Leavenworth: A cool trip to the Bavarian neighbors!

Highway 2 was for so many hours our road going west. We stayed two nights at National Forests, one night at a nice place by the Cocolallalake and then one night at a campsite in Wilbur. There we met a retired guy living close to Seattle. He showed us some good road routes and points of interest. We did photographs of his map. When we woke up next morning, a map of Washington was hanging at the windshield.  🙂

In Wilbur we completed 10.000 km in the US. Time to service our 508erin! We bought motor oil and asked the boss of a car service station, if we could make the oil service of our van at his site. We had the oil, filter from Europe and all the tools with us. He was really friendly and recycled us the old oil and the oily napkins for free. Many thanks!

So we took (how the guy from the day before recommend us) Highway 17 and 28 to the Grand Coulee Canyon. We stopped at Dry Falls, very cool and enjoyed the scenic drive. At night we stayed at a free campsite close to Winchester. Lonely place, but it was a nice one. The next day with crossed Wenatchee and then a region with wineries and apple cider trees began.

We entered Leavenworth just smiling. It was like being by the Austrian neighbors. All houses and signs looked like in a Bavarian city. Crazy! We parked and listened to an entertainer, who sang Edelweiß in “German”. We’ve heard better things … For hundreds of miles we looked forward to a good schnitzel.

So we looked for restaurant, but this one was a bad decision. That was never ever a Wiener Schnitzel and not cheap. Peppi told the waitress how they shall prepare a schnitzel. It’s not so difficult! She said that she has already seen it on pictures like we described.

After late lunch we booked a rafting tour at Osprey Rafting for the next day and were excited, because we’ve never done before. So we looked for a camp site at Icicle River. It was a great place, where we spent hours chilling on a rock, getting cooled of the wind from the river, taking a little bath in the river and enjoying the great view.

At 9:30 next day we arrived at the parking lot of Osprey Rafting. Many friendly and cool guys there! So we got our rafting equipment and walked to our starting point. Now we knew why it was called class four high adventure rafting. The waves and the white water at the river looked terrifying. Some quick instructions and then we went ahead. Incredible!

We sat in the front of the boat and our boat caught nearly every big wave. It took maybe one minute to get wet all over. When you open the mouth for a “Geleck! (what the f**k!)”, you also get a drink. It was an awesome ride! The tour took nearly four hours and ended with a good barbeque. That day was fun Osprey! Thanks to Teague, our guide, and the whole team.

At night we parked in a campground at Lake Wenatchee. A site direct at the lake with a view to the glacier. It was a pity that the lake was too cold for swimming, but no reason for whining. It was a gorgeous place with a great view. The next morning we saw two girls with their kayaks landing at our campsite. After they roped the boats on their car, we asked one girl, if she could recommend a good hike for that day. She was local and so she highly recommended the Colchuck Lake Trail. Thank you Morgan!

It was terrible hot, not the best day to do this elevation untrained like we are. Not climbing, but close ;-), was really breathtaking. But when we arrived at the top of the trail, we were so glad that we did it. Amazing view to a glacier lake with brightest water and snowed mountains surrounding. Awesome! That day we stayed at Icicle River, the same place we chose two days before. Refreshing bath in the river and drying on our rock.

The following day we rented a mountain bike, never expecting how exhausting this trip to the Leavenworth Ski Hill and the Freund Canyon will be. It was hotter than the day before and it was more than one year ago, where we had ridden a bicycle. A bit done in cause of the two days before, we did an elevation of about 2400 feet (near 740 metres) and about 16 miles. When we got one top, we were done, every time expecting to die next moment. When we got our breath back, we minded how to get down on the easiest way. But there was only one way to get back without more elevation to cycle:

So we chose the Rosy Boa downhill mountain bike trail. When we passed plenty of extreme curves, some steep and bumpy passages, we remembered the guy from bike rental explaining us the trails: Rosy Boa is a challenging trail. We were too done to go back and so decided to continue. It became really fun, but at the passage on the mountain crest we thought our heart is slipping in the pants. But we survived!

Starving for a shower, we paid for one at a campsite. We wanted to leave on the next day, but some guys asked us, if the European car meeting, the Leavenworth Drive, is the reason, why we are here. Ohhhkey! So we decided to stay another day and returned to our overnight place. The next day we entered Leavenworth at a about 11:00 am. Perfect timing! We joined the line of European cars, which just entered from Seattle. In the middle of sporty tuned BMWs and Volkswagens in the queue, we parked afterwards beside the Porsches and Lamborghinis. 😛

Our van was an eye catcher! Maybe because it was the biggest, unusual and one of the oldest cars, but probably it was the only dirty one, 😉 If we had realized it earlier, of course we would have cleaned it. At least a bit! We looked for lunch and decided to give a Schnitzel (no way to get a “gscheits Bradl”) the last chance. Oh yeah, we got one that tasted quite similar like at home. Expensive, but delicious! Usually we don’t reveal a restaurant, but these few steps downstairs were worth it.

 We tasted some beer from a local brewery, but only Peppi had fun. Kali was the driver. In the afternoon we bought some ice and returned to our place at the river. We enjoyed some fresh drinks on the big stone at the river. We invited two guys, who entered that place, for each two iced beer and shared the great view. After about two hours these two guys came back and brought us twelve beers and a pack of ice. Thank you! Good mood and karma policy did excellent work!

The next day we did a hike to the Eightmile Lake. Yes, it was hot and humid, good trail, beautiful lake, great mountains, but we knew it was enough. Leavenworth was a nice place and we mind back to some great days. Good bye Bavarians!

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