June 8, 2011

Steven's Pass, Leavenworth, and Wenatchee

{Day Two. 10:33 am. Driving along Highway 2. Climbing into the mountains.}

Still stinging from the disappointment of not seeing Wallace Falls yesterday, I help Jason keep a sharp eye out for a certain sign along the road.

It comes up so fast, we accidentally miss it the first time. Jason has to pull off on a gravel service road and execute a tight three-point turn to get us back on the highway and over to the little turnout we've been watching for: Deception Falls.

Caleb's been in the car for an hour and he's ready to run. We walk down a little path that meanders through some trees and abruptly spills us out in front of the falls.

My mouth drops open.

This is no elegant sheet of water, falling gracefully down to a quiet pool below.

This is an angry, violent river, riled and provoked by snowmelt from the mountains. White water crashes down with unbelievable speed, exploding with awesome force against the riverbank, the rocks, and itself. An icy spray spirals upward, misting us and making us wish for our jackets. An odd thought after the heat of the foothills.

And the roar! Conversation is impossible. There is nothing but the water. It's all I can see and hear and smell and feel. Its ferocity demands my attention and I stand spellbound, getting wet and cold.

{From the footbridge, looking upstream}

{From the overlook under Hwy. 2, looking downstream to the footbridge}

{Deception Falls}

Leavenworth is quaint and quiet after the spectacle in the mountains. We eat waffles for lunch in the Waffle Haus and enjoy the town's Bavarian charm as we wander through fudge shops, toy stores, and my personal favorite, the Kris Kringle Christmas Shoppe.

Accordian music drifts from the gazebo in the town square, which is perfectly framed against the Cascades like a scene from Sound of Music.

Jason and I agree this would be a fun anniversary spot to come back to, and after a quick trip to the Bavarian-styled Starbucks, we head out for Wenatchee and our second camp site.

Wenatchee. Brown, hot, dusty Wenatchee.

{Pinecones in the Park}

We don't arrive at Lincoln Rock State Park until mid-afternoon, by which time I'm cranky from the heat. In the 80s, at least. And as dry as the desert I grew up in.

Still, the cabin has an air conditioner and a separate sleeping room, so life isn't all bad.

And we share our camp site with this cute little critter. (At least, we do until Caleb discovers his hole and proceeds to dump every rock he can find down it. :( Poor little rodent. I hope he has insurance.)

We had planned to swim in Lake Entiat, right by the cabin, but the water is so frigid, we have to rethink our plan. Caleb cools off instead at the water pipe nearby.

We make popcorn after dinner and Caleb falls asleep between us on the futon while we watch Psych. Later, I stargaze and watch cars drive along the far side of the lake. The smell and feel of the air remind me of my childhood home in the desert, and East County San Diego, which we left for the rich green of the Pacific Northwest. Only it isn't green here. In spite of the lake and the Wenatchee River flowing nearby, the land itself is very dry.

I enjoy the cool, dry air and it's comforting familiarity. But Jason and I are not fans of the deserty landscape, nor the heat. Come morning, we're anxious to be off for higher altitudes and greener pastures.


Ashleigh Baker said...

You make me wish for vacation and camping and just being together to take in life. Beautiful, Cole.

Tabitha W said...

Thank you for reliving your vacation through your blog! It's a fun way to catch up with you while I'm away too!

Nicole said...

Awww, thanks you two! We had such a fun time and I haven't even posted my favorite day yet. :) Tabitha, I'm looking forward to seeing your pictures and hearing your stories, too!

Mama sue said...

What a wonderful time. So glad you all could take a family trip. Well needed. I feel refreshed just reading about it!
Love, Me-me