Wenatchee, Fruitland

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August 27th 2009
Published: September 19th 2009
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August 28
Wenatchee, Washington
Heading southeast as we leave the town of Leavenworth the landscape makes an abrupt change. We’d been driving along the Wenatchee River through rugged mountains and national forests. Now we’re suddenly traveling through rolling hills and fruit orchards. On all sides fruit trees appear weighted down with a season’s bounty of pears and apples. We’re spending the night in Wenatchee a small industrial city on the banks of the Columbia River. Wenatchee is the major center of agricultural for this part of Washington. Next time you purchase a bag apples or pears in the supermarket read the bag it probably says “Product of Wenatchee” on it. We stay in a homogenized Holiday Inn Express for the night along a commercial strip. This vanilla hotel that could have been anywhere at least had a hot tub in the pool area and I’m able to soak my weary muscles. Even in this industrial strip mall town we’re able to find a wonderful French restaurant and wine bar the Mission Street Bistro. We have an enjoyable relaxed meal after a full day of driving. Jane engaged in a lively discussion with the women sitting at the table next to us. They were having their weekly book club meeting and Jane having read the book joins the conversation.

The next morning we hit the road in our drive east to Idaho. We drove southeast following the river towards the highway. It’s a long drive to Spokane Airport to pick up Billy and Maxanne. All along the hillsides are large apple or pear orchards. Migrant workers are harvesting the crop and yellow busses are transporting them between farms. The Columbia River flows south and is the dominant feature through this area. South of Wenatchee the topography significantly changes again. The river makes a sharp turn to the west and we take a turn in the road to the east. The rolling hills we’ve been diving through suddenly became the central plateau. We found ourselves driving across a large flat desert that seems to go on forever. At this point we take US Route 90 east and cruise across the state. I guess for the locals it’s “thank God” for agricultural irrigation systems, otherwise this would all be vacant land. There are large farms everywhere you look. All you can see on the horizon are large expansive fields with acres and acres of grain crops and I feel like I’m back in Kansas.


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