Geo: 47.5964, -120.66
It was a wonderful day of extremes. We got on the road at 6:00 just after sunrise to a brisk 46 degrees or the trip north on 97, the "Oregon Scenic Byway." Along the way the snow-shrouded Cascade range showed off it's stately elegance: Bachelor, the Sisters, Jefferson, and Mt. Hood kept us company along the way.
By the time we crossed the Columbia River into Washington it was a toasty 90 degrees. Mt. St. Helens was majestic as it jutted up behind the farmland and hills in the distance. The temps continued to climb as we reached Yakima, "the Palm Springs of Washington" where it hit 97. (The real Palm Springs hit 122.) We stopped to cool off at a Yakima Nation tribal fruit stand, and enjoyed fresh-picked apricots, peaches, cherries and bottled water (our new lunch alternative.) Total cost: $3.75!
We continued north on 97. The 50 mile section from Ellensburg to Wenatchee, winding into the mountains of the Wenatchee National Forest, was the highpoint of the route. Tons of sweepers and light traffic.
We arrived at our motel in the picturesque town of Leavenworth on Hwy 2, hot and tired from another 8 hours
of travel. A quick shower and change of attire and we were ready to check out the local scene. The entire town is decked out in Bavarian motif - even the Wells Fargo Bank had to change their logo on the signage to conform to the local ordinances. Tons of bars, shops, restaurants, hotels, and wine tasting rooms make it a mecca for tourists and visitors who love the German cooking and beers. We did our share of sampling the authentic German cuisine and Washington wines.
The towering peaks that surround the town make you feel just like you are in the Alps if only for the day!
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