Leavenworth, WA

While it wasn't exactly rest and relaxation, our vacation at the end of June was restorative. We hiked, shopped and ate in downtown Leavenworth, WA (a Bavarian village), hiked again, and rode the Tumwater Twister.

Our first hike was in the Peshastin Pinnacles. Even early in the morning this was a very warm hike as the pinnacles are on the arid side of the Wenatchee river. We spotted a couple of lizards and a mink, and mountain goat tracks.The Pinnacles gave us a great view of the orchards below that are irrigated by the Wenatchee river. 


As we hiked, I was intrigued by the wide variety of vegetation we saw. All of it was new to me though, I recognized many of the plant names we learned with a plant ID app: pineapple weed, fleabane, toadflax, broadleaf arrowhead, and yarrow.

I’ve always heard that pineapple weed is a common backyard weed, but it’s not in my backyard. Its fragrance is a cross between pineapple and chamomile, and it's supposed to make a good tea so I plan to try growing it next year.


Our next hike was much cooler as it was along the Wenatchee river and under forest canopy. The trail is an old pipeline that provided water to a powerhouse that powered electrical engines pulling trains through the Cascade Tunnel between Leavenworth and Index, WA. One of the best sights was a fern grotto.

The Leavenworth Adventure Park is new this year and features an Alpine coaster, the Tumwater Twister. The coaster is 2,700 feet long and features three 360-degree spiral helix circles. I rode it with my husband (who, I’m sure, got braking and accelerating backwards 😀). I had much more fun with my feet firmly on the ground while panning for gems in the bag of sand we purchased at a small price.

Our gems included big chunks of aventurine, carnelian, jasper, rose quartz, and sodalite. We’ll run the larger pieces through our rock polisher to bring out their color and beauty.

It was a refreshing two days at a cabin on a lake. With a few days left in our vacation, it was time to head home to rest and relax. 😌

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