After visiting Wenatchee and its surroundings, we headed towards Leavenworth, WA. If you haven't had the chance, read Exploring The Southern Part of the Cascade Loop Part 1.
Leavenworth is a Bavarian village nestled in the Cascade Mountains along the scenic route of Highway 2. Originally, this area was home to the Yakama, Chinook, and the Wenatchi Native American tribes since the land provided plenty of resources for hunting. Eventually, settlers arrived in the late 1800s mainly due to mining and timber interests. The town formerly known as Icicle Flats, was more of a wild west town, which started to die away due to the declining logging and sawmill business. In the 1960’s, Leavenworth was revitalized by local leaders who came up with the idea to convert it into a Bavarian town to take advantage of its surrounding alpine scenery. To find more information about the town’s history, visit the Leavenworth Museum.
I must say, the folks who came up with the idea of converting this place into a Bavarian village did a really good job! The contrast is striking as we arrived at Leavenworth from Wenatchee, it felt like walking into an alpine town in Europe. We have previously visited Bavarian towns in Germany, and other alpine towns in Switzerland, Austria, and the Czech Republic, and even though is a fake Bavarian town, it looks amazingly legit!
We lucked out and found parking in one of the main streets of town due to visiting during a weekday. The weekends get crowded, and traffic is really bad. After parking, we strolled along Commercial Street, Front Street, and all the “Strassen” in between. There are gift shops, boutiques, bakeries, ice cream shops, and restaurants. During the summer river tubing is popular, but we opted to do some hiking due to the various hiking trail options in the area. I found what appeared to be good apple strudel, however my biased senses started to compare the pastry to the delicious apple strudel we tasted in the villages of Austria. We decided to skip this tasty pastry to keep the magic going, however, the kids loved the ginger cookies at the Ginger Bread Factory, plus the ambiance of the bakery felt like a fairy tale.
|Throwback picture from a Christmas shop |
in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
|Our son at the main square of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany|
|Eating sausage outside Munchen Hause in Leavenworth, WA|
|Fairy Tale Murals of the Grimm Brothers, Leavenworth, WA|
|View from the bridge at the Waterfront Park in Leavenworth|
|Wenatchee River at the Waterfront Park in Leavenworth|
|View of the Tumwater Canyon Bridge from the beach area.|
|Beach area of the Old Pipeline Bed Trail|
|Tumwater Canyon Bridge|
|View from the top of the Tumwater Canyon Bridge|
In all honesty, there is nothing here to be deceived about, on
the contrary! After parking, and going
into the trailhead, the scenery changes dramatically. Entering the trail feels like stepping into a
different planet as if you arrived to another civilization of living organisms. The trees are covered in green moss from the
base of the trunk to the tips of branches. The forest is dark and damp, yet the
colors in the forest are brighter and greener.
|Point of interest at the Deceptive Falls Interpretive Trail|
|The Deception Creek|
|Walking along the Deceptive Trail, which is not deceptive at all.|
During our stay in Baring, we visited two small charming railroad towns; Skykomish, and Index. These towns have small grocery stores, but we mostly shopped at the Gold Bar Family Grocery store in the town of Gold Bar. In one of our trips to buy groceries, we decided to stop at the Espresso Chalet to buy iced coffee, and espresso. The place is located at Mile Post 36 in Index (WA) at the Bridal Veil Falls and Mt. Index overlook/viewpoint area. To our surprise, we saw Big Foot at this location! Well, not really, although this is one of the film locations of Harry and the Henderson’s movie. The kids enjoyed taking a picture with Harry, a 14 ft wood carved figure of Big Foot. In addition, the green shack was used as the outside set for the North American Museum of anthropology where Dr. Wallace was doing his research on Big Foot. The coffee drinks were great, there are movie souvenirs, and you can sit and relax in the place to catch a picturesque view of the Bridal Veil Falls from afar.
|Patio Area of the Espresso Chalet|
|View of the Bridal Veil Falls from the Espresso Chalet Patio|
|One of the Film Locations of Harry and the Henderson's|
|Hanging out with Harry|
|Passenger train going through Index|
|Leaving the beach area under the bridge|
|Index General Store|
|Index Train Bridge|
|Index Historical Museum|
|Index and the granite cliffs in the background|
|Sunset at the Marina Park, Kirkland, WA|
|Marina Park, Kirkland, WA|
|Walking in downtown Kirkland|
|Sunset in Lake Washington, Kirkland|