop was Lincoln Rock state park. “The rock was named after a prominent geological feature, visible across the river, which resembles the profile of Abraham Lincoln. According to early newspaper accounts, this rock outcropping was first named in 1898 by Ed Ferguson and Charles Schoff, deckhand and engineer on the Columbia River steamboat Echo. Schoff took a picture of it, and the rock became a point of interest for passengers and crews on all the sternwheelers plying the Columbia. In 1902 another photo of Lincoln Rock in Ladies Home Journal made the landmark famous across the U.S. Lincoln Rock State Park was acquired by the state on April 1, 1980.”

The cache was a quick one to find and we did another Earth Cache about Lincoln Rock. This park was very nicely maintained and has a lot to offer if you are in the area.

Soon we were off along the river to Daroga state park. “The name Daroga comes from the first letters in the first names of the three Auvil brothers, Dave, Robert and Grady, who started an orchard / ranch at this site in 1928. The brothers developed a new type of peach on the ranch, cataloged as the Daroga Peach. In 1981, Grady Auvil sold the property to the state of Washington.” The Auvil family still owns orchards in the area.

The park was closed for the winter but we were able to walk down to the spit and quickly located the cache.

Daroga

Lots of oak trees in this park and LOTS of acorns on the ground. I took a couple of caps for a little project at home. More on that later.

Our last state park of the day was Squilchuck which has one notable feature near the parking lot, a mountain bike trail area. “Squilchuc” in the Chinook language means “muddy water”. The park land was sold to the state in 1952. The ski lodge was constructed in 1953. This park is four miles from Mission Ridge ski area. The hike up to this one was moderate. The terrain rating has to do with if the park is open or closed. If closed you have a much longer hike to get to the cache. This one was easy to find and easy to open. The knobs on the front were a “red herring”.

Red Herring

It was still early in the day so we decided to head back to Leavenworth. Being a Monday we figured we had missed much of the Oktoberfest crowd and could enjoy the town.

Leavenworth

Indeed we found excellent parking on the street. In need of sustenance we headed to Munchen Haus for some brats and beer.

Munchen Haus

The eating area was in a small square surrounded on all sides by buildings. They had several different sausages to choose from as well as mustard’s. I tried a curry sausage and was pleasantly surprised.

We grabbed a quick cache and then were off on a quest for cheese, red cabbage and a particular mustard and knew we would find all at the Cheesemongers Shop on Front street. A Visit to Leavenworth would not be complete without a stop at Kris Kringle where it’s Christmas all year round!

Saw this creepy gnome couple in the window of a store.

Scary Gnomes

We ended our tour at Icicle Creek Brewing for a dark adult beverage. I had the Dark Persuasion which is basically German Chocolate Cake in a pint glass. B had the Decline Barleywine which I sampled but was not in the mood for.

Icicle Creek

It was starting to get blustery and dark and we wanted to grab one more cache before heading out of town. We were parked close to the book store which I love to browse in and generally find something I cannot live without so we popped inside.

I did bring knitting and wool felting as I have a little animal that I have been meaning to create and send off to a blogger/Geocacher buddy of mine. I need to get to this ASAP!

The drive home was dark, windy, rainy and foggy over the pass. We arrive home before 9:00 PM which is a first for us. [Well we DID stop a the local pub for a beer – but still].

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