Although the day dawned rainy and gloomy, Caryn and I decided to stick with our plans to drive over the mountains to visit the small Bavarian-themed town of Leavenworth, WA. The forecast called for a 90% chance of rain all day in Bothell, but only a 20% chance in Leavenworth so we were hopeful that for just once, the Weather Channel was right. Forty-five minutes into our drive east with rain teeming around us and a “revised” forecast of a now 60% chance of rain in Leavenworth, we debated our reasoning. But, in for a penny in for a pound, we decided to gamble on the 90% chance that the Weather Channel was wrong and continued on our way.
Despite limited views of the mountains as we drove Hwy 2 through Stevens Pass, it was nevertheless, a lovely excursion. With cloud shrouded mountaintops and wispy mists hovering below them the scene was ethereal.
With the maximum elevation of 4,061 feet, the drive through the pass was easily navigable with my little Kia Soul. Once on the other side, the road winds along the lovely Wenatchee River as it makes it way southeast from Lake Wenatchee to the Columbia River.
It should be noted here that while it was still mostly overcast, the skies had lightened, the rain stopped and little patches of blue dotted the sky. Yay!
Once in Leavenworth, we quickly found parking and set out to explore its many specialty shops. Looking for a beer stein with your family’s crest? They have it! Always wanted to explore a Nutcracker Museum? Well, here’s the place! And, if you just want to dine on some wiener schnitzel followed by strudel, they can indulge your desire. Our lunch spot was the Bavarian Bistro and Bar and though we did not choose a German dish, we enjoyed our meal with a view of the street below.
One of the most striking things in this little town (apart from its mountain backdrop) is their use of flowers. Window boxes flowing with sweet potato vine and petunias adorn almost every window. Every street sign, lamp, and storefront has baskets brimming with riotous color. Truly lovely.
Early in the afternoon, the clouds that had dumped rain on us earlier in the day began to move toward Leavenworth, so with our belly’s full and our shopping satisfied we began our way home.
Fortunately, we did not encounter rain until we were closer to Seattle so this allowed for a few scenic stops that we missed in the morning. One of the most enjoyable was Deception Falls. Deception Falls is a beautiful cascade that sits on Hwy 2. Although difficult to see from the road, a short ½ mile trail through moss draped trees leads you to its view.
While it may not rank as the most spectacular waterfall you will ever see, there is just something about rapidly flowing water falling over rocks that draws me like a moth to the flame. With the roar of the water and the forest carpeted in green, the scene was as relaxing as it was exhilarating!
Once back on the road we arrived home shortly before dinner. Art, who had opted out of our journey, quickly informed us that it had rained ALL day in Seattle. This news just provided further confirmation to Caryn’s and my decision to risk the chance of rain to visit a taste of Bavaria on the Cascades eastern slopes. As my friend Kathy would say, “A most excellent choice”!